Via Francigena

VIII European Festival Vie Francigene, Cammini, Ways e Chemins 2018

Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

With over 500 new events and seven years of collaboration, the shared path of the Festival continues, which, now even more welcoming and friendly, has a new name: “VIII European Festival Vie Francigene, Cammini, Ways and Chemins 2018“.

Promoted by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, with the collaboration of the CIVITA Association, it will be presented in Rome on Wednesday 13th June together with the MIBACT proclamation of 2018 as the “European Year of Cultural Heritage” and the “Year of Italian Food”.

The theme chosen for 2018 is: “The Way. Food of the soul“. To celebrate not so much the taste, as the agricultural landscape, its natural mutations, the harvesting and the working identities with the many “follow up” material cultures: artisanal workings, refinement , rites, celebrations, sharing and conviviality.

As Massimo Tedeschi, President of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, remembers: “It is an immense cultural heritage to reflect on, to protect and to enjoy in all its beauty thanks to the historical paths of faith and nature. They are the best way to enjoy the landscape and cultural heritage”.

Trekking and guided tours are central to the rich program, dedicated to the growing wave of travellers which, according to data and reliable estimates, has grown continuously in the last 5 years. Today’s work is the creation of an “organic system”: routes, accommodation, integration and an adequate use of what culture, folklore, services, events, celebrations, parties and moments of strong spirituality have to offer: the sense of ​​peace and sharing that animates every fervent pilgrim.

The review was conceived and directed by Sandro Polci who states: “There is nothing “slow” about the paths; they are simply at the “right pace” to reflect, to stop and see a tree, to glimpse or converse and enjoy different events, in the most intangible, spiritual, cultural and relational infrastructure of Europe”.

Key stakeholders include: the Associazione Borghi Autentici, which pursues the values ​​of sharing the growth of local communities and believes in the cohesion of the Festival; the municipality of Monteriggioni; “Casa del Festival”; the Monti Azzurri Union with animation in the areas of the earthquake; the Associazione Via Romea Germanica; Federparchi with events that firmly link conservation to natural uses; Legambiente and its fields of “good volunteering”; Unione Naz. Pro Loco with the venture to protect the dialects of Belpaese, “Save your local language”. As well as, Autostrade per l’Italia SpA, who promotes the Festival in its Service Areas; I.TA.CA, responsible for festival tourism; Movimento Tellurico – Il Cammino nelle Terre Mutate; The Don Luigi Di Liegro Foundation with “Fitwalking” events for psycho-physical wellbeing; the municipality of Macerata, with anamorphism and street art in urban areas, the Italian Association of Landscape Architecture and Radio Francigena.

The trailer of the film chosen in 2018 will also be presented: “I’ll push you” by Chris Karcher and Terry Parish on the Camino de Santiago, which joyfully unites friendship and disability.



Greetings and introductions:

Massimo Tedeschi – President of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways

Silvia Costa – Culture Commission of the European Parliament (Strasbourg)

 On the way: some scheduled events.

Presenter and moderator: Sandro Polci – Director of the Festival

Simonetta Giordani Atlantia

Giampiero Sammuri – President of Federparchi

Giampiero Feliciotti – President of Unione Monti Azzurri

Raffaella Senesi – Mayor of the municipality of Monteriggioni

Stefania Monteverde – Councillor of Culture of the municipality of Macerata

Rodolfo Valentini – President of the Via Romea Germanica Association

Alberto Renzi – Vice President “Telluric Movement”


Ivan Stomeo – President of the Associazione Borghi Autentici d’Italia

Stefano Ciafani – National President of Legambiente

Nicola Maccanico – Secretary-General of the Civita Association



Download the invitation below

SantiaGoToRome begins! The project created by Associazione Movimento Lento, sponsored and supported by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, comes to life. Having achieved its first fundraising goal, the initiative to unite the path of Santiago and the Via Francigena has officially been launched.

Two pilgrims decided to return to Sigeric’s route backwards, crossing France to reach their destination in Spain: new steps to test the route. Valentina Prestigiacomo, from Sicily, left Rome on Sunday 13th May and will travel along the Via Francigena of the Valle di Susa up to the Montgenèvre, to Arles on Via Domizia. Luca Mattei, will also start from Rome, in June, on the route that crosses Liguria from Sarzana to Ventimiglia.

It’s a journey – half dream, half challenge – to reunite two major European routes of over 3 thousand km at a slow pace. How was this idea born?

“In the Middle Ages, the Via Francigena and the Camino de Santiago were both part of a large communication network. Even today, these two paths are connected through France with the GR (Grande Randonnée). So we decided to throw a stone into the pond: the Via Francigena can connect Rome to Santiago and from here the SantiaGoToRome project started,” explains Alberto Conte, president of Associazione Movimento Lento.

How is the project structured?: “We invented a “guerrilla” communication style. As the path of Santiago is marked towards Santiago, we said: “Why not put signs on the other side?” It is a service to pilgrims and a communication operation to publicise the way to Rome – adds Conte – a volunteer, Sara Pezzuto, enthusiastically joined the project; she started the journey and took care of the first signs. At the same time, we launched a two-month crowdfunding campaign; we exceeded the target thanks to the contribution of sponsors and friends, collecting about 3 thousand euros to repay part of the costs of starting the project”.

SantiaGoToRome has captured the attention of the web and the dream continues. “We will follow Valentina and Luca on their journey. It will help us to test the route – adds the founder of Slow Motion – Luca Mattei will follow the stretch from Liguria. The route that crosses Liguria is wonderful, it has strong potential for development but has not yet been valued as a link between the Via Francigena and Santiago. One of Luca’s objectives will be to explore and narrate this path. If we succeed, we want to raise awareness among administrations, stakeholders and communities to develop the route. Liguria, from marginal territory, could become a central hub of European paths”.

What’s next for SantiaGoToRome? “Our goal is to open the “western front” of the Via Francigena by creating a flow of pilgrims from abroad to Italy, from France in particular. We will contact the various associations of the ‘Friends of the Way of Saint James’ of France to explore their interest, in collaboration with the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways”says Conte.

This project aims to recall the appeal of the Cammino di Santiago brand and propose locally, as well as creating microeconomics. We know when sustainable tourism is important for territories; we’re talking about a target that has economic value but above all a strong socio-cultural value, an intangible aspect that should not be underestimated. Since we opened our hostel in Piedmont (the Casa del Movimento Lento in Roppolo, in the province of Biella) getting in touch with people coming from all over the world has become a very important form of personal enrichment”.

The project has just begun. Pilgrims step up. SantiaGoToRome awaits you!

To join and participate, visit

Silvia Iuliano

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