Via Francigena

Buon cammino
The Via Francigena and the walking routes of Puglia embrace Europe

Thanks to the Interreg projects CoHeN and TheRout_Net, public bodies and private companies meet from 16 to 18 February to promote the routes’ network in Puglia. 

A historical-hiking route allows to experience and narrate a place, unite and enhance territories, local cultures and natural heritage. There are many different types of Paths in Puglia: the paths of faithful pilgrims, the routes of merchants, the ancient roads of the Roman Empire and the new rural itineraries that weave nature and culture together. These itineraries cross enchanting locations as well as traditions and values that survive in time thanks to the communities that populate them.

With such premises, the European Association of Via Francigena ways (AEVF), on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Cultural Economy and Territorial Development of the Region of Puglia, organizes three significant workshops in Foggia, Bari and Lecce, from 16 to 18 February. The meetings take place within the strategic projects CoHeN and TheRout_Net, funded by the Interreg V-A Greece-Italy Programme 2014 – 2020. The mentioned Department is the sole Italian partner of these projects, aiming at enhancing and promoting the cultural routes and itineraries that the projects support, as well as adding value to the most important territories and cultural heritage sites they cross.

The CoHeN – Coastal Heritage Network project aims to promote the creation of a new coastal itinerary through the restoration of six lighthouses and coastal towers, which will be transformed into centres for tourist and cultural services or museums. The project TheRout_Net – Thematic Routes and Networks, on the other hand, will lead to the creation of a Network of Hostels of Puglia thanks to the renovation, re-functionalisation and fitting out of eight public buildings. It also aims for a more general development plan for services in support of the Apulian Paths.

The realm of walking routes represents one of the best models for sustainable tourism, particularly in these times of pandemic, because it gives the possibility to guarantee compliance with new health standards. Puglia is pursuing important territorial development policies that fit well with the needs of the Via Francigena both at a national and international level“, said EAVF’s President Massimo Tedeschi.

Luigi De Luca, Director of the European territorial cooperation project structure and library-museum centres of the Region of Puglia, added: “The workshops are part of a synergic cooperation between the region, municipalities and local authorities. The aim is to achieve effective governance in the sector and the enhancement of new and existing cultural itineraries: only by working together it is possible to identify a management model with tangible results which is replicable throughout the territory“.

Hence, there will be three days of training and exchange of best practices, focused on ‘soft mobility’ and sustainable tourism, with experts from the European and Italian realms. The meetings address municipalities, with local administrators and officials, as well as private subjects who work in this field.

The workshops are organised by Francigena Service, on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Cultural Economy and Territorial Development of the Apulia Region. They will be held in presence in full compliance with the regulations for the control and containment of COVID-19. If health conditions do not allow it, a virtual conference will be activated through the Zoom platform.

Foggia, 16 February, at Magna Capitana, the provincial Library of Foggia

Bari, 17 February, at Fiera del Levante in Bari, ‘Padiglione 152’

Lecce, 18 February, at the Auditorium – Museum Castromediano in Lecce

For more information: Daniela Leo


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