Via Francigena. The Road to Rome

"Intanto Parto", Valentina Zinzula's "Destinazione Felice" wins in Monteriggioni

There are those who undertake it for religious reasons, some for cultural reasons, some for sports, some for finding themselves, but, regardless of the reasons, those who undertake a journey along the Francigena never return as they left.
Everyone brings something new, this is what the numerous tales tell us about journeys along the Via Francigena. Regardless of the diversity of styles, experiences and backgrounds, it's nice to see that two titles among the stories that got to the final contain the word happy or happiness, which says a lot about the effect of the path on those who face it.

One of these won first prize of the second edition of the literary award dedicated to the Via Francigena and routes: "Destinazione Felice" or "Happy Destination" by Valentina Zinzula, Sardinian by origin and Pontremolese by adoption. The author was able to narrate a stretch of the journey in depth, but in a light and original way, from an exceptional point of view: that of a stone collected during the journey. This panel commented: “A choral story that uses a humble object capable of leading the story and in some way orienting the course of events. The route is told from an unusual point of view, with an evocative voice that already has its own unmistakable style."

A surprising tied second place goes to: "Ritrovarsi Camminando" by Tatiana Spadoni and Enjiuto Vazquez and "Magda" by Estella Milianti. On the third step of the podium we find: "Mafall Diae: un Ivoriano sulla Francigena" by Marina Berti. Special mentions to: "Le ferie di Paolo" by Luca Mirtilli, "The Rest of the Butterflies" by Matteo Minerva, "La Mia Francigena" by Filippo Cirino, "Il riposo delle farfalle" by Jamila Zitoune, "Il sogno del pellegrino" by Luciano Valentini and "Un passo avanti" by Francesca Corgiat Bondon.

The award ceremony was held on Saturday 16th March at the Abbadia Isola Complex in Monteriggioni, in the presence of Eugenio Giani, president of the Regional Council; Raffaella Senesi, mayor of Monteriggioni and councillor for Culture and Tourism; Raffaele Mannelli, official from the region of Tuscany; Ugo Rufino , director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Krakow and writer Marino Magliani. In addition to the members of the expert jury composed of Paolo Ciampi (President of the Jury; Journalist and Writer), Simona Baldanzi (Writer and Blogger), Iza Frackowiak (Italian Cultural Institute of Krakow), Silvia Iuliano (EAVF), Luca Betti (Publisher) and the partners that have followed the project from its earliest stages: the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), the Region of Tuscany, the municipality of Monteriggioni which hosted the award and the Institute of Italian Culture in Krakow.

The book containing the best 10 stories was presented and the first classified also won an iron sculpture of a sandal made by the craftsman Fabio Zacchei.

The trio of finalists was also announced for the "Under 25" award, including the winner: "Il viaggio più bello della mia vita" by Giada Occhipinti, "L'albero della Grande Strada Bianca" by Ludovica Zenti, "Adesso è un buongiorno" by Giulia Frullini and the list of special mentions: "La via della speranza" by Rosa Piccolo, "Risorgo come il sole all'indomani" by Isabella Cerasuolo, "Passo dopo passo" by Alessia Delre, "Perché cammini? Ascolta il tuo cuore" by Massimo Casale, "Il viaggio di Hélène, una donna medioevale lungo la via Francigena" by Silvia Colligiani,"Il cammino mortale" by Yassmine Mourabiti, "Uno strano pomeriggio" by Letizia Grasso, "Fatevi Portare dal vento” By Niccolò Paolino.

The next event will be on 12th May in Pontremoli to award the “under 25” section, dedicated to new generations who have adopted a different narrative approach, adding smartphones to notebooks and favouring images over text, but never abandoning the written word. Attention goes beyond the paths of the Via Francigena, which always remains in the background and becomes an opportunity and pretext to talk about travel narrative.

The award was organised by Betti publishing company, in collaboration with the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and the region of Tuscany. It was realised with the contribution of the leading municipalities of the Via Francigena in Tuscany (Pontremoli, Lucca, Fucecchio, Siena), representing all 39 Municipalities. Other collaborators to mention are: the Italian Cultural Institute in Krakow, Lions Clubs and local associations and organisations, including the Tuscany Association of Via Francigena Ways. Media partner: "Radio Francigena. The voice of the paths". Technical sponsors: the Fagnani di Montalcino vinery and the Ciliegio di Monteriggioni.

Source: press release
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