A more than positive analysis for the "Via Francigena by Train" initiative. Confirming this is the data given by Trenitalia at the "Comuni in Cammino" Forum which took place in Monteriggioni last 2nd February.
From 1st to 31st April 2018, over 2,100 tickets were sold to pilgrims who presented an official European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) Pilgrim Passport in the stations along the route.
The initiative, signed by Trenitalia and the EAVF in 2017, links to slow tourism on foot or by bike along the Francigena. "The agreement offers pilgrims with the EAVF Pilgrim Passports a 10% discount on all standard tickets for regional trains along the Via Francigena - says Cristina Bruno of the Trenitalia Spa Regional Directorate of Tuscany - Compared to the initial launch phase (April - August 2017 with 215 tickets sold), in 2018 the number of tickets sold to pilgrims with the Pilgrim Passport increased by ten times that amount".
Considering the stations of departure, the region with the most sales is Tuscany with an increase in the Lucca - Altopascio section; following Tuscany were the regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Lazio and Piedmont.
"Regional trains are an ideal alternative, in our opinion, when moving along the Via Francigena and routes that interest not only main cities, but also smaller towns and villages. - added Cristina Bruno - Trains are thorough, frequent, secure and inexpensive, and they can also fit bicycles on board at low-cost".
Discounted tickets can be purchased at ticket offices, self-service machines, authorised Trenitalia travel agencies and on trenitalia.com (but not the Trenitalia app). The Trenitalia ticket offices interested in the Via Francigena route can offer to stamp Pilgrim Passports with the stamp of the rest-stop. The offer is valid for both 1st and 2nd class travel in the regions of Valle D’Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio.
In 2018, the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) signed an agreement for sustainable mobility with Trenord for pilgrims who reach or traverse a section of the Francigena in Lombardy. A future objective is that of extending the project in the Swiss and French sections, as well as the Via Francigena of the South when the route is certified by the EAVF.
For more info visit: https://www.viefrancigene.org/it/trenitalia/