The first ever Journeys of the Spirit Festival kicked off outside of Rome to great fanfare. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Vicar of Rome, formally opened the festival.
The goal of JOSP Fest is to promote pilgrimages, by allowing visitors to live and experience them through art and technology.
An entire pavilion was dedicated to the pilgrimage route connecting Santiago de Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem. Each city had exhibits to further attract visitors, including this 3-D movie of the Holy Land, or this exhibit of Roman legionary armor.
Another pavilion was dedicated to travel agencies or government organizations who want to promote tourism and pilgrimage trips to countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Although this is the first year of the festival, organizers are hoping more will follow, and that this year will leave behind an infrastructure for future events. Organizers expect approximately 40,000 visitors throughout the four day festival.