Within the last few years we in the tourism industry have seen the rise in popularity for such types of travelling such as slow and experiential tourism. Our tourists are searching for trips and tours where they can make their own experiences at their own pace, through seeing parts of Italy that are often overlooked or not talked about and experiencing the true, original and historic Italy that we read about.
Pilgrimages, holy and sacred journeys, are great ways for our travellers to get these authentic and culturally important experiences, and Italy offers of the best. As a result, FindYourItaly is trying to capitalise on these experiences.
The sacred 1900kms medieval pilgrimage from Canterbury, England, to Rome, the Via Francigena, is one of the most famous pilgrim routes in the world and Italy. It was a certified cultural route of the council of europe in 1994 and major cultural route in 2004.
Even though the journey has strong religious connections, the majority of people who are interested in this experience are more focused on the walk itself and its amazing sights along the way, including ancient ruins, palaces and the beautiful countryside.
Viefrancigene.org provides promising facts and figures about those who are visiting and taking part in this sacred journey. According one of their analytic article, there were around 40,000 excursionists in 2016 who walked on the along the ancient road, including tourists ranging from 16 to 70 years old. The article continues to highlight that “the Via Francigena is an “intergenerational” walk” and that “services and businesses are created along the route, to support it”.
Support behind the Via Francigena
Fortunately, this isn’t the only form of support that this route and many others are receiving. Tourism Review explained in one of their articles that the Italian government has began allocating part of their EU funds to smaller municipalities to help support high-quality tourism and more cultural offerings. Further support for the route also came in 2009 when the Italian government decided to reinstate the sacred journey after becoming less popular in comparison to the Spanish pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela.
The Via Francigena is still in development when we consider the accessibility and easiness for any kind of tourist that wants to take this journey, signage still needs to be improved and the Italian government are aspiring solve this issue to attract even more excursionists.
A tour on the sacred route
FindYourItaly have taken notice of this historic and culturally important ruote and have created a perfect experience for our curious travellers. We offer a compact tour of the Italian leg of the Via Francigena, encompassing tranquil walks, amazing food and drink while visiting sacred sights in beautiful locations. This tour provides our clients with an intimate experience to immerse themselves into the culture as the group will be of 10 people or less.
The Inspiration Journey, as it’s called, begins with our tourists starting their travel from Italy’s largest port, Genoa. Here they will see one of italy’s most well preserved historic centre and eat in one of the oldest “osteria” in the city.
After a few more days in Genoa, walking a few kilometers to a natural park and participating in a pesto course our tourists will walk around the one of the most scenic areas in all of Italy, Cinque Terre. After seeing this picturesque location on foot, our travellers will be treated to some wine tasting in Monterosso, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre.
Once our clients have finished their first 5 days seeing and experiencing the culture in some of Liguria’s best locations, they will embark upon their Inspiration Journey, the Via Francigena.
For the following 10 days, our excursionists will be accompanied on the route with our expert in spiritual journeys, Julie Baker. Along the way, our expeditioners will experience the scenic and peaceful part of Italy where they will come across some of the most authentic and untouched parts of the country, understanding what life may have been like many centuries ago.
An optimistic future for Via Francigena
Overall, the Via Francigena offers many amazing experiences throughout its long distance. Many travellers around the world come to this historic and sacred ruote to make their own stories and understand the perspective of a pilgrim hundreds of years ago.
With increasing support and acknowledge from the government and small businesses and services along the ancient road, it seems that the Via Francigena is about to see its renaissance.