The European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre (FFRP) have signed an agreement with the goal of enhancing and promoting the Via Francigena in France.
The agreement was signed by the vice-president, Didier Babin, accompanied by Valerie Lecurieux, by the EAVF president, Massimo Tedeschi, the vice-president Martine Gautheron and the director, Luca Bruschi, in Paris at the headquarters of the FFRP on 14th September.
In addition to the common promotion of the Via Francigena in France, the agreement includes: the provision of the gpx / gps tracks along the Via Francigena and the distribution of the official Pilgrim Passports of the Via Francigena in Paris, at the headquarters of the FFRP, and the online shop and, in future, at the network of regional committees (The FFRP network has about 250,000 members).
Lastly, the creation of the first official guide: Canterbury- Great St Bernard Pass, which will be published in the spring of 2019, continues. The guide will include both the GR145 and Sigeric’s historical path.
"This is a very important result for our association, which is currently focusing on the development of the Via Francigena in France. With the rise of activities along the 700km long transalpine route, the strategic partnership between the EAVF and FFRP has become natural. In 2016 the EAVF opened its operational headquarters in Champlitte to strengthen its presence in France and to internationalise its activity", underlines EAVF president, Massimo Tedeschi.
The ultimate goal is to network the territories and make sure that the entire route can be safely traversed through England, France, Switzerland and Italy, so that the project of a single, well-organised European path from Canterbury to Rome can be realised.
The FFRP is committed to the development of national hiking trails and already devotes attention to the routes to Santiago which, in France, start from the historic sites of Vézelay, Arles, Tours and Puy-en-Velay. The FFRP manages the territory and routes with signage, maintenance support, activities, promotion, broadcasting and finally with numerous dedicated guides. The FFRP established the GR145 route, which in France corresponds to the Via Francigena and crosses eight département (Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Aisne, Marne, Aube, Haute-Marne, Haute-Saône; Doubs) of three regions (Hauts- de-France, Grand Est, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté).
Paths, tracks, and technical descriptions are available at the EAVF website and aim to give directions to the ever-growing number of pilgrims who travel along the Via Francigena in these sections.