Via Francigena

The South Francigena Marathon, 42km from Velletri to Roma

Picture of Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

Great enthusiasm and turnout for the presentation of the South Francigena Marathon.
On Friday 15th March, at the Petrolini theatre in Castel Gandolfo, a press conference was held dedicated to the first 42km non-competitive recreational hike scheduled for 28th April along the Via Francigena of the South. The initiative, organised by the amateur sports association, Italian Walking Tour, affiliated to the sports promotion agency, ASC, recognised by CONI, will lead walkers to discover the villages and landscapes that characterise the Lazio section of the Southern Francigena from Velletri to Rome. A journey through history and natural heritage, which debuts in the year dedicated to slow tourism and will be presented on the day of “Fridays for Future”, dedicated to climate change.

It is an important opportunity to develop our territory and ourselves, to relate and talk. I will try the 12 km route,” said the mayor of Castel Gandolfo, Milvia Monachesi, in her opening address. Present at the slow pace marathon will be of some administrators of the municipalities that have sponsored the initiative. A sign of adhesion and confirmation towards a dream idea created in 2018 and carried forward with determination by Paolo Falsini and Isabella De Santis, the event organisers.

We imagined all this by participating in a marathon on the Via Francigena in the territory of Bolsena. We live in a wonderful place, rich in history, culture, tradition and this has led us to think that it would be worthwhile to dedicate our time to the realisation of this dream. – explained Paolo Falsini, president of Italian Walking Tour Asd – There is an incredible world to discover in 42km and we imagine the future environments that SFM participants will be able to explore by taking part in this experience in our territory. We thank all the administrators and those who believed in this project. Registration is open, we invite all walkers to experience this first edition with us“.

The routes are an environmental safeguard and the walkers are soldiers of the environment. These initiatives make journeys come alive and sustainable tourism helps make our territories known” said Silvio Marino from the Department of Tourism and Equal Opportunities of the region of Lazio.

The South Francigena Marathon will indeed be an opportunity to get to know and love the area. The event will be divided into three routes to be discovered exclusively by walking: the 42km Marathon departing from Velletri and arriving in Rome; the 22km Half Marathon starting in Velletri and arriving in Castel Gandolfo and finally, the Family Marathon of 12km starting in Nemi and arriving at Castel Gandolfo. The initiative involves the territories of 8 Municipalities (Velletri, Nemi, Rocca di Papa, Albano Laziale, Castel Gandolfo, Marino, Ciampino and Rome); 3 parks: the Appia Antica Regional Park, the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, the Castelli Romani Regional Park and 1 site of great historical value, the Roman Amphitheater of Albano Laziale.

Our municipality will host the departure. Making people aware of our territory is important to us, I hope it is the first of a long series of editions,” said Alessandro Priori, Councillor for Sport and Touristic Promotion for the municipality of Velletri.

I see many administrators who support this initiative, I will join them with my participation in the 12km race – added Carlo Massa, city councillor of the municipality of Nemi, responsible for Sport and Relations with the Regional Park – we’re talking about the rediscovery of ancient trails and Nemi is one of the municipalities whose whole territory is in the park of Castelli Romani; we know how important it is to bring people to discover our paths“.

We have also embraced the philosophy of slow walking – said Stefano Cresta, manager of the Environmental Area of ​​the Castelli Romani Regional Park – but this does not mean walking absent-mindedly. Together with 15 people from the park we’ll offer small insights to our walkers, so they can learn more about the environment that surrounds us.

The Appia Antica Regional Park will be the 42km Marathon arrival point. “I congratulate the organisers, there are many people who are committed to the environment – said Alma Rossi, director of the Appia Antica Regional Park – I hope that many young people will participate in this initiative, the parks are a different way to experience the area and the ancient Via Appia is the highway of history”.

The South Francigena Marathon offers a walk along the route of the Via Francigena del Sud, in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims. An experience that is first and foremost human and brought to the stage by Massimo Tedeschi, president of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), main partner of the event: “Lazio is not only Rome and these initiatives narrate a beautiful and wonderful region to visit – underlined Tedeschi – the Via Francigena, Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, in the certified stretch from Canterbury to Rome, shows the places visited by thousands of people. There is a social consequence of dialogue between walkers and inhabitants and an effect on the local economy“.

Nature, sport, but also accessibility and inclusion. The last 4km of the South Francigena Marathon will include the participation of the Italian Committee for Parkinson’s Associations and PGR Onlus Parkinson Giovanile Roma. “It will be an event in the event. A group of people with parkinson’s will take part in the Marathon because walking slows down the course of the disease, improves mood and allows them to socialise – explained Emanuela Olivieri, president of PGR Onlus Parkinson Giovanile Rome – It is a opportunity to let us know and make it clear that the only way to deal with this disease is to open up to the world and to others, this is why we will take part”.

It’s an event that brings together many local players in the name of sport and the environment. “Without the collaboration of institutions the world of sport would not exist. – pointed out Massimo Boiardi, president of the Lazio ASC Sport Regional Committee – Our association has always been conscious of the environment and this event is in our philosophy“.

The South Francigena Marathon is a non-competitive, free-pace experience, open to all approved and guaranteed by F.I.A.S.P. (Italian Federation of Amateur Sports for All). “The Fiasp Federal Council is pleased to support this event with forty-years of management and organisational experience in the sector of physical movement as a way of life – highlighted Alberto Guidi, national president of FIASP, in a letter sent to the organisers – The Federation supports events that take place without competitive purposes and without classifications because those who participate want to reach an optimal state of physical and mental well-being by expanding mutual knowledge and communication. The FIASP also cooperates in the protection of flora, fauna, the environment and works of art, promoting their knowledge and disclosure“.

Registration is open until 14/04/2019 or upon reaching 3,000 participants. Find more info and register on the site or via email: Social media: Facebook and Instagram “South Francigena Marathon”. The participation fee for the event is €18.00 and includes insurance (as per FIASP policy), refreshments, assistance along the route, marathon package, individual recognition, EAVF Pilgrim Passport, return transport.

The South Francigena Marathon collaborates with the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (main partner), Radio Francigena (media partner) and is sponsored by: the region of Lazio, Metropolitan City of Rome, Roma Capitale, Municipality of Velletri, Municipality of Nemi, Municipality of Rocca di Papa, Municipality of Albano Laziale, Municipality of Castel Gandolfo, Municipality of Ciampino, in partnership with the Municipality of Marino. The initiative is also sponsored by ASC Sport, Appia Antica Regional Park, Castelli Romani Regional Park, Appia Antica Archaeological Park. Event partners: Group of 12, European Festival of the Via Francigena, Consorzio SBCR, Visit Castelli Romani, Circle of Legambiente Appia Sud Il Riccio. Sponsors: Banca Centro Lazio Cooperative Credit, Decathlon Tor Vergata, AM targeted purchases, Egeria, Pala Cavicchi, OPOE, Nonna Maria, Giulius and Foot Lab Sport.

Source: SFM press release