European Association of the Vie Francigene: a partnership in full coherence with the values that guide us

La Via Francigena
The Via Francigena just outside Viterbo, with Montefiascone in the background.

It is truly with great pleasure and pride that CAMCO announces the partnership with AEVF, the European Association of the Vie Francigene.

“Vie Francigene” and not “Via Francigena” (so “paths” vs “path”), because the qualification granted by the Council of Europe to AEVF is for the protection and valorisation of the “Path of Arcibishop Sigeric”, which brings together Italian and European Francigena variants with Rome as its director, Jerusalem and Santiago.

At the end of the 10th century, Archbishop Sigeric traveled and described the famous route from Canterbury to Rome, what we commonly identify as the “Via Francigena”, defined as the “Great Cultural Itinerary” in 2004 and a historically recognized source underlying the main itinerary.

But the Vie Francigene includes variants of a vast geographical area, which refer to road routes – historically documented – converging from Europe to the City of Rome and then towards Jerusalem, passing through southern Italy.

Partnership AEVF-CAMCO
Matteo, the founder of CAMCO, poses in front of the mural present in an underpass just outside Viterbo.

AEVF carries out multiple tasks, especially institutional and systemic, for the aggregation and coordination of the various public and private actors who are involved in order to promote, among others, the values of the paths and pilgrimages, starting from the sustainable development of the territories through a cultural, identity and tourism approach.

It is a journey that in Sigeric’s first and founding documented “version” crosses 5 nations: England, France, Switzerland, Italy and Vatican City. One goal that we particularly like, among those pursued by the AEVF, is to strengthen citizens’ knowledge of their national roots and consolidate the common European identity. Moreover, the famous medievalist Jacques Le Goff defined the Via Francigena as the “Road of culture along which the Europe of peoples was defined”.

We know well that pilgrims and walkers are a numerically important part of CAMCO’s friends: how true and shareable is Le Goff’s quote by all those who have traveled a stretch of a Via Francigena! Do you agree?

Whether or not you agree with the above statement, whether or not you are attentive to the aspects of culture – even in a broad sense – that can be experienced along the routes of the network supervised by AEVF, we all certainly derive enormous pleasure from walking the paths of the Way Francigena, which develops in landscapes of unique beauty, and if these are well maintained and there are more and more structures and services to support the pilgrim, it is also thanks to the incessant and intense work of AEVF.

Having said all this, you understand how it is truly a moment of enormous joy and satisfaction for CAMCO to have become a partner of AEVF: we are a brand born from thoughts that were created in the mind while walking along these paths and during shorter excursions, when you felt the need for garments suitable for this activity. We would not have thought that one day we would be able to announce a collaboration with those who deal with a network of paths that we have traveled with great satisfaction of body and soul, paths that have been the summer holidays of recent years.

AEVF logo, with pilgrim.

In the summer of 2023 that has just passed, we completed our “road to Rome” – as the AEVF logo mentions – by resuming the journey from Viterbo and arriving in San Pietro.

How many of you have walked the Via Francigena, or one of the paths of the Vie Francigena network?

What was your favorite stop? Let us know in the comments!

For the record: our favorite was the Montefiascone-Viterbo stage. That year, 2021, we traveled the Via Francigena from south to north, for reasons of logistics and post-walk commitments, so it would be better to say Viterbo-Montefiascone, along a Via Francigena “against the current”.

Magical Viterbo with its vast medieval centre, fascinating Montefiascone with its fabulous views of Lake Bolsena, beautiful landscapes of the upper Tuscia Viterbese that you pass through, and exciting to take your steps trampling on the stones of the ancient Via Cassia.

Montefiascone - Lungo la Via Francigena
Lake Bolsena seen from Montefiascone at sunset.
AEVF Homepage

We conclude by inviting you to visit the AEVF portal to evaluate how extensive and important their work is.

Alongside sections regarding institutional communications, the projects they carry out at a local and international level, the presentation of their services, the portal obviously has sections dedicated to planning your pilgrimage, with an accurate description of the stages and services present along the route (we also recommend downloading their app), and much, much more: blog, online magazine, FAQ…

An excellent portal, for a precious association for all of us, pilgrims along the Via Francigene.

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