Cycle path and pilgrim hostel, the future Francigena will pass Felegara

A cycle path to safely travel the route, a hostel for 25 pilgrims and a museum dedicated to the Francigena. Felegara, fraction of the municipality of Medesano, is ready to bet on slow tourism thanks to the realisation of important projects.

The synergy between private and public entities will transform this small town in the province of Parma in an important rest-stop along the Emilia Romagnan Francigena.

The project which will restructure the Casa Torre and Casa Colonica was presented on Friday 18th January in the “G. Corradi” theatre of the municipality of Medesano (promoter of the initiative), with the mayor, Riccardo Ghidini; vice-mayor, Michele Giovanelli; priest of Felegara, Don Enzo Salati, and architects Giacomo Beranelli and Filippo Turchi of Draftarch. Others present include: the regional counsellor, Barbara Lori; vice-president of Fondazione Cariparma, Anna Mazzucchi and the president of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, Massimo Tedeschi.

It will be a new integrated service along the Francigena, as well as a positive outcome for both public and private entities and the territory businesses that believed in the project. The investment, equal to 1,239,600 euro, is divided into three parts. The first step is the realisation of a route of an almost 2km long cycle route.

This part of the cycle route will make this section of Carnevala to Felegara safe for pilgrims to cross in the area of Medesano. Works began on the 14th January – explains vice-mayor, Michele Giovanelli The funds which will probably come from the government will allow us to realise a secondary cycle route.

The second step will be the realisation of the hostel in the Casa Colonica of the parish. “Here, pilgrims will find an important rest-stop. There will be 25 beds and the hostel will be advanced even from a technical perspective – confirms the vice-mayor – there will be a public competition for management. The works carried out will be assumed by the municipality for twenty years; we intend to begin works by the end of spring”.

The project will also redevelop the Casa Torre, historic and cultural architectural structure of Felegara: “We will have teaching classes, labs and a museum dedicated to the Francigena and teacher Adolfo Tanzi, a very important figure of our community” adds Giovanelli.

A big project for a small community, which has touristic opportunities as its goal. As well as an administrative contribution of 428 thousand euro, the restoration project will be carried out thanks to the generosity of the region of Emilia Romagna with the European funds of POR-FESR, equal to 452 thousand euro; the support of Fondazione Cariparma with 230 thousand euro and 50 thousand euro from the diocese of Parma and the direct participation of the area. Six businesses of Felegara (Socomec, New House, Pietro Montecchi, Acmi, Vergalli Acciai and Tecsal) will also contribute to financial coverage with funds equal to 79 thousand euro.

To promote tourism in Medesano we need to bet on the Francigena and its enogastronomic riches – confirm the vice-mayor – The Francigena is a magnificent asset and should be enhanced; pilgrims will be able to stop in Felegara and find a nice rest-stop. We are very happy, we’re talking about a project which began in 2015 and now with this funding we can finally realise our dream. The Forum planned on 2nd February in Monteriggioni will be the perfect place to share this important project”.

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