Around 600 events are scheduled for the “9th edition of the Vie Francigene European Festival, Cammini, Ways, Chemins 2019“, considering the autumn events currently being defined.
The world of paths keeps growing: for those who travel along them, the social and economic benefits they produce and for their increase in environmental awareness.
“The Festival, promoted by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways in collaboration with Civita Association, has reached its ninth edition and is the home that hosts the activities along the Francigena and other accredited paths – explained Massimo Tedeschi, the President of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways – this year, the chosen theme focuses on routes as a determining factor for territorial and human development, beginning with feminine sensibility“.
“The Civita Association, thanks to the insights of the Secretary General, Gianfranco Imperatori, whom we remember 10 years after his death, – added Giovanna Castelli, Director of the Association – constantly strives for a full cultural and economic development of the routes“.
“This is not overturism, but the sharing of nature, word and soul. The festival is not (only) a pleasant opportunity for sharing in nature, but a project of harmonious development in the awareness of deep European roots. It’s constantly growing, but can still teach a lot. How? In Italy we consume 8 billion plastic bottles a year: those who walk use a flask. Around 35% of 2km journeys are made by car. Better to accompany children to school on foot so we will fight diseases and climatic mutations. With events around villages, initiatives such as “buy food where you walk” support essential micro-economies, all this substantiates the circular economy and captures fragments of shared happiness. Have a good journey!“- said Sandro Polci, Director of the Festival.
“Historical paths and naturalistic routes – said Simonetta Giordani, Atlantia – are an integral part of territorial mobility and allow us to cross areas and discover their endless beauty. The Atlantia Group, with Autostrade per l’Italia, enthusiastically participates in the development of the European pathways network, an opportunity for cultures to meet and for the sustainable development of communities“.
Rosanna Mazzia, President of the Association of Authentic Italian Villages and Mayor of Roseto Capo Spulico explained that “the Festival promotes the paths and accompanies pilgrims and travellers who value these places. The Association of Authentic Italian Villages always aims to build a virtuous relationship between those in an area and those who visit it … to build true “Hospitable Communities“.
Luisa Mutti, National Councillor of CNAPPC Architects, pointed out that “Architects on the move is an innovative project with which the National Council of Architects, CNAPPC, has started to promote the territories, through the routes that represent their lifeblood: professionalism and technical innovation for sustainable development and tourism”.
SOME NUMBERS AND YOUNG SPEAKERS
In 2018, for the first time, the number of Pilgrim Passports of walkers in Italy exceeded that of the Italians who hiked the route to Santiago de Compostela. There is a healthy substantial gender balance: 57% of Italian walkers are men and 43% are women. The majority of walkers in Italy are over 40: 19.7% between 41 and 50 years old, 28.9% between 51 and 60 years old, 24.1% between 61 and 70 years old. In 2018, the number of Pilgrim Passports sold increased by 15%, issued on the Via Francigena and on Italian routes (See “Terre di mezzo” publishing house, 2019).
This edition of the Festival is a tribute to the “Feminine Way. Sensitivity in human and natural landscapes” and can count on 4 exceptional young speakers: Valentina Lo Surdo, RAI musician and presenter; Cristina Menghini, environmental guide – travel blogger; Ilaria Canali, animator of the “Periferia delle Meraviglie” and Sofia Bracalenti, mid-mountain guide and coordinator of donkeys for the IAA (Assisted Interventions with Animals).
Below are some of the routes/events to help you understand their characteristics and originality. They can be large, with thousands of participants, or in small groups of aficionados. The number of events is irrelevant: the intent of the Festival is to give greater “visibility to the sensitivity” of walking.
THE WAY TO THE LANDED LANDS – from Fabriano to L’Aquila from 7th July
A path of solidarity and knowledge, a moment of deep connection with the natural environment and with the people who live areas transformed by the earthquake. From Fabriano to L’Aquila, over 200km of walking in the heart of the Apennines. The route crosses territories and comes into contact with the communities of the four regions of central Italy (Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Abruzzo), along the hiking and cycling paths of two important protected areas: the Monti Sibillini National Park and the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.
LUISA, DETTA LA SANTA – Corato (Bari)
“The Via Francigena in red” is a walk along the Francigena section which passes the city of Corato which made “Luisa known as the Saint”. A tiny and humble woman who lived between 800 and the first part of 900 who, bedridden by a rare disease, created a wonderful interweaving of threads with the ancient technique of tombolo, now exhibited in his Casa Museo. Starting from the historic centre of Corato, through the avenue of nineteenth-century villas along the Via Appia, the path reaches a centenary olive tree. It’s here, at the foot of the thick canopy, that you can stop for a good “seasoned bread”, to close the walk as per tradition: bread of Altamura with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and oregano from the Murge. Dates: 26th and 27th October 2019.
ANDARAS FILM FESTIVAL – Fluminimaggiore (SU)
“Andaras” in Sardinian means travelling, but it’s also the paths that shepherds travelled during the long winter transhumance in search of lush pastures. The same paths that since ancient times miners also travelled. And it’s in Sardinia, in Fluminimaggiore, a town of miners and shepherds, that this important film festival will be held from 4th to 7th July, between the sea and the mountains of the south-west coast, the most evocative and wild of the island. The festival will be divided into four days, each of which will be dedicated to the screening of works, meetings with filmmakers, writers and photographers, good food and good music. Over 60 titles are in the competition.
MOTORWAYS FOR ITALY AND SKY ART
The beauties of the Italian cultural heritage will travel on the motorway thanks to “You’re in a Wonderful Country”: Autostrade per l’Italia‘s television production. After the great reviews from critics and the public for the last editions, it will air on Sky Art on Monday at 9:15pm, with 15 new episodes made by Ballandi Arts. This year the focus of the programme is on discovering the mystical and religious routes of our country, which represent one of the most interesting developing trends of spirituality and quality tourism in Italy. Dario Vergassola and Michelle Carpente will be joined by protagonists of the world of culture and entertainment linked to the beauties of the territories focused on.
“Raise hope”: ENEL AND LEGAMBIENTE TOGETHER TO SUPPORT THE AREAS affected by the 2016 earthquake
Walking with animals for their quality life. The second phase of “Alleva la Speranza” (Raise Hope), raising money with Legambiente and Enel to help companies of Central Italy affected by the earthquakes of 2016 and 2017 to “cultivate” new growth projects is underway. The objective is to support 20 farming projects in two years; and after the success of the first part of the fundraising, here are the four new companies supported through the PlanBee platform: Alba Alessandri – who will intervene by showing places and spaces of their own enterprise; Fabio Fantusi; Arianna Veneri and Pietropaolo Martinelli, one for each affected region.
SAVE THE BEAUTY – Gallipoli (LE)
The Legambiente volunteer camp, one of many, will take place in Gallipoli from 11th to 20th July in the Isola S. Andrea Regional Park, Punta Pizzo Coast. It’s one of the most intact and suggestive coastal areas of Salento, an extraordinary mosaic of ecosystems with one of the highest degrees of biodiversity in Puglia. The stretch of coastline is characterised by a succession of sandy stretches and low calcarenite cliffs, with a wide pine forest coast and areas of juniper and sclerophyllous, rich in subendemic species such as spinapollici. Camp participants will carry out systematic checks and surveys on the flows and behaviour of park users, with activities aimed at raising their awareness and involving them in good practices and the combatting of illegal and critical situations. Fire prevention and small infrastructure maintenance will also be provided. The young volunteers will also take turns monitoring beaches within the camp to detect traces of possible Caretta nesting.
Straight to the heart of Folk music. Montelago Celtic Festival – Serravalle di Chienti
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd of August, in Taverne di Serravalle di Chienti (MC), in the heart of the Umbria-Marche Apennines, the most loved Celtic Festival of Italy renews it’s fesitival with an edition in which music is at centre of the scene. 24 live performances, 21 bands, 2 official stages and spaces dedicated to improvisation. This year, of the over 20,000 people present, many will come to the Festival in the most ancient of ways: walking! You can choose between two suggestive streets discovering the arcane beauties of the Umbria-Marche Apennines.
FRANCIGENA MUSIC “A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER THE CRYPTS”
“Listening to song that comes from the crypts is a deep and unspeakable emotion”. For this reason the “Coro Francigena” project involves 6 crypts, 6 municipalities and 4 dioceses this year: from Abbadia San Salvatore to Sutri. It originates from the idea of enhancing cultural resources of the territory, an initiative made possible by the happy marriage between the “Maria Santa Rosiello” Polyphonic Choir of San Lorenzo Nuovo and the Polyphonic Choir of the parish of the Saint Sepulcher in Acquapendente. The two directors of the respective choirs: Francesca Araceli and Romano Gordini managed to create a fruitful synergy between the two.
ON FOOT FROM FINIBUS TERRAE (Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy) TO FINIS TERRAE (Finis Terrae, Spain) THROUGH MONT SAINT MICHEL (France)
Francisco Sancho, a native Spaniard who was transferred to Italy for work a few years ago, will leave for his long pilgrimage on 6th July. The aim is to connect Finibus Terrae (Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy) with Finis Terrae (Finis Terrae, Spain) through Mont Saint Michel (France) on foot (9,300km in 11 months).
LANDSCAPES AND FEMALE ART – Campagnano (RM)
From 27th to 29th September in Campagnano, province of Rome, there will be a series of events, from walks to cultural routes, village festivals that will enhance the landscape and its natural mutations and cultural identities: artistic work and crafts, rituals, parties, sharing and conviviality. All of this from a feminine perspective, that is, a new sensitivity to walking, sharing, promoting and thinking.
For information on upcoming events: www.festival.viefrancigene.org
Source: press release