Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again!
Content submitted by European Association of Via Francigena ways – Sara Louise Costa
Submited Date : 07/06/2021

Via Francigena. Road to Rome 2021. Start again! is a relay march along the 3200 km of the Via Francigena pilgrimage route. A group of travelers will walk and cycle through all stages of the route, crossing England, France, Switzerland and Italy. Organized by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways (EAVF) with its network of partners and friends, the march relaunches sustainable and cultural tourism in response to the pandemic. It also aims to support the Via Francigena (VF) candidacy to the UNESCO World Heritage List, celebrate the foundation of EAVF, and the 27th anniversary of the recognition of the Francigena as a "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe", granted in 1994.
The growing number of slow travelers all over the world shows a trend towards practicing cultural and sustainable tourism. The VF pilgrimage merges the positive impacts of proximity tourism with those of slow tourism to create a sustainable model. On the one hand, it supports a form of rural tourism focused on local economies and cultures while contrasting mass tourism trends that overexploit few macro destinations (SDG 11). On the other hand, slow tourism is a form of carbon-neutral and responsible tourism that avoids polluting transportation while prioritizing local habitats and communities (SDG 12). The European Association of Via Francigena Ways acts as a promoter and policymaker in the economic and socio-cultural development of the route, boosting job creation and the value of local cultures (SDG 8), and encourages multi-stakeholder partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17).

How can you join?
- The group will depart on the 16th of June 2021 from Canterbury, km 0 of the route, will arrive in Rome on the 10th of September and in Santa Maria di Leuca on the 18th of October 2021. Join us with your local hiking club to walk with us!
- Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign (see links)
- If we cross your town, help us find hospitality and organize events!

We are looking for cooperation! - Become part of Road to Rome: the outreach is global, attracting a vast audience of governments, companies, international organizations, academia, NGOs, civil societies, travelers and walkers - Associate yourself with the label of sustainable tourism in Europe, become a sponsor! - Connect and support territories in their local development: help us valorize communities, associations and privates along the route, as well as local gastronomy, heritage and events