Via Francigena. The Road to Rome

Cartoonist along the Via Francigena: a story of Valerio Barchi

It all started on 13 August, when Valerio started the Via Francigena from the Grand Saint Bernard Pass. He would walk and narrate about his journey in a comic book then.

Valerio Barchi, also known as Jabòn del Chivo left Italy at the age of 19 to travel the world doing random jobs. At 32, he returns to discover the Via Francigena in a moment of uncertainty. He decides then to walk the route and draw a comic book about his adventures in rural Italy along the Via Francigena.

His debut comic book - Ginostra - speaks about a very small but complex reality of the Aeolian Islands. Given the success of this first self-production, he decides to pay homage to the path that inspired him so much: the Via Francigena. In April 2017, during a self-determination crisis, he took a bus from Rome to the Grand Saint Bernard Pass to walk to Rome.

 "A world I did not know opened up to me. Without preparation, naively, with the wrong equipment, with blisters on my feet and sore shoulders, it was one of the best experiences of my life. And I understood what I want to do when I grow up. Today, in August 2020, with the Covid emergency heavily influencing the Via, I retrace the same path. Equipped more wisely, more aware of the difficulties, notebook in my pocket, I will try to make the Via Francigena into a comic book."

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