Via Francigena

Interview with Jane Wang, a pilgrim and a great lover of the Francigena. When the Asian Culture meets the Francigena route

Picture of Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

Jane Wang rode the Via Francigena during the last summer, starting from Canterbury. It was a long trip tackled with no special physical preparation and with a great desire to live intensely the emotions on the way. Jane comes from Hong-Kong; she has lived for many years in the USA, in Europe and she is living in Florence, where she is involved in cultural projets. She has ridden the Francigena for discovering “slowly” European Countries and for discovering her Christian roots. An amazing trip!

1) Jane, why have you decided to start your trip along this cultural route?
Via Francigena is a an historic path to know about European roots and values. It is also an important opportunity to support intercultural dialogue. I read about this route when I was a child on one of the magazine in China; and I read again a small book when I was in Germany about it. So Via Francigena has been a dream for me: to walk cross the countries in Europe, get spiritual purity; and hear God message…

2) What represents Via Francigena for you?
Via Francigena for me is a symbol of life; a road that connect people to God, connect different cultures; connect people on the way; connect history and present time…

3) Do you think that in the future Via Francigena will be able to attract Chinese and Asian people on this path?
Yes, I am sure!
Via Francigena highlights European areas, cities, territories and local traditions less-know, it is something very different than traditional Italian or European tours.

4) Five reasons to recommend Via Francigena and which are, in your opinion, strengthen and weakness points?
A/ Christianity
Strengthen: it is strongly believed and accept by Christian believers, and maybe one of the biggest motivation.
Weakness: the non-believers may not like it to be present only for religion reason.

Strength: attractive to more people; and more to the multi culture population like Asians and Americans.
Weakness: difficult to put all the perspectives and interests of different countries on the route together.

Strength: more attractive to the younger population; and people who love outdoor sports.
Weakness: it may missing a big identify and make Via Francigena more special compared with other roads or tracks.

Strength: attractive and special to present the difference between the normal travel to this walking around on the ancient roads in the beautiful country sides.
Weakness: maybe not so many people are going to spend long holidays on such kind of trips.

Strength: very attractive especially for non-European countries.
Weakness: again it may missing the other parts the real mean meaning of Via Francigena.