Welcoming pilgrims and tourists of the Francigena with typical products of the area. This is the philosophy of “Ristorum”, the rest-stops created by Andrea Ceragioli in Tuscany. The entrepreneur, originally from Camaiore, decided to bet on the local enogastronomic heritage, giving life to a project that embraced the slow tourism of the Francigena.
“Ristorum” is expanding. Originating from a website, “Ristorum” quickly materialised into the first rest-stop born in 2016 inMontemagno, Camaiore, and was then replicated in the historical centre ofCamaiore, Pietrasanta, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi (the latter is open in the summer period).
From sweet to savoury, from wines to liqueur: Ristorum offers a journey in the traditions of the area, in the authenticity of ingredients in a typical place that “restores” the palate and heart. “Before Ristorum, I tried everything – explains Ceragioli – I wanted to give a hand to small businesses that were closing due to the crisis, so I launched a website to help them. Not long later, I decided to open a rest-stop where we could offer tasters of these products and, when I learned of the Francigena, I saw an opportunity. I requested use of the official pilgrim logo of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways and offered products with the logo “Ristorum – Via Francigena”.”
What does Ristorum offer? “We offer hospitality to pilgrims and dedicated dishes with seasonal ingredients. Whoever comes the Ristorum is presented with a unique, quality menu – confirms the entrepreneur – wines, liqueurs, artisan beers, saffron, cheese, cured meats, jams and typical deserts: we work with over a hundred Tuscan producers. Then we add our own ideas. For example, the “Fico della Francigena”, made from the fig orchards along the route, we also made a snack with vacuum-sealed, boiled chestnuts, which give pilgrims a lot of energy. We also offer an assortment of wines dedicated to hotels and restaurants along the route.”
From enogastronomy to gadgets: Andrea Ceragioli also bet on Francigena merchandise, with the “Pilgrim Shop”. The project, just launched, has three points-of-sale in Viareggio, Pietrasanta and Pisa, where tourists and pilgrims can buy products and merchandise, including a copy of the real cross of the Zecca di Lucca.
“The Via Francigena enabled me to get to know many people, it opened a window to a world I didn’t know. – concludes Ceragioli – Pilgrims from all over the world arrive in my bars. Slow tourism is definitely a growing sector and represents an opportunity for the area. We are expanding and available to open new sale-points, this also goes for the “Pellegrino shop” along the route. Find more information on our website: https://ristorum.com/”