The Via Francigena is also among the projects selected by the region of Lombardy call for the promotion of Lombardy UNESCO sites and cultural routes. The proposal, entitled "La Via Francigena in Lombardy. Towards UNESCO candidacy", was presented by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (AEVF) with the support of the provinces of Lodi and Pavia.
This is an important step for the Francigena and for the EAVF, a voluntary association formed by local authorities in Italy, Switzerland, France and England, entrusted by the Council of Europe to play the role of réseau porteur - official representative for safeguarding, protection, promotion and development of the Via Francigena in Europe.
In this international context, Lombardy plays a central role. The Region was in fact the first to join the EAVF in 2004 and has since been active in building a rapport with local authorities and for the development of interregional coordination projects for the management of the Via.
A double dimension, global and local, therefore merges into a project of communication and enhancement of the Francigena in Lombardy. The EAVF’s plan includes several activities, among them the new graphics of the subsite dedicated to the region of Lombardy within the official portal www.viefrancigene.org. The information will be constantly implemented with the collaboration of the provinces of Lodi and Pavia.
"This project represents an opportunity for the Lombard territory to have greater visibility and better services along the Francigena. The material made will help raise awareness of a route that grows day by day. Thanks go to the region of Lombardy - says Francesco Ferrari, mayor of the municipality of Orio Litta and EAVF vice-president vicar - this call rewards the experience and efficiency of the EAVF, but also the work the association has been carrying out with our territories for years."
Among the other activities envisaged by the project, there is the realisation of a special editorial dedicated to Lombardy and the inclusion of the same within the 48th issue of the official EAVF magazine "Via Francigena and the European Cultural Routes". The special will also be made detachable and distributed around the territory of Lombardy. Two official maps of the Via will also be produced, one regarding the Province of Pavia and the other to the Province of Lodi. The map will also include the crossing of the Po River, connection to the Emilia-Romagna region and the only crossing of a large river along the Francigena.
The President of the Province of Lodi, Francesco Passerini, adds: "The regional recognition of this project, which I consider as the first step towards a greater goal, allows the Lombard provincial administrations to enhance a common path that unites their communities in respect of religious and popular sensibilities that substantiate their identities.”
"I think that the ability to seize opportunities offered by the region of Lombardy to expand its territory is a sign of attention to the communities that live there. One of the first members, the Province of Pavia joined the EAVF in 2007 and has always believed in the network’s capacity, which today includes 155 European territorial communities, to develop projects and services for cultural development and strengthen tourist value of the route.– says the President of the Province of Pavia, Prof. Vittorio Poma - We will give the project "The Via Francigena in Lombardy. Towards UNESCO candidacy" all the attention it deserves and over the coming weeks we will convene with the EAVF, the Member Mayors and operators to share contents and future prospects; working together for the UNESCO Heritage candidacy, which fills us with the desire to do good and pride in the cultural goods, experiences and sustainable tourism that our territories offer".
From local to global to UNESCO. The EAVF project envisages the implementation of the European Framework in preparation for the candidacy of the Via Francigena asUNESCO World Heritage Site. A path that continues on a European level and also closely affects Lombardy, an active part of the application project since 2015. The technical work carried out by the EAVF, supported by the Italian regions, has already allowed the inclusion of the application within the Italian Tentative list on 24th January 2019.
Joint press release: EAVF – Province of Lodi and Province of Pavia