September 28th, 2015
Enjoy A ‘Go Slow’ At Italy’s First Dedicated Sustainable Tourism Festival
Head to the green heart of Tuscany over the weekend of October 9-11, reconnect with nature and take advantage of an array of activities sprinkled throughout the programme of the inaugural sustainable tourism festival, Slow Travel Fest (www.slowtravelfest.it)
Three brilliant days of uplifting and breathtaking excursions on foot and by bicycle, inspiring talks, art, music, cinema and nature activities for all the family will make this a great last-minute break in and around the medieval hamlet of Monteriggioni, near Siena, for those wishing to relax, reconnect with nature, or feel spiritually enriched by new and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Activities will be staged both in Monteriggioni and along what is often regarded as the most stunning Tuscan stretch of the ancient pilgrim route, the Via Francigena.
Italy’s only festival dedicated solely to slow travel, and all the events staged within it, are offered completely free-of-charge. There is something for everyone, whether they enjoy walking, cycling or capturing incredible scenery on camera, or are young minds wishing to get involved with nature activities, or stroking and having rides on some truly loveable donkeys.
Others who enjoy faith tourism can walk to inspiring abbeys and places of worship – the Via Francigena being a historic route that was based around religious stop-offs for pilgrims walking between Canterbury and Rome. Those who simply love al fresco music, cinema and theatre can relax, soak in the atmosphere of Monteriggioni’s historic centre and enjoy life at a slower pace, over a glass of local Tuscan wine.
Slow Travel Fest highlights include learning the art of Nordic Walking from an expert instructor, seeing live sketching, inspired by the Via Francigena, projected onto the ancient walls of the ancient hamlet of Abbadia a Isola, taking a Spiral Memory Walk with author Luca Gianotti to evoke memories of the Marsica earthquake of 100 years ago, listening to the eccentric circus-style swing music of Cammillocromo and experiencing a Dawn Walk to explore different ways of listening using silence, reading and meditation whilst walking.
For children, the best bits will probably be meeting the Montanari family’s donkeys, and enjoying walks, stories, nursery rhymes and performances based around these adorable animals, taking part in a thrilling treasure hunt around a castle circuit, and getting hands-on in an open-air workshop. In the latter they can explore nature using their sense of smell and touch, not to mention making music with natural materials, recreating fossils and learning how to recognise animal prints.
Those wishing to explore the spirituality of both the natural surroundings and the religious establishments dotted around the landscape, will relish an event focusing on the spiritual dimension of walking, both religious and secular, ahead of the Roman Catholic Jubilee Year, which starts on December 8 2015. Key speakers will place a unique focus on one of the most important pilgrims’ routes in the world, which is sure to see increased numbers of pilgrims during the 26th Jubilee, which was announced by Pope Francis earlier this year.
Visit www.slowtravelfest.it and choose the English translation of the website to get details of the full programme, places to stay and the ethos of this brand new sustainable tourism festival.
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 01253 891114 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
The Slow Travel Fest has been born out of the Festival della Viandanza which, over the last three years, has become a leading event for walkers. Alberto Conte, who organised the last three annual editions of the festival and is president of Movimento Lento, explains: ‘After three hugely successful festivals, the opportunity arose to bring the event to a wider audience, to create something for all those people who are passionate about slow travel – not only walkers, but cyclists, horse riders and those travelling by donkey too, as well as anyone travelling with environmentally sustainable transport. There are so many new things happening at this year’s festival: from the hikes and bike tours to nature-based events and from the commitment and involvement of companies and the local community to the central role given to the Via Francigena itself. The name we have chosen for this new festival experience is also highly significant, as it underlines the event’s international dimension and the kind of people it hopes to attract.’
The Slow Travel Fest is organised by Ciclica and Movimento Lento, with the support of the Regione Toscana, Toscana Promozione and the Comune di Monteriggioni. Main partners: the Touring Club Italiano, the Associazione Europea delle Vie Franciegene and SloWays. Partners: Edizioni dei Cammini, Ediciclo Editore, Terre di Mezzo, Terre Nuove Edizioni and Girolibero.
Info: www.slowtravelfest.it | email@example.com