Via Francigena

Via Francigena towns apply to the European Programme “Cultural Heritage in Action”

Picture of Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

Via Francigena hubs of Fidenza and Pavia have recently submitted their best practices of heritage rehabilitation along the Via Francigena to the European Programme “Cultural Heritage in Action”.

“Cultural Heritage in Action” is a peer-learning programme for local and regional policymakers to exchange knowledge on cultural heritage. The programme, led by the EUROCITIES in cooperation with Europa Nostra, is focused on participatory governance, adaptive reuse and the quality of interventions.

The Municipality of Fidenza (Emilia-Romagna) presented an ongoing project of restoration and rehabilitation of the local heritage site – Jesuit College (Collegio dei Gesuiti). The College, erected in late 17th century, served as a centre for spiritual knowledge, a military hospital, a refuge for displaced persons during the Second World War, a nursing home, headquarters to clinics and associations.

The entire complex, now owned by the municipality, will resume life thanks to the rehabilitation project, expected to conclude in spring 2021. The Jesuit College will transform into Domus Via Francigena, a cultural and youth centre of 2,000 m2 which will host pilgrims and scholars, European museum of the Via Francigena, a school for educational and training activities of young Europeans.

The European Association of the Via Francigena ways EAVF has its headquarters in Fidenza and will greatly benefit from the Domus Via Francigena, which will enhance the work of the association. 

The Municipality of Pavia (Lombardia), an active member of the EAVF, presented its best practice in cultural heritage governance – an annual event “Crossroads of Europe”. Crossroads of five Cultural Routes (Via Francigena, Route of St Martin of Tours, Route of Cluniac sites, Itinerary of Chaise-Dieu, Way of St Augustan, Route of St Colomban) Pavia is unique in the European panorama of cities of art and culture.

The “Crossroads of Europe” brings international participants to promote cooperation and exchange, and to raise awareness of the potential for cultural heritage tourism and sustainable development along the Via Francigena and other routes. Initiated by the European Commission in 2012, the conference became an annual reference point for researchers, scholars, tourism and culture professionals.

The “Cultural Heritage in Action” will produce a catalogue of 30 good practices from EU cities, regions, non-urban and rural areas and will organise 12 peer-learning visits bringing together 20+ participants per visit.

The results of the call will be made available in the beginning of June 2020. The EAVF wishes luck to Fidenza and Pavia!