Come and discover accessible inclusive tourist routes with “Via Francigena for all”
Walking the ancient pilgrim routes in Piedmont is, and increasingly will be, a sustainable tourism experience that takes you on a journey that, step by step, reveals a heritage of beauty, architecture, cultures, religions, and communities.
This is the goal of "Via Francigena for all", a project set up thanks to a ministerial tender of 1.6 million euros that aims to make one of the most historic trails in Piedmont more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities, in particular along the stretches in the Canavesano, Valle di Susa and neighbouring areas.
From the 7 Sacri Monti (Sacred Mountains), which this year celebrate twenty years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the Via Francigena and the Shroud, Romanesque, Waldensian or Jewish itineraries, up to the Cammino di Don Bosco route, Piedmont is rich in devotional sites that have close links to their geographical location and history. A strategic vision built on to create a very appealing cultural and tourist attraction, especially when combined with the essential values of sustainability, accessibility and inclusion.
The project leader is the Regione Piemonte (Piedmont Regional Authorities), through the Direzione regionale Coordinamento Politiche e Fondi Europei - Turismo e Sport (Regional Directorate for the Coordination of European Policies and Funds - Tourism and Sport), with partners Agenzia di promozione e di accoglienza turistica locale Turismo Torino e Provincia (Local agency for the promotion and reception of tourism in Turin and province) and Regione Ecclesiastica Piemonte (Piedmont Regional Ecclesiastic Authorities) with the Consulta Regionale per i beni ecclesiastici del Piemonte e Valle d’Aosta (Regional Council for the Ecclesiastical Heritage of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta) and the support of Visit Piemonte.
Bodies and associations that are part of the regional council for Accessible Tourism are also involved in the project, in particular the Unione Italiana Ciechi (Italian Union of the Blind), the Ente Nazionale Sordi (National Deaf Organisation) and regional offices of social and employment policy departments; as well as the Agenzia Piemonte Lavoro (Piedmont Employment Agency), the Club Alpino Italiano - Montagna Terapia (Italian Alpine Club - Mountain Therapy), local administrations and the Consulta per le Persone in Difficoltà (Council for People in Need).
Via Francigena for all will also support the Chiese a Porte Aperte (Open Churches) project, the only system in Italy for booking, opening and automated audio guides for cultural places via smartphone and QR Code, created by the Consulta per i Beni Culturali Ecclesiastici del Piemonte e della Valle d’Aosta (Council for Ecclesiastical Cultural Heritage of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta), with support from the main partner Fondazione CRT. Thanks to this collaboration, visitors will be able to access 20 sites of culture along the trail, 365 days a year, with the focus on improving both physical and, where possible, cognitive accessibility for all.