From Saint Francis Forest to Piandarca- the Project

A pedestrian and cycling route that connects Assisi, Santa Maria degli Angeli and Cannara

Specially tracked, reported and geo-referenced,
the route connects the Upper Basilica of Assisi, passing through the Bosco di San Francesco, to Piandarca and the Historic Path. The itinerary, of about 15 km, passing through Santa Maria degli Angeli, ideally joins Giotto’s pictorial representation of the Sermon of San Francesco to the birds, to the place that was the scene of the famous idyll.

The excellent ranking in the FAI contest ‘I Luoghi del Cuore’ (Places to love) – has allowed Piandarca to access the tender for the assignment of contributions to worthy projects that FAI promotes every two years to the results of each Census.

The project “From St. Francis Forest to Piandarca and the Preaching to the Birds” consists of the identification and creation of a georeferenced, plotted, and signposted cycling and walking route. It links the Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi – passing through St. Francis Forest (FAI property) – to Piandarca and the Historic Path, and is equipped with special signs and information totems with QR codes that, with a simple smartphone, allow visitors to connect with a portal dedicated to Piandarca receiving information on the itinerary and the place.
This nature itinerary reunites Giotto’s pictorial representation of the Preaching to the Birds to the place where the episode took place, passing through the enchanting landscapes of Assisi countryside.
Associated technical-practical solutions:
The identification of the site as a point of interest in common navigation systems; the marking of the main area with an element of high symbolic value and zero environmental impact, a TAU created through a diversified mix of vegetation and facing towards Assisi; the planting of indigenous trees and simple resting structures to recreate a symbolic and meditative space, the graphics of a Piandarca brand for the immediate and unambiguous identification of the place; the construction of a dedicated site.

The launch of the project was announced on a highly symbolic date 4 October 2016 –Feast of St. Francis – with a dedicated presentation held in Cannara at the Auditorium San Sebastiano, illustrated by Lawyer Fabrizio Gareggia, Mayor of Cannara, through a story made of images and sounds.
The Mayor then revealed the most symbolic element: the specially designed logo, which will make Piandarca instantly recognizable; it is an image of great beauty and significance inspired by the famous fresco by Giotto. ‘In addition to the quality and innovativeness of the elements illustrated, the great value of the project lies in the support of the subjects we have involved for their prestige and their natural vocation to share its universal content. A synergy that we strongly wanted, because sharing and collaboration are the elements that can give strength to a project’.

Among the participants in the presentation of the project, Nives Maria Tei Coaccioli, President of FAI Umbria and, representing Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, Alberto Baldelli, Retail Area Director of Perugia.
During the beautiful evening, the arrival of Fr. Mauro Gambetti, Custos of the Sacred Convent of Assisi, was very welcome, there was a joyful exchange of gifts between the Mayor of Cannara, and the Custos of the Convent of Capuchins of Monterosso, Fr. Renato Brenz Versa, accompanied for the occasion by the Mayor of Monterosso, Emanuele Moggia.

Places of the Heart - FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano)

Despite the high historical, spiritual, cultural, naturalistic value and the universality of the message it expresses, Piandarca has not received adequate protection over time and its integrity has been repeatedly put at risk.

Its strong roots in the popular heart, however, have prevented such dangers through the work of a Committee set up for its protection which has, among other things, promoted participation in the 7th edition of ‘I Places of the Heart’. the census of Italian places promoted by the FAI in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo – in which Piandarca ranked 10th, with 22,888 reports collected and with the support of the Municipality of Cannara, the Parish of Saints Matteo Apostolo and Giovanni Battista, ‘SFO local and regional, of the Pro Loco, of numerous volunteers.

An important milestone that has allowed Piandarca to return to shine with a new light thanks to the FAI and its work of recovering forgotten places, but live in the hearts of Italians.