- The 2 groups joined in Pavia, the Lombard capital, to relaunch slow tourism.
- These were 2 very different journeys with one common goal: that of promoting the journey itself – slow tourism, in this instance also known as walking.
- The cultural and sustainable enhancement of the territories that are crossed in the process is becoming more popular.
Each group departed from different locations and then met on Tuesday, August 10, in Pavia after days of marching. One group consisted of members of the AEVF, the European Association of the Vie Francigene, which chose to celebrate its twentieth anniversary with a journey of 3,200 kilometers. The other group took the 8-day journey along the Via Francisca del Lucomagno – a trek that connected Lake Constance to Lake Lugano and the latter to Pavia, after crossing Lombardy from the north to the south through parks and UNESCO sites. The Via Francisca del Lucomagno is an ancient trek that connected central Europe with Rome.
The two realities have been friends for some time, as are their representatives, Massimo Tedeschi president of AEVF, and Marco Giovannelli and Ferruccio Maruca (respectively author of the guide and secretary of the Institutional Table) for the Via Francisca del Lucomagno.
“We have specially organized the departure of this group of pilgrims from Lavena Ponte Tresa (Varese), the first Italian stop on the Via Francisca del Lucomagno, in order to meet the pilgrims of the Road to Rome,” explained Marco Giovannelli.
“It is a moment that marks the restart after a difficult moment. Slow tourism and walking allow you to experience and enjoy the territories,” commented Massimo Tedeschi, “considering that pilgrims and this type of travel promote dialogue between European cultures and local economies.”
The Via Francigena runs from England, where it has its “0 km” in front of the Cathedral of Canterbury, to Rome through many regions, including France and Switzerland and continues its itinerary up to Santa Maria di Leuca, (Puglia) the finibus terrae, the Italian (end of the Earth), thanks to the stretch of the Via Francigena of south. The association that has been promoting it for 20 years is celebrating this important birthday by walking it in its entirety – a 3,200 kilometer journey across Europe.
The Via Francisca del (of the) Lucomagno instead starts from Germany, more precisely from Lake Constance, then passes the Canton of Grisons and the Canton of Ticino (Switzerland), with a passage also in Liechtenstein. Crossing the Lucomagno Pass, to which it owes its name, it then enters Italy from Lake Ceresio.
It was from here that the 10 pilgrims from Trentino, Campania, and Lombardy set out to join the “colleagues” of the Road to Rome.
This has been a symbolic moment that once again underlines how this type of experience, the paths, put people at the center. The encounter between them and the cultures they represent while bringing vital and sustainable energy to the territories they pass through is what matters. Cheers to a most deserved recognition of a good journey and slow tourism at its finest.