Santiago de Compostela. The Red Hall in Pazo de Raxoi, which houses Compostela City Council. Well over twenty persons from Galicia, Italy and Norway. European Cultural Itineraries is backing the event, which in fact marks the beginning of a programme called Certo, with the objective of jointly promoting three routes: the Way of St. James, the Route of St. Olav in Norway and the Via Francigena between England and Rome. I’m expecting merely a ceremonial occasion but it turns into a meeting between old and new acquaintances, with the mayor giving a small but well prepared and very astute talk (looking after number one, i.e. the Way of St. James, with praiseworthy subtlety and firmness) and laughing, a lot of laughing. The people feel so at ease that nobody is in a hurry, they drag their feet, they go out onto the balconies to get of view of Plaza del Obradoiro, they follow the Incolsa staff into the green hall, then into the tiny council chamber, they wander down the stairway and go out at last to admire the view again in front of the cathedral.
The Certo project actually combines five entities from four countries, with the common objective of promoting the aforementioned European Cultural Itineraries. The participating entities are: Santiago City Council, Routes of Europe (Parma), European Association of the Via Francigena (Fidenza), the National Pilgrimage Centre of the Route of St. Olav (Trondheim) and the European Institute of Cultural Itineraries (Luxemburg). They plan, in their own words, to organise “press trip to familiarise journalists with the different routes, joint presence at fairs and different tourism forums for professionals, presentations in the destinations, programs for sharing experiences and knowledge, exchange of spaces in the respective webs of the project’s participants.”