Via Francigena

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Training Academy on European cultural routes: an opportunity to meet EAVF Partners in Brindisi

From June 4 to 7, AEVF, together with the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, organized the Training Academy on Cultural Routes in Brindisi.  

This exchange event involved a record number of 100 representatives from 37 Council of Europe routes from 22 countries. This year’s event focused on cooperation and sustainability. The academy was part of the celebrations for the Via Francigena, which in 2024 will mark its 30th anniversary of European certification. The event saw the active participation of some long-time partners who share our Association’s vision and values. In addition to the EAVF staff, attendees included Giorgio Rabajoli, Sales Director Italy of Ferrino, Marco Zucchetti, Head of Press Office of FlixBus, and Matteo Corrado, Founder of CAMCO

“The transition towards new travel models, more conscious and respectful of the environment and communities, is a unique opportunity to seize and a journey to undertake together” – commented Marco Zucchetti. “Through targeted synergies and ongoing dialogue, organizations and associations, both public and private, can drive this change and alter the way people connect with places. The very concept of tourism as we knew it, an ephemeral and self-contained experience, is giving way to a new need for authenticity and deep contact with the territory. It is up to us now to network and determine how to best respond to this need.” Sustainability in the choice of transport to reach the first stage of the Francigena or return home after the journey is no less important than the ethical and conscious purchase of technical equipment and clothing. “I noticed a great interest in the story of a small brand that attempts to offer a few products that, but also curiosity about the materials used, and especially regarding merino wool and the importance of it being mulesing-free – explained Matteo Corrado – The practice of mulesing is not known to the vast majority of people, and when explaining why it is an important ethical choice, aimed at animal welfare, it always attracts significant attention. The event, during the short time I attended, impressed me greatly. This was due to the charming location in the historic center of Brindisi, the topics discussed, and the clear sense of positivity and participation”. 

During the Training Academy, the European HIKE project, in which EAVF participates along with international partners Culture Routes Society  – a Turkish non-profit organization managing over 20 local and international trekking routes – and Paths of Greece – a social cooperative enterprise dedicated to promoting Greek cultural heritage and environmental conservation through hiking trails- was officially presented. The project’s schedule includes six free hikes in Puglia along the Francigena route connecting Bari to Brindisi, with details available on the official website at this link

The event would not have been possible without the logistics organization by the association “Brindisi e Antiche Strade” and contributions from the Puglia Region and the municipality of Brindisi

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