“Today is a day of celebration for the Via Francigena, Ivrea and Piedmont. I think we need to do even more to make Ivrea and the territory welcome this form of tourism“.
The mayor of Ivrea, Stefano Sertoli, opened the day of meetings dedicated to the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in the UNESCO heritage city. At the Giacosa theatre crowded with students, associations and representatives of the route from Italy, France, Switzerland and England, the conference on the Via Francigena in Piedmont organised by Regione Piemonte, the City of Ivrea and Turismo Torino e Provincia in occasion of the General Assembly of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF).
Coordinated by Daniela Broglio, Director of Turismo Torino e Provincia, numerous speeches and demonstrations from the territory took place on stage. The enthusiasm for the growth of slow tourism is strong in all of Piedmont and is central to the institutions’ dedication; as emerged from the discussion between the representatives of the 4 sections of the Francigena route: the Morenico – Canavesana route, Valle di Susa “Ciclovia of the Val Susa“, the Torino – Vercelli route and the Via Francigena Verso il Mare.
“We counted the passage of almost 5 thousand pilgrims to Ivrea, a boom over the year” said Paolo Facchin, president of the Via Francigena di Sigerico Ivrea association that supports pilgrims travelling along the Morainic-Canavese route. Many strengths that must be consolidated with the request for greater awareness from the territory and work on the network, being mindful of the other side of the Alps.
The word went to the international speeches of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways; brought on stage by Velia Ann Coffey, EAVF vice-president for England, Martine Gautheron, EAVF vice-president for the development of the Francigena in France, and Christian Schülé for Aigle Région (Vaud Switzerland). The theme of hospitality was told by those who work in contact with pilgrims. A religious welcome was at the centre of the speech of Don Michele Dosio (Vice-president of the Ad Limina Petri Association). Alberto Conte (Casa del Movimento Lento of Rappolo), Lorella Lavatori (Ivrea Canoa Club), Tiziana Grigoletto (Ostelo Sancti Eusebi) and Milena Falco (Società Cooperativa Culturalpe) all confirmed the positive trend of the Francigena, emphasising the opportunity for territorial development and a slow pace “touch and go” tourism.
“We are satisfied with the convention that preceded the EAVF General Assembly and that we organised it as Turismo Torino e Provincia – added Daniela Broglio, Director of Turismo Torino e Provincia – It was an event that saw the participation of public entities, associations and operators who gave us a picture of the VF in Piedmont. There is more interest, the ideas raised will lead us to continue to work better by directing our communication and promotion action and proceeding towards a higher quality setting“.
“The meeting of Ivrea is very important because a plural Via Francigena emerges, made up of the Italian, Swiss, French and English sections and no less than 13 regions of the South, but at the same time the Via Francigena is unique because we are all children of the Council of Europe. This is what we strongly affirm to Ivrea, Unesco heritage – recalled the EAVF President, Massimo Tedeschi – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and UNESCO heritage join together and give rise to many positive initiatives for the development of the territory“.