There was a great turnout for the 6th ‘Comuni in Cammino’ Forum. In the historical setting of Abbadia Isola, municipalities, regions and associations gathered for a day of dialogue and discussion on the Francigena, Routes and Europe.
This morning, the mayor of Monteriggioni, Raffaella Senesi, began the meeting. At the opening of her speech, she also wanted to remember Alberto Peruzzini, director of Toscana Promozione Turistica who died prematurely last November, wishing good luck to his successor Francesco Palumbo.
"Being interested in the Francigena is a daily adventure that moves, step by step, in the footsteps of the pilgrims of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The journey to holy places narrates our story, but it doesn’t end there. Today we are here in Abbadia Isola to write another page of this wonderful story (...) – says Senesi – the Francigena unites not only people and cultures, but also institutions. This edition of the Forum opens with the good news of the insertion of the Via Francigena in Italy to the 'National Tentative List’ of UNESCO heritage; decided by the Governing Council of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO. A very important step forward in the application process started in 2015 right here in Monteriggioni, during the "Comuni in Cammino" International Forum, and then supported by the Province of Siena, the Region of Tuscany and the European Association of Via Francigena Ways".
"Through this occasion we would like to reiterate the internationality of the Francigena. We’re not talking about a regional or national Italian route but a European route – says Massimo Tedeschi, president of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) – The synonym of the Via Francigena is Europe and European values. It has been a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 1994; in 2001 we founded this association of municipalities to promote it. Today we have people from all over the world joining us on the Via Francigena".
The morning continued with numerous speeches that gave voice to the territories, to the commitment of local and regional administrators and to the associations along the Francigena of Europe. The themes of hospitality, accessibility and the projects put in place along the Italian route were at the centre of discussion. The event was broadened to a European level with the presence of European Parliamentarian, Silvia Costa, the director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, Stefano Dominioni, and the participation of some representatives of European routes such as the St. Olav Way, the Camino de Santiago, the via Romea Germanica and via Romea Strata.
Space was also given to culture with the presentation of the finalists of the second edition of the literary Prize "Intanto Parto" and the announcement of the Sigeric Award 2019. The forum also featured music by Jack Jaselli. The Milanese singer-songwriter, presented the project on the way "Torno a casa" that from April will see him on a walking tour along the Via Francigena. Closing the meeting was Sandro Polci with the awards of the European Festival Vie Francigene, Cammini, Ways, Chemins 2018.
The Forum was organised by the Municipality of Monteriggioni, in collaboration with the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and with the support of the region of Tuscany. All the speeches of the "Comuni in Cammino" Forum are available in podcasts on the Radio Francigena website, www.radiofrancigena.com.