Officially part of Via Francigena termale in Tuscany. The project, presented on 10th October at the headquarters of the Region of Tuscany in Florence, aims to offer a service to those who make the journey and want to broaden the pilgrim experience through a proposal dedicated to well-being.
The initiative is headed by the municipality of Gambassi Terme and is implemented by Regione Toscana, the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) in collaboration with FEDERTERME and ANCOT.
There are six spa societies that have joined the project in the municipalities of Gambassi, Chianciano, Fivizzano, Montecatini, Montepulciano, Sorano. This is an opportunity both for the municipalities of the Francigena and for the spa facilities: a project that increases the possibilities of the territories involved. The spa facilities offer pilgrim services, including transport, hospitality and treamtment and discounted rates to pilgrims and tourists of the Via Francigena with the official EAVF Pilgrim Passport.
The mayor of Gambassi Terme, Paolo Campinoti, stressed that the opportunities that arise should be seized and enhanced: “The Via Francigena has created the possibility of extending the network and the traditional spa offer.The project was born as a pilot proposal to be extended to other regions of the Via Francigena“.
The EAVF President, Massimo Tedeschi, and Raffaelle Mannelli of the Region of Tuscany, expressed satisfaction with the new project that was born around the Via Francigena, underlining the importance of a strong link between private spa facilities and local administrations in order to activate a well-structured coordination.
During the presentation, the preparatory activity the beginning of the project was illustrated: regulations shared with thermal and common facilities, a dedicated website within the portal of the Via Francigena Ways, the trilingual brochure and the collection of spa packages for hikers who use the official credential of the Via Francigena. The goal is to consolidate the network and extend it to the European regions crossed by the Via Francigena.
Giuseppe Bellandi, Mayor of Montecatini and President of the European Network of Historical Spa Towns (EHTTA), underlined the importance of a European cultural route, such as the Via Francigena, as a means of involving other cultural routes. The path of Santiago, has already proposed a combination of walking and thermal water. An example above all is the Roman city of Ourense which is located on the Via della Plata, the thermal capital of Galicia. Cultural routes, when crossed create synergy, they multiply the opportunities for the development of a territory.
The meeting was attended by the President ANCOT (National Association of Thermal Municipalities), Franca Roso and Luigi Fasano of FEDERTERME who assured maximum support to the project.
For information on the initiative, the spa proposals and the stations involved, visit www.viefrancigene.org