Finally the AIVF dream.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org