Many associations surrounding it animate The Via Francigena. Mediterraid Cammina proposes free hikes and a help service along the Lazio tract of Sigeric’s route, as well as other paths.
Founded by Antonello Fratoddi and Monica Ardizzone in 2004, the association’s headquarters can be found in Campagnano di Roma, a rest-stop of the Via Francigena Viterbo Roma. A geographical feature, which in time became a true “mission” for its founders.
From the Vie of the Mediterranean to the Francigena, in 2014 Mediterraid added the suffix ‘Cammina‘, dedicating itself to the ancient communication route, which unites Europe to Jerusalem. “Our association was founded with the aim to traverse the Vie of the Mediterranean and to contribute to a EuroMediterraenean dialogue, with meetings and sister-cities. – says Antonello Fratoddi – Since 2006 we have driven full circle around the Mediterranean five times, but the explosion of tension and rebellion in some countries in 2011 meant we were forced to abandon the project.“
With their passion and experience matured along the roads, routes and tracks of the Mediterranean, they came across the Via Francigena. “When we realised the Francigena was just down the street, we understood that it would be the key to our work,” confirms Antonello. From then on, the association has organised several day excursions along the Francigena, organising hospitality, offering aid and luggage transportation services, supervising the route from Viterbo to Rome in terms of signage, accessibility and cleanliness.
“We propose hikes without guides, the Francigena is well signposted, and we supply assistance to all pilgrims, not just those registered for our proposal, we intervene in case of emergency with two off-road vehicles. – Explains Fratoddi – We began this initiative participating in an event organised by the region of Lazio, with the Viandante project. We are not paid for our work but we do it with great passion. With our initiatives, we can say we have contributed to making people aware that the pilgrim figure is an asset, we have helped make people aware of this kind of experience. We are working towards the appreciation of the Viterbo to Rome tract of the Francigena; some variants have recently been created that have made the last part of the Francigena very beautiful, on equal footing with the Tuscan tract.“
Mediterraid Cammina is also working on pilgrim hospitality: “Over time we have created a prevailing hostel, thanks to our friends who made room available in their own homes in Campagnano di Roma. It’s called Case nel Borgo, and in 2017 it was an accommodation benchmark for the 750 pilgrims we welcomed.“
“The last kilometres of the Via Francigena will be the first in your heart”: reads the Via Francigena Viterbo Roma website. There is no alternative but to take to the road with Mediterraid Cammina 2018, along the Via Francigena in Lazio and Tuscany, as well as other routes near Lazio and in Sardinia.
The next events are as follows: from 18th to 22nd April the Via Francigena from S.Quirico d’Orcia to Viterbo and from the 25th to the 29th April the last five rest-stops from Viterbo to Rome. Bed & breakfast accommodation, luggage transport services and aid all supplied by Associazione Mediterraid.
For more info and the Miterraid calendar, please visit: http://www.viafrancigena-viterbo-roma.it/