Interest in the Via Francigena in the three French regions crossed by the route continue to grow.
There has been an increase in: the municipalities and departments joining the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF); the participation of hiking associations; the strength of the Champlitte headquarters with a new professional operative; animation in territories with cultural events; the agreement with Féderation Française de la Randonnée Pedestre (FFRP); the project for a new hiking guide and signage along the route. Included in this vast expansion is the holding of the spring EAVF Assembly in Besançon on 14th June.
Monday 21st January saw an intense day in Besançon (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté), which will host the next Francigena day on 14th June: as well as the assembly, seminars, cultural events and hikes have been planned to accompany the long weekend which will link in nicely with the first national Sport and Nature fair of Besançon, crossroad city of routes on foot, by bike, on horseback and by canoe.
The EAVF president, Massimo Tedeschi; vice-president, Martine Gautheron; director, Luca Bruschi and new person responsible for the development of the Via Francigena in France, Leslie Maussang, met the representatives of municipal institutions, Agglomeration Community of Grand Besançon (CAGB) and the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Three preparatory meetings to prepare for the next EAVF General Assembly and an important opportunity to share the planning development of the Via Francigena in France. Particular interest will be directed towards the addition of the Via Francigena as UNESCO heritage, with consideration towards the city and network of fortified sites of Vauban protected by UNESCO heritage in 2008.
The EAVF delegates, accompanied by mayor of Montfaucon, Pierre Contoz, gave the mayor of Besançon, Jean-Louis Fousseret, a copy of the 2004 certification of the Via Francigena as “Great Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” for the occasion of the joining with the Agglomeration Community of Grand Besançon (CAGB). Jean-Yves Pralon, vice-president of Grand Besançon and delegate of Culture, Tourism and Sport, was also present at the meeting.