Elisa Peruzzi, dramatherapist originally from the province of Milan, will walk about 2800km on foot to the Ligurian sea, France, on the French Riviera, the Via d’Arles and the Via Tolosana up to the Spanish border; then along the routes towards Santiago and Finisterre.
From 5th to 7th March she stopped in Piacenza where she met the European Association of Via Francigena Ways staff at the operational headquarters at Palazzo Farnese. In the Emilian city, she was the first pilgrim of the season to be hosted at the Ostello del Teatro in Piacenza. A special place for her, where the route and art combined; because there’s also an artistic aim to Elisa’s journey, a need to tell and share the greatness of her experience.
“My project – she tells us – is to take a trip and give it back through artistic creativity, taking care of art for many years, I would like to create a theatre show and an interactive exhibition connected to my journey“.
The 34-year-old from Milan began her walking experience in 2011, she has repeatedly followed routes in Spain, travelled the Francigena and has also served as a volunteer host. “This time, however, the way is different – she confirms – I am not on the “guided” route to Spain, I invented and studied the first stages along any routes and paths, then I reached the Via Postumia in Marcaria“.
A journey through Italy that gives emotion: “I have always travelled the Francigena and paths that lead to Santiago – paths organised for pilgrims. Everyone knows what you are doing and you can always find services. In my case, they are more in the real world, you are more alone and meet people who do not know the routes; they pass villages inhabited by elderly people, like in Cremona and Brescia. Here I was received with a lot of curiosity, welcome and many people who left me a souvenir or object or asked me to take their prayers to Santiago. I was deeply amazed by all of it, I wasn’t expecting hostility, but I was expecting more distrust”.
Travelling alone means what? “On the way, I believe that a woman should give the same attention as she does to everyday life – she confirms – something we’ve already learned to do. I lived a life in Milan. Sometimes, as we know, there’s more danger at home than outside“.
When did this desire to get back on the road start? “I’ve had this journey in mind for years. I had a bad moment, like so many other people, and I thought that the only way to resolve this situation was to walk 2800km. I still think it’s a great idea. I decided to do it in October 2018”.
Step by step, Elisa will collect the feeling that will be included in her artistic project. “My journey is one of discovery and collection: there will be a photographic and written part for a travel story. Then, once I’m back, I’ll reassemble it and sew the pieces together. I want to share the experience, with experience in theatre is in my nature. There will be moments when people can contribute to the exhibition. I would also like to create a monologue that won’t be a diary, but will give something to people who have never made this journey: the atmosphere, the joy, the effort and the meetings that it gives you. I want to share the feelings of a journey rather than my story”.All that’s left is to get to the end and look at the ocean. Every journey is different, this time it will be a unique experience for Elisa, to share with as many people as possible. Elisa will talk about her journey on Radio Francigena every day. To follow Elisa’s journey online visit: www.camminodifinisterre.com – Facebook: Walk with me – In cammino verso l’oceano.