The prize for the “under 25” section of “Intanto parto. Racconti e parole in cammino", the literary competition to narrate journeys along the Via Francigena and other routes.
First place: "The Tree of the Great White Road" by Ludovica Zenti, from Florence, only 13 years old. The story won for its ability to link physical nature to the nature of the soul and because it linked the past to the present very well, emphasizing the transforming power of spiritual and physical journeys. It has an original perspective, that of a large oak tree, which makes the reader reflect on time passing and human relationships.
In second place: "The Most Beautiful Journey of my Life" by Giada Occhipinti, for her ability to tell the intimate meaning of journeys by linking them to family traditions, literature and history. It holds a message of wisdom expressed through literary quotations and the experience of a grandfather who tells his granddaughter the values and reflections of a journey as a metaphor for life.
The third place on the podium goes to: "Today is a Good Day" by Giuli Frullini, for her ability to demonstrate the transformative power of travel. It's a look at the journey experience with nostalgia and gratitude for what it gives to relationships with their parents and with themselves. A journey that brings us back to earth and teaches us to continue the journey in everyday life.
Special Mentions for: "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 awarding of these "budding writers" was held at the Ospitale San Lorenzo martire (old convent of the Capuchins) during the event: "Un Borgo da sfogliare" in the presence of the Mayor of the Pontremoli, Lucia Baracchini, as well as Massimo Tedeschi , EAVF president; Luca Betti, publisher and creator of the award and Valentina Zinzula, winner of the 2019 edition “over 25” category.
In addition to the editor, the panel included Silvia Iuliano of the EAVF and Selin Sanli, journalist of the foreign press. "Joy, satisfaction and amazement for the "Intanto parto. Racconti e parole in cammino" literary prize, proposed and organised by the editor "friend" of the journey and who saw a significant example of what the youngest of our society want and can do - declared the Mayor of Pontremoli, Lucia Baracchini - a fine example of youngsters, beautiful people, who could bring their sensitivity, gentleness and depth to Pontremoli and their journey! Thanks to them we can look to the future through their eyes and hearts!".
The book containing the best 10 stories was presented and the winner received an iron sculpture of a sandal made by craftsman Fabio Zacchei. This is the first edition of this section of the award dedicated to young people accustomed to communicating in 160 characters, probably more linked to "stories" on social media than to real stories, but with so much to tell and share. This is a new approach to travel, where more and more new narratives have been defined for a transversal need of all generations and that is enriched through the interweaving of different languages and channels.
"The "borgo dei libri" has opened its heart to us. The wayfarer's library event, inaugurated yesterday, where we left our books on the Via Francigena, combines perfectly with our literary award. It was lovely to see these youngsters, very young indeed, to collect the prizes - said publisher Luca Betti - we need to read more in Italy, and these very young people not only read, but they write. It's an antidote to the rampant ignorance of this moment in history."
The award was organised by Betti Publishing Company, in collaboration with the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) and the region of Tuscany, and was created with the contribution of the leading municipalities of the Via Francigena in Tuscany (Pontremoli, Lucca, Fucecchio, Sien), representing all 39 municipalities. Other collaborators include: the Italian Cultural Institute in Krakow, the Lions Clubs and local associations and institutions, including the Tuscan Association of Via Francigena Ways. Media partner: "Radio Francigena. La voce dei cammini"; technical sponsor: the Fagnani di Montalcino winery.
Source: Betti Publishing Company press release