Three days of meetings, excursions, art, music, film and nature: from 9 to 11 October, the medieval village of Monteriggioni (Siena) and the ancient Via Francigena which crosses it will become the setting for Slow Travel Fest, the festival in Italy entirely dedicated to the culture of slow travel. An event for all travelers, from children to experts, created to tell what it means to move in harmony with the land, on foot or by bicycle, and to rethink the space and the distances at low speed. The initiative, a natural evolution of the Viandanza Festival, which was held until last year always in Monteriggioni, will be completely free and organized by and Slow Movement in collaboration with the Tuscany Region, Tuscany Promotion and the City of Monteriggioni. Main partners will be: Italian Touring Club, SloWays and European Association of Via Francigena (

Spread of spaces within easy walking or cycling, including the picturesque abbey of Abbadia Isola, the festival offers every day a wide choice of excursions from the Tuscan town lead to the discovery of the Francigena, the route that in the Middle Ages was the main street of ‘union of Central Europe and Rome. Who loves the dawn will experience the deep walking, meditative walks accompanied by Luca Gianotti, editorial director of Editions of Ways and prominent name in view of the slow trip in Italy, and for fans of Nordic Walking, the style of walking son of skiing that involves the use of special sticks, have been designed with two sessions the swiss guide Catherine Frey. Also scheduled night-time tours and morning in the Siena hills with the environmental guides of associations and AGAT Species Tuscany, bike tours, walks with quiet moments and literary excursions to discover the pleasure of getting lost and find your way.

Rich is the program of meetings, of which the names of the geographer and hiker Franco Michieli, who after through land inaccessible without GPS, phone, maps, compass and clock, explain how not to know the way to be the best way to start a journey, Darinka Montico, the woman who has traveled Italy on foot and without a euro, accepting the hospitality of everyone he met, sleeping the 128 different beds and picking up the dreams of the people he met on the road, and Claude Marthaler, “ciclonauta” and writer – including the titles “Zen and the art of cycling” and “The Song of the wheels”, where record seven years pedaling around the world – that will bring to the festival his personal understanding of cycling along with the story of his last trip on two wheels in Central Asia. Will be offered, in view of the Jubilee called for this in December, also a reflection on the spiritual dimension of the way: Sergio Valzania, deputy director of Radio RAI and keen walker, will talk on the subject with Don Domenico Poeta, in charge of the archdiocese of Siena ‘s reception of pilgrims, and the traveler, photographer and therapist Italo Bertolasi.

Among the guests also the director Alfredo Covelli with his documentary “With real stars above my head,” recently screened at the Trento Film Festival, which narrates with extraordinary delicacy and irony an autobiographical: the choice, after a worsening of MS, of tackle the disease by walking over the Himalayas. There will be also Peter Scidurlo, paraplegic traveler and author of the guide “The Pilgrimage for all”, which will explain what it means to travel slowly for those who live disability, and Andrea Borchi, animator of the blog Bike Packing and creator of the mountain bike route Tuscany Trail, who will introduce the audience to the art to pack cycling. And again: Luca Gianotti will present “The spiral of memory”, the tale of a spiral route that winds among the countries that 100 years ago were most affected by the earthquake that shook the area of ​​Marsica, in Abruzzo, while writers Paul winds and Giancarlo Cotta Ramusino, authors respectively of “The Road to the Don” and “Return to Nikolajevka”, retracing the tracks of alpine returning from the campaign in Russia, one by bike, bus, train and hitchhiking , the other on foot.

Many activities for children and families: “Families in Travel”, the meeting with the writer Paul Ciampi dedicated to cycling as an opportunity not only to discover new landscapes, but also to deepen the relationship with their children, in days outdoors with walks, stories and rhymes in the company of the donkeys of the environmental guide Massimo Montanari. And yet, treasure hunts, shows traveling theater, circus performances on two wheels and open air workshops to learn how to make music with natural materials, recognize animal tracks and build a compass.

Space to photography with the exhibition “In Itinere” Ilaria Di Biagio, a project to tell the Francigena through images, capturing the faces and scenarios encountered along the way. Artist and photojournalist, with shots and travel notes Di Biagio offers a vision – which stems from a very personal biographical data – its path of 394 km along the way. Suspended landscapes, people walking and impressions of a moment that create a dreamy landscape and full of mystery, in the sign of sluggishness.

Slow Travel Fest also aims as a meeting dedicated to the operators who promote the culture of slow tourism, sustainable, quality and respectful of the territories. Within an exhibition specially prepared, tour operators, professionals, media and publishing houses will present their activities related to the “slow tourism”, a cultural and professional in recent years is rapidly growing and increasingly appreciated. In particular, the festival will host the “United General tourism along the Via Francigena”, a forum dedicated mainly to tour operators, public administrators and stakeholders interested in the development of the slow journey along the Via Francigena. An event organized in collaboration with the Italian Touring Club and the European Association of the Via Francigena, focused on the great opportunities for development of the route in the Jubilee Year organized from next December 2015.

The soundtrack of the festival will be given to sound every night different from jazz contaminated with Mediterranean influence of the pianist, singer and arranger Luigi Campoccia – a thirty-year career, half of which went to the side of Giorgio Gaber – who will present the new work called “The dream of Osman ” rhythms swing, Balkan melodies and 50’s and 60’s DJ sets female signed Coqò Djette upall ‘explosive “Circus swing orchestra” Camillocromo, eccentric training in Florence for years engaged in major festivals throughout Europe with several projects where music, theater, circus and fantasy meet in a creative territory without established borders.

“The Slow Travel Fest is the natural evolution of the Festival of Viandanza, which in three years has become a landmark event for travelers on foot – explains Alberto Conte, managing director of the previous editions and president of the Slow Movement – After three editions of great successfully it emerged an opportunity to engage a wider audience, turning to all the fans of the slow journey, not only on foot but also by bike, on horseback, with the donkeys, and sustainable means of transport. The innovations this year: from walking and cycling tours to events in nature, the commitment in the involvement of stakeholders and local communities to the central role of the Via Francigena. Very significant is also the name we have chosen for this new experience, which emphasizes both the international dimension of the event and the audience being addressed. “

Slow Travel and is organized by Slow Movement, in collaboration with the Tuscany Region, Tuscany Promotion and the City of Monteriggioni.Main partners: the Italian Touring Club, SloWays, European Association of the Via Francigena. Technical Partners: AGAT, AIGAE, Itineraria, Company of the Walk,, Girolibero, Trekking Italy. Media partners: Ediciclo Publisher, Publisher of the Walk, New Earth Publishing, Magazine BC, Radio Francigena, Sonar Live, Lungarno, The Florentine.


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