“Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!” celebrates both the foundation of the EAVF, which took place twenty years ago on 7 April 2001 in Fidenza (Parma, Italy), and 27th anniversary of the Via Francigena certification as a “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe”, granted in 1994.
“Road to Rome 2021” is a 4-months relay march on foot and by bicycle along 3,200 km of the Via Francigena. An opportunity to walk and cycle, discovering wonderful places, cultures and local traditions, carrying a pilgrim stick as an Olympic torch passing it to the next group, step by step, along the entire journey.
The walk, organised by the EAVF together with its network of partners and friends, is aimed at all those who love walking along the routes. Together we departed on 16 June 2021 from Canterbury, km 0 of the Via Francigena, have arrived in Rome on 10 September 2021 and, are currently on our way to Santa Maria di Leuca, where we have foreseen to arrive on 18 October 2021.
With this event, the EAVF aims to promote the restart, after the pandemic period, of sustainable cultural tourism along the Via Francigena and other European routes, as well as to support the Via Francigena candidacy to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
This initiative intends to raise awareness of ministries and local authorities of the four countries crossed (United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy), regions and religious institutions. The event also makes it possible to check the state of the route, fixing any shortcomings and proposing improvements, and to promote regional sections.
In short, this journey aims to aggregate and unite the European territories, making the beauties of the Via Francigena known to the whole world.
Read the interview with President Massimo Tedeschi on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways (EAVF).