A “pretty rich” in culture awaits in Fucecchio. Pilgrims walking on Via Romea Strata

It will be a “rich dish” that pilgrims traveling on the path of faith and culture’s Romea Strata will find in Fucecchio. Arriving from San Baronto (PT), pilgrims arrive in the city of Florence on June 10, after a 26-kilometer hike, stopping to discover Vinci and Cerreto Guidi accompanied by the Francigena Padule Romea Association, with President Piero Giotti.

“Rich right” in the literal sense of the word because they will be able to enjoy dinner at Poggio Salamartano thanks to the volunteers in the collegiate parish. But also a “rich dish” in the metaphorical sense, because the welcome will be marked by an important cultural moment. It begins at 6 pm with the inauguration, in the Palazzo delle Arti, of the photo exhibition “Light – Places of Spirituality on Via Romea Strata”, by photographer Loretta Doro, with installations by the visual artist Gino Vanz.

The ribbon is cut by don Andrea Cristiani, parish priest of the Collegiata, Alessio Spinelli, mayor of Fucecchio, Daniele Cei, cultural councilor of Fucecchio, leader of the municipalities of Romea Strata in Tuscany, don Raimondo Sinibaldi, president of Homo Viator-San Teobaldo Foundation of Vicenza, manages the Romea Strata project, as well as the president of the Romea Strata European Association (AERS), which promoted the Pilgrimage Promotion Tour 2022 (PPT) initiative, which also includes the Fucecchio event.

“We wanted to emphasize the Fucecchio scene a lot because this is where Via Romea Strata joins Via Francigena. Fucecchio has played an important role as a crossroads since the early Middle Ages thanks to its barycentric position in the center of waterways (Padule, Usciana river, Arno) and land routes – explains Commissioner Cei – it has therefore always been a place of great strategic interest, which is why, as a municipality, we have invest in tourism linked to the trails.The passage of PPT is a way to focus on a village rich in culture, but also of expertise in the fashion sector and local food and wine products, a straightforward and genuine place for those looking for a Tuscany that has not yet been discovered, for this reason

“For all these reasons, Fucecchio has decided to come together for this event: I would like to thank Exploring Fucecchio for the welcome, the Francigena Padule Romea Association, which will accompany the pilgrims, CAI, who will be the protagonist of the last stretch of the journey from Cerreto Drive. to Fucecchio, and finally Asd Equilis and Pro Loco “.

“A Tuscany made up of churches, parish churches, ancient monasteries, museums … and of a nature that is still unspoiled in some areas, I think of Padule, the largest inland freshwater swamp on the Italian peninsula,” adds Don Sinibaldi. But also a Tuscany rich in figures of high spiritual significance such as San Giacomo, whose relic is kept in Pistoia and where our pilgrims have been through the last few days. Tracing in the footsteps of the ancient pilgrims therefore also means rediscovering areas that are not much visited by traditional tourism.

“And let’s not forget that those who travel in Romea Strata, Tuscany during the Christmas period, can also enjoy the beauty of the Christmas cribs set up along the way,” said Fabrizio Mandorlini, spokesman for the Terre di Presepi network, which works with Homo Viator-San Teobaldo Foundation in Vicenza and with AERS for the discovery and enhancement of crib artifacts made along this ancient road.

After the inauguration of the exhibition, pilgrims will be guided on a visit to the diocesan museum (director Vanni Desideri), the Bassi-Montanelli Foundation (Alberto Malvolti) and the Collegiate Church (Don Andrea Cristiani). At sunset, they are escorted to the top of the Torre di Mezzo, where they can admire the view during an aperitif offered by the Exploring Fucecchio tourist association, which also takes care of the hospitality of pilgrims. After dinner, flag swingers and musicians from Contrada Sant’Andrea will perform on behalf of the Palio di Fucecchio, one of the most popular and followed regional historical events.

Romea Strata is not just an Italian wealth, but a heritage common to seven European states: it crosses Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy. The Pilgrimage Promotion Tour, divided into three editions, was born to rediscover and improve the entire route of about 4,000 kilometers. This year on Italian territory is the second edition. In 2021, the road from Krakow, in Poland, to Aquileia was traveled; in 2023 it will depart from Tallinn (Estonia) to arrive in Krakow.

Thanks to those who have contributed to the organization: Exploring Fucecchio, Pro Loco Fucecchio, Cai Valdarno Inferiore, Francigena Padule Romea, Asd Equilis, Francigena, Terre di Presepi, National Association of the City of Nativity scenes, Parish of the Collegiate with its volunteers .

The walk and dinner at Poggio Salamartano will be open to anyone wishing to attend, by registering at “Exploring Fucecchio”: 348.8284785.

To the media: Romina Gobbo: 379.1856007; email: communication@romeastrata.it

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