Via Francigena

Pro Loco Union, the “Francesco a Francesco” relay

Picture of Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

There are 16 stages and 266 kilometres to the fifth edition of the “Francesco a Francesco” relay. The journey will start on 19th September from St. Peter’s Square in Rome and will end on 4th October in Assisi, the day dedicated to the feast of St. Francis, patron saint of Italy.

The initiative, organised by the National Union of Pro Loco (Unpli) was presented this morning, in the “Spadolini” hall of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage (Mibac) in Rome. The participants will walk along the Via di San Francesco, through places where the Saint spent most of his life and left important marks. The route, accessible to all, winds through woods, roads and paths of Lazio and Umbria, among the splendid views of the Valle Santa Reatina and along the Spoleto-Norcia stretch, crowned the most beautiful green roads of Italy: ten stages of the route in the territory of Lazio, then in Umbria, 18 locations are crossed by the route.

The event began with a speech by Francesco Palumbo, general director of the tourism department: “The Pro Loco initiative along the Italian Cammini – said Palumbo – goes very well with the Atlas of the Italian routes that we have also created thanks to the contribution of the Unpli. For the first time, Italy has a network of 44 roads that meet very precise quality standards and create an infrastructure for tourism“.

The president of the National Union of Italian Pro Loco, Antonino La Spina, underlined the role of the Union of Pro Loco of Italy “which continues to work to help network the world of Paths, building relationships with partners institutions and associations. It is clear that the Pro Loco can and must play an important role in this context, able to ensure a series of services thanks to the widespread diffusion of the association in the territory“.

Presentations were given by Claudio Nardocci, president of Unpli Lazio, Francesco Fiorelli, president of Unpli Umbria, Ernesto Fanfoni, head of the Cammini department of the Unpli, and Giulio Proietti Bocchini, office of culture and tourism of Assisi. During the morning accounts on “The paths of the Pro Loco: good practice and territorial synergies” were also given; Maurizio Alfisi and Francesco Grosso (UNPLI Piemonte) illustrated “The Quadrant of the High Piedmont Walkways”; Roberto Patanè and Peppe De Caro presented “L’Antica Transversale Sicula” which will launch for the first time on 4th October. Don Giovanni Lombardo, on the other hand, focused on the peculiarities of “Il Cammino dell’Anima” which develops on the Nebrodi.

Following this were speeches on the theme of “Let’s network Italian paths”, by Francesco Ferrari (vice-president of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways), Sandro Polci (director of the Via Francigena European Festival), Antonio Montani (vice-president of the Italian Alpine Club) and Ambra Garancini (Network of the Francigena Way).

The day also focused on the “New opportunities for the Way”, with the speeches by Stefano Mantella (Director of Strategies for Property and Innovation, Agenzia del Demanio) who illustrated the contents of the new call for property concession, while Massimiliano Monetti (President Confcooperative Abruzzo)focused on community cooperatives as a possible instrument for the development of the territories. The meeting was managed by Gabriele Desiderio, project manager and external relations of the Unpli. All info on the relay from “Francesco a Francesco” is available at



19th September: Rome San Pietro-Fontenuova, 23 km (difficulty level: easy).

20th September: Fontenuova-Monterotondo, 24 km (easy).

21st September: Monterotondo-Palombara Sabina, 12 km (easy).

22nd September: Palombara Sabina-Montelibretti 17 km (medium easy).

23rd September: Montelibretti-Poggio Moiano (15, average easy).

24th September: Poggio Moiano-Poggio San Lorenzo 13 km (medium easy).

25th September: Poggio San Lorenzo-Rieti 18 km (easy).

26th September: Rieti-Poggio Bustone, 19 km (medium easy).

27th September: Poggio Bustono-Greccio, 21 km (easy).

28th September: Rieti-Greccio, 19 km (easy).

29th September: Greccio-Torreorsina, 18 km (difficult).

30th September: Torreorsina-Ceselli, 18 km (easy).

1st October: Ceselli-Spoleto, 12 km (difficult).

2nd October: Spoleto-Trevi, 12 km (medium easy).

3rd October: Trevi Spello-Santa Maria degli Angeli, 20 km (easy).

4th October: Santa Maria degli Angeli-Assisi, 5 km (easy).