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