Via Francigena. The Road to Rome

Italy welcomes Europe. The European Initiative “Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start Again” is about to begin.

The Italian National Tourist Board-ENIT promotes slow tourism and supports the march from Europe leading to Rome. The march will leave Canterbury on the 16th of June, passing through 5 nations and 637 municipalities, along the 3,200 km route.

The event celebrates the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the European Association of Via Francigena ways.


The great event is about to start – “Via Francigena – Road to Rome. Start Again” organised by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways in collaboration with The Italian National Tourist Board-ENIT. ENIT wishes to contribute to the rebirth of slow tourism in Italy and Europe, supporting the long march leading to Rome, which is both the Italian capital as well as a cultural and religious centre of both Europe and the World. It will be a long and leisurely walk, symbolic of starting again and getting back to walking, as well as looking hopefully to the future after a difficult year during the pandemic.

It is an event that gives value to the Via Francigena, putting the 3,200 km route on the map, as well as the five countries it passes through (The United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy and Vatican city). Road to Rome 2021 aims to be a moment of celebration: a route to be travelled on foot or by bicycle to re-launch the European spirit. The Pilgrim’s Staff will take the place of the Olympic Torch, and will be carried, step by step, country by country, along the way.

The march is aimed at everyone, and the walk will have a symbolic introduction on the 15th of June in Strasbourg, at the Palais de l’Europe, the headquarters of the Council of Europe. The event will see a delegation from EAVF met by the Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić. The meeting will underline the European humanistic values and intends to promote the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, among these the Via Francigena. On the 16th of June a group of walkers will depart Canterbury, after a short ceremony by the symbolic Mile 0 stone situated in the garden of the majestic cathedral. The walk will then arrive in Rome on the 10th of September, and from there go onwards to Santa Maria di Leuca, the so-called “finis terrae”, arriving on the 18th of October. Today, the Via Francigena, with its 148 stages in five countries – forms one of the most attractive European Cultural Routes. The growing number of walkers originating from all over the world highlights the shifting tendency towards cultural and sustainable tourism, and develops the intercultural and interreligious dialogue between the communities of walkers and the communities that welcome them.