Monday, April 06, 2015

2016 - Three groups of 12 from Switzerland to Rome

2016 was declared an extraordinary Holy Year - Jubilee of Mercy - by the Holy Father.

amaWalkers will take three groups on the Via Francigena from La Douay in Switzerland to Aosta in Italy and then from San Gimignano to Roma between 23 June to 16 July.

After contacting amaWalker members and putting a notice on our Facebook page, we received over 50 requests to be included in this walk.  We can only take 36 people in 3 groups of 12.

amaWalkers grew out of 'Highway Tours' - an informal group of Highway Walkers (based in the Highway AC) - who started planning a walk in 1999 to do the Coast to Coast walk in England in 2001.  They then walked the Camino Frances in Spain in 2002, the Via Turonensis in 2004 and the Via Francigena in 2006.   

In 2011 amaWalkers Camino (Pty) Ltd was formed and registered in order to formalise future long distance walks organised by amaWalkers. 

These are not guided walks with registered tour guides.  Experienced amaWalker hikers accompany the groups and are in charge of the practical aspects such as room reservations, transport and so on.  Where relevant, optional tours and excursions are suggested with local registered tour guides.

Three of the original Via Francigena Five will each lead a group to Rome next year

Saturday, September 14, 2013



Our gratitude goes to Hubert Moulin, co-founder of the European VF, who passed away on March 5.
With the support and assistance of FRIENDS and Friends' Associations, the AIVF is increasingly engaged in the improvement of historic pilgrimage routes to Rome, its founding aim in 1997.
This past year has been characterised by the publication of paper and virtual guides.


· In Europe
Nino Guidi has realized the
AIVF's dream by following Nikulas' 1154 route (Iceland – Basel – Vevey – Rome 3700 km) in 4 months; Topofrancigena and Dormifrancigena with updates for Switzerland and Italy were greatly appreciated, as was the route to Cesano-Roma. Our president Adelaide met Nino on 2 November 2012 upon his arrival in Rome.
Follow his journey on his blog (the VF rediscovered).

· In Italy 2012-13:

With the AIVF Ivrea-Santhià folder distributed free-of-charge at the Grand St Bernard (GSB) and at the Aosta and Pont-Saint-Martin Tourist Offices, the majority of pilgrims now take the "Roman" route south of Lake Viverone (5 km shorter than the official VF).

Another leaflet published in late August suggests a route between Pietrasanta and Sarzana (you save 6 km) through the Magra Nature Park. It leads to the site of the ancient port of St-Maurice at the mouth of the river Magra, where pilgrims once embarked for Spain and Jerusalem. You can visit the monastery of Santa Croce for a memorable moment of meditation in front of the 11th C. crucifix, or go directly via the Luni-Avenza amphitheater to return to the Tyrrhenian Sea for several kilometres before taking the "Via Romana" uphill and rejoining the MiBAC VF.
Be careful not to follow the official VF route when leaving Sarzana: in June 2013, according to pilgrim Anne, the grass was knee-deep in the hills and there were vipers! Follow this alternative with E-book on your iPad.
Our initiative suggesting "Abbadia S.Salvatore e l'Alta Valle del Paglia 2012" as a FAI-favourite site (Italian Environment Heritage) received 617 votes from private individuals, which the AIVF finds a very satisfactory result. 
The historic Monterosi-Cesano route has been improved (25 marvellous kms) with the collaboration of the Bracciano and Martignano Regional Park and our wonderful Aldo Romani (who passed away suddenly in early August).
Thanks to the intervention of the AIVF and messages sent by VF FRIENDS to the City of Rome authorities, the character of the medieval village of Cesano  (
Nikulas stopover in 1154) has now been preserved and major projects for the whole region (the VF included) are being prepared by the University of Rome-La Sapienza Faculty of Architecture.
Medieval Cesano enchants all those who visit it, for its atmosphere and gastronomy!

The ten years of historical and scientific research carried out by the AIVF is bearing fruit for the VF. The CAI (Italian Alpine Club) has been mandated by a few regions such as Lazio to prepare a detailed inventory of the VF and to provide the upkeep and marking of the trails. For its 150th anniversary, we place all our expectations in the CAI so that the substantial EU Via Francigena funding is not only used for promotional events, as is often the case, but is put towards the improvement and conservation of the route itself, the territory, the monuments, and sites that are closely connected to it, activities that the AIVF solicited since 1997.

· In Switzerland:

After the fabulous Jougne-Romainmôtier hike on 13 October 2012 on the occasion of the Autumn Fair and Cowbell Festival, the AIVF published the historical VF route in Switzerland including the safe and scenic Chemin  Vens variant that adds only 30 minutes to Sembrancher.

The AIVF will be pleased to support new proposals for guided tours (1 or more days) on the VF, offered by institutions or pilgrims. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH US!

· In France:

A VF Pas-de-Calais guide was published by the Conseil Général du Département including ¾ of the Leulène route proposed in 2007 by AIVF, which still hopes to see it in full one day.
NO more contact with the AVFF (Association VF-France) which, we are told, has a habit of working very secretly.
The AIVF provides, upon request, to its members, the Topofrancigena
updates and of the official MiBAC route as far as we are informed, but our main sources of information are pilgrims and FRIENDS. The AIVF looks forwards to receiving your info.

· The Welcome for pilgrims in Rome is still subject to changes ("Nothing is ever final," as we say) except in regard to St. Peter’s Basilica. By 3 July, 3300 pilgrims had been registered and had received their Testimonium. We are expecting more news about this and will immediately post it under VATICAN on our website.

PUBLICATIONS and e-book 2013

To combine the joy of a pilgrimage on foot with local historical knowledge, the AIVF has published a guide with "Editions Mon Village" called "La Via Francigena de Sigéric de Pontarlier au GSB": 200 km in 9 stages (37 km shorter than the VF-70) accompanied by sixteen 1.50.000 maps, a road book, a Dormifrancigena and geo-cultural information, particularly related to little-known medieval sites and monuments. It is illustrated with many photos provided by FRIENDS-pilgrims.
It is recommended to everyone who, on foot or by bike, wishes to discover or rediscover a "Switzerland" at the crossroads of international travel around the year 1000.

The AIVF keeps abreast of the times with a new online shop and especially with its new e-book publications which provide savings for both the association and the pilgrims.

E-ToPoDorMi-Francigena is a new AIVF product for modern pilgrims. It comprises an extract from the printed guide with high quality maps prepared on Swissmobile by our Vice President, Jean-Claude Joseph, and produced by Giovanni Caselli, as well as a roadbook and Dormifrancigena list. Thus the e-ToPoDorMi-Francigena Pontarlier - GSB can now be used for the VF-Switzerland on iPads and iPhones.

The book, "Cesano borgo sulla fortificato VF", has been presented on six occasions, the most important of them held in the State Archives of the City of Rome with the director of the Vatican Museums accompanied by the director of Parks and historic Villas of Rome and the Director of the Lazio Archives. All three enjoyed the wealth of material and the reader-friendly style; the AIVF extends its sincere thanks to them.
This volume has already been put into e-book format by the publisher. The AIVF will also be publishing its upcoming historical variants in this form. The
ToPoDorMi- Francigena Sarzana-Pietrasanta is already available for 2 €.


We would like to hear the pilgrims’ opinions about publishing the invaluable AIVF Dormifrancigena in e-book format?
The AIVF wants to produce the Swiss North-South East route: the "Via Francisca Lukmanier (1970 masl) - Lake Constance to Pavia." We would appreciate any help from FRIENDS-pilgrims willing to help out with verifications, even partial, and especially info about budget accommodation!


The AIVF and Hubert Moulin’s family would like to thank the many FRIENDS in Canada and Europe who sent messages of thanks and encouragement. Being in contact - whether by telephone, mail or in person - with so many pilgrims was a great joy for him, says his wife Bernadette.
To honour his memory, we have dedicated our VF Pontarlier-GSB guide to him.
In addition to her valuable contribution as a German translator,
Margot Collins-Fäh, a devout pilgrim who has done the Italian VF with a friend, has generously taken up the torch with great competence.

FRIENDS-pilgrims, 1563 of them (since 1998), come from 26 different countries, including France (500), Holland (200), Switzerland (260) and Australia (increasing). For those who wish to be helpful, please spread the word about the riches of this historical route in the footsteps of Sigeric. Without the pilgrims, the VF would not exist.

Along with the pilgrims, the AIVF would like to express its sincere appreciation to the staff of volunteers, our coordinators, Virginia (assisted by her husband Bernard), Eva, Margot, our excellent English translator Carol,  and to Lia, Ugo, and Giancarlo, who help the AIVF carry out its activities as efficiently as possible.

Adelaide Trezzini, AIVF's President (06 85302675 / 06 916507710 when she is in Rome, is always pleased to meet our FRIENDS-pilgrims at their arrival. We need your helpful feedback to go forward!

If you have a PROBLEM, call us. We will do our best to help you.

France: Virginie Brouillard 14 rue P. Joly F-95100 Argenteuil Tel.+33(0)953 356 598  

Suisse: Margot Collins-Fäh, 10 Zimmeregg, CH-6014 Lucerne Tel +41(0)41 2501093



Thursday, August 23, 2012



With the support and assistance of our Friends and Friends Associations, AIVF is now actively promoting​​ the historic pilgrim routes to Rome by working with guided historic VF route projects!


In Italy 2012

March 24
Archaeological walk from Campagnano to Cesano (9 km) guided by Vittorio through the excavations of Baccano (the first Roman station excavated 30 years ago is now practicable). It will be suggested again for the Italian Enviroment Day (FAI) in 2013. The passage of pilgrims will keep it clean - please do your part.
April 24
National VF Day: Etrusco-Roman VF between Monterosi and Cesano (25 km), a guided walk with Aldo that only met 7-8 cars. And on May 5 done again with a dozen enthusiastic participants from a Roman Health Unit.
June 17
The ancient Etrusco-Roman VF from Veio to Isola Farnese-La Storta (the Via Veientana-which leads to Cesano), was organized by the 20th district of Rome on the occasion of "VF walks in the parks of Lazio" sponsored by the Lazio Region.
July 1
A variant of the Ivrea-Santhia Roman road from Cella di Borgo d'Ale to Azeglio, along the south shore of Lake Viverone (presence of prehistoric lake dwellings) with Mario and Valter, Friends of Santhià. The missing sections are on schedule for the coming months.
September 26
Exploring Cesano: presentation of the VF from Monterosi + walking + visit + aperitif at the Osteria del Borgo as part of the VF Evenings (Tuscany-Lazio).

In Switzerland:

October 12-14   
In Romainmotier (Autumn Fair and Cowbell Market) the ancient Sigeric route from Jougne (22km) will be organised by VF FRIENDS Francis and Jeannine.


"A big THANK YOU and BRAVO to EVERYONE (pilgrims, associations, public and private institutions) for their effective and generous work" says Pierre-Yves (CH), who has walked again, after 11 years, the Tuscany-Lazio VF route: signposting, the pleasure of meeting other pilgrims (almost daily), the satisfaction of no longer being considered crazy, but recognized and supported as a pilgrim, improvements to the track and work completed (sidewalks, paths).  The only remaining regret is the crowded meeting (for the Testimonium) in the hall of St. Peter’s Basilica, but this problem will be solved by the second reception centre in S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini.
Finally the AIVF dream. 

The Iceland-Basle-Vevey Nikulas route (1154), is being brought to fruition between June and October 2012 by Nino who is fully supported by the AIVF.   Eva, our coordinator in Germany, has improved the route. You can follow Nino on the blog, (rediscovered route) and support him by walking some of the way.

He will be very pleased! The TOPOFRANCIGENA CH and DORMIFRANCIGENA CH will be invaluable to them but some other pilgrims are already taking the route and Father Quéloz of Courrendlin is thrilled. 
From Stade there is another route to Rome, that of Abbot Albert von Stade (1252), which passes through East Germany and is already well structured thanks to a recently-formed association of German and Italian communes.

In Switzerland (warning!) watch your budget: the parish of Sainte-Croix no longer receives pilgrims, and accommodation between Auberson and Romainmotier (50 km) is expensive! The Jougne-Romainmotier variant (22 km) is cheaper.
DANGER on the official route (marked No. 70) Martigny―Bovernier: none of the planned improvements have been made. Hubert Moulin and Francis Geere suggest an easy and safe alternative from Martigny-Bourg (Ruelle de Mont Chemin), Chemin-Dessus (2h), Vens―Sembrancher (1.5h). See NEW VIA map on website.

In France: The VF 145 GR is under construction, the CDRP (
Comité Départemental Randonnée Pédestre) is trying some variants to make it closer to history and, especially, to pilgrims.

In Italy: June 2012. According to pilgrims passing through the Aosta Valley (Chatillon area), the VF situation is not very good.

Warning! Cristina Menghini, who marked the entire Italian official VF with red & white adhesive tape in 2011, compiled a list of all the difficulties on her website This moved the AIVF to look for solutions among the historic routes. Many of them are mentioned in the VF guide "La VF, le Chemin de Sigeric du Grand St. Bernard à Rome" 2012. They are shorter, pleasanter, smoother and mostly on quieter roads. This AIVF research is supported by Franco Alessandri of the "Il Pellegrino di Firenze" association who is making GPS verifications to produce a map of historical VF throughout Tuscany.

The Ivrea-Santhià Azeglio path (short, level, shaded) is already used by about 20% of pilgrims who say they love it.

The Sarzana to Luni path (short, level) with accommodation possible at Camping Marina 3b (5 km), is closest to the medieval route to the village of St. Maurice and its harbour (no more visible along the river Magra) where once pilgrims embarked for Spain, or Jerusalem. It is possible to reach the Santa Croce monastery (by boat because bridge has collapsed), after which the VF follows the coast to Marina di Massa and then winds back up into the Tuscan hills before Pietrasanta.

On leaving S. Quirico, Franco was thrilled to be walking on the paved path used by Sigeric to Gallina (4 km shorter than the official VF). Back in the valley, after Abbadia S. Salvatore, a high path parallel to the Via Cassia leads from Voltole to Ponte a Rigo,  From Centeno to Acquapendente 8 km, of which 3.4 are dangerous, to get beyond the Gregoriano bridge, still along the Via Cassia. Unfortunately, the province of Viterbo is not interested in VF or in its safety. Not many are the pilgrims willing to make the 10 km safe detour via Proceno.   Upon request, AIVF will provide its members with updates on the TOPO and the official MiBAC route as long as we are informed or able to get the information.

Joint initiative: AIVF and University of Siena (Department of Archaeology Territory) have promoted the "Places of the Heart" petition from the FAI (Italian Environment Foundation) to vote for the ancient via Francigena route from S. Quirico to Centeno: add your vote (it appears immediately) and add your photos and comments on the internet (commune of Abbadia S.Salvatore, name: Via Francigena). We need hundreds and thousands of signatures so add yours now! The many postal votes will be added to October 30.

The AIVF has launched three SOS's for the historic VF. 500m of the route at Monteroni d'Arbia (south of Siena) is paved (even if it is white); a bio-mass factory 400m away threatens to the rest of Sigeric's site of Voltole; Cesano risks losing its authenticity through a useless development project (sidewalks, bike paths, etc.), thank you to FRIENDS who have written to the mayors. Lets join forces to prevent these massacres - difficult but not impossible.

Now a DOUBLE welcome for pilgrims in Rome. AIVF and ALP (Ad Limina Petri-CEI Italian Episcopal Commission) were invited by Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (ORP the largest religious tour operator) to coordinate their actions. The church and oratory of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini (opposite St Angelo Castle) offers a spiritual welcome 7 days a week with masses and a stop at the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene (the recently-identified precious 16th C. relic containing her foot). It also provides information about the Testimonium (rules for obtaining them from the ORP and St. Peter's Basilica will be better coordinated and defined in the coming months) as well as information about very economical accommodation in religious communities, etc.

Since 2001, 2913 (on 10/07/2012), VF pilgrims have been received and are recorded in the Pilgrims' Register at St. Peter's, which also hosts millions of other pilgrims and tourists.  S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini is a boon for VF pilgrims.


Contacts with AEVF (European VF Association), chaired by Mr Tedeschi, were strengthened through AIVF participation at the general meetings in Abbadia S. Salvatore on 29/10/11 and Martigny, which was attended by the new director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes (IEIC), Penelope Denu (14/04/12).
These occasions have highlighted the AIVF's commitment to promoting the historic routes and introducing the new 2012 VF guide (Ed Lepère). The reviews of the guide and of St Pilgrim, between Myth and History will be reported in the AEVF magazine "Via Francigena". The latest AEVF idea is a VF campervan itinerary.

Associations-Friends of the AIVF - there was a fruitful meeting 2-3 April organized by the Santhià Friends of the VF which clarified the characteristics of the official VF route north of Lake Viverone and the one suggested by the AIVF to the south.  AIVF President, Adelaide, met the Ivrea Company of Sigeric, which will hopefully lead to a real collaboration on the Roman-medieval VF routes. Santhià and VF Friends of Abbadia SS are strongly committed to seeking Roman-medieval pilgrim routes and are engaging with local residents to find paths and for local maintenance and signposting. The AIVF thanks them for their energy and enthusiasm for promoting the historical landscape along the VF.
The associations are gradually coming together. Thus, Alberto Alberti of Rete dei Cammini associated the AIVF with the awarding of a medal of recognition for VF activities by the City of Rome, and the AIVF has been promoting the VF route in Insugherata Park, the gateway to Rome. For guided tours, the AIVF can count on the professionalism of Aldo Romani-CAI (Italian Alpine Club) and Vittorio Paielli Altair-Rome.


Cesano Borgo fortificato sulla VF  - How to discover, thanks to the VF, a hidden medieval village,  the second AIVF VF scientific book, Cesano Borgo fortificato sulla VF by A. Trezzini and Luisa Chiumenti has been published.
DORMIFRANCIGENA B Italy - Another big AIVF job in time and financial terms has been the publication of the 4th ed. of the only reliable, accommodation guide, the DORMIFRANCIGENA B Italy. Some more communes in France have asked to use the European VF logo, owned by the AIVF.


Our FRIENDS-pilgrims, 1490 of them since 1998, come from 26 different countries and are mostly French, Dutch and Swiss. For those who wish to be helpful, tell others about the riches of this historical route in the footsteps of Sigeric. Without the pilgrims, the VF would not exist.  Along with the pilgrims, the AIVF would like to express its sincere appreciation to the staff of volunteers, our coordinators, Virginia, Hubert and Eva, and our translators Carol  and Margot.

AIVF's President, Adelaide Trezzini is always pleased to meet our FRIENDS-pilgrims when she is in Rome.  If you have a PROBLEM, call us. We will do our best to help you. 06 85302675 / 06 916507710


Monday, June 18, 2012


NOW ON AMAZON - in the Kindle Store!  La via Francigena - Five Pilgrims to Rome

Carrying everything on their backs, five very different, not-so-young women, share an amazing adventure on the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage trail in Switzerland and Italy.
Walking almost 700km, with an average step length of 75cm, they took over 1 million steps from Vevey to Rome. Their longest day was 11.5 hours when they climbed from 680m at La Douay to 2472m at the Grand St Bernard Pass covering 28 km. They walked through over 210 villages and towns and crossed a variety of bridges, metal, wood, hanging, stone and Roman, over more than 150 rivers. On some days the temperatures reached +40oC.
Although they didn’t have an English guide book, at no time did they actually get lost – only confused a couple of times - usually when following the VF signs along the way. They stayed in a backpackers, a hospice, a campsite, a Gite, a castle, on a farm, three youth hostels, nine B&B’s, two convents, six hotels (one a converted monastery) and two apartments.
They raised over 50 000 ZAR for Children's Charities back home

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Extracts from the Newsletter of the Movimentolento

The Slow Movement - Newsletter n.47

Newsletter for those traveling without haste on foot and by bicycle



Useful information for modern pilgrims traveling slowly between
Camino de Santiago and the Via Francigena.

In the Middle Ages, Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem were the three major pilgrimage
destinations in Europe.
Today you can repeat the experience of past travelers, and walk
between Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem, along the ancient routes.
The paths of the
Middle Ages are often lost, or have "evolved" into large highways.
In these cases alternative paths safer and more pleasant paths have been established.

We offer our channel dedicated to the Via Francigena

A) a small guide on the web, devoted primarily to modern travelers who do not disdain the use of technology to organize their paths, and that through the use of GPS and interactive maps available on the Web can rediscover old emotions.

The guide will be released in installments, each week. Please read the first two articles



** Basilicata Coast to Coast: GPS tracks online

Richard Carnovalini revisited version of "hiking" path the caravan of the film Basilicata Coast to Coast, are available GPS tracks of his way, for anyone who wants to discover an area
wonderful southern Italian.


The itineraries

From St. Peter's to the old

This spectacular route, walking and cycling, connects some of the most beautiful and famous in the world: Piazza S. Peter the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Appian Way. A crescendo of excitement interval from the discovery of less famous monuments and views.
The route can be completed along the Via Appia, where pedestrians can take bus, or on to Castel Gandolfo

View the presentation of the path
and visit the site dedicated to the Francigena Way South

Travelling slowly along the ancient streets

Via Francigena: The problem of walking into Rome is being resolved

One of the most important problems of the walkway was made access to Rome: in fact the height of the orbital pilgrims were forced to walk for about 800 m on a busy stretch
Triumphal street without sidewalks.
Thanks to teamwork Association Group of Twelve, Nature of Rome, the Municipality of XX Rome and the Lazio Region Department of Culture, it seems that finally is coming to a very interesting solution, which exceed the Ring Road on the Via Cassia, and the attraversarà dell'Insugherata beautiful green area.

Subscribe to "CamminaFrancigena", to keep you informed about the news of
great cultural itinerary!


The Slow Movement in social networks

Join our Facebook community, join us and write about
Slow Movement of your Bulletin Board

We provide all the lovers of the journey on foot and in
know a place where cycling and relate their experiences.

Become our friend on Twitter

Visit our website to read more news,
articles and itineraries for those traveling slowly.

The newsletter is edited by Federico Alberto Conte and Carli Giori,
in collaboration with the Association The Slow Movement