The Via Francigena is the ancient route from the Middle Ages that united the north and the south of Europe.
It was followed, in turn, by pilgrims, merchants, knights, and popes at the end of the Middle Ages. The Via Francigena stretched for 2,300 kilometers passing through Switzerland, France, Spain, along with parts of Italy. Throughout its history, it has been used by different types of travelers. The Via Francigena rediscovered in the 20th century thanks to cycle tourism, and now also pilgrimages are organized following this ancient route.
Even before the year, a thousand people walked these routes in destination to the eternal city. They were pilgrims from different continent directions who converged on the main road from Canterbury, on what was called the Pilgrim’s Way.
The route crossed the Frankish Kingdom from the British island, crossing Picardy and Champagne, through Reims and Clairvaux Abbey.
Going south, it collected travelers from the Iberian Peninsula to the west or from holland and central Europe.
The Alps represented a barrier to overcome, passing from Lausanne to the Rhône to the Colle del Gran San Bernardo.
The descent along the Aosta Valley continues along the Po River banks in the plains of northern Italy.
The Via Francigena crosses Vercelli, Pavia, and Piacenza, but once in Fidenza begins the Apennine hills’ ascent to the south.
Once you arrive at the top, at the Cisa pass, you begin to descend through the Magra valley towards the beaches of Versilia.
The route runs along the coast a few kilometers inland and begins the Tuscan section of the Via Francigena.
You cross the rich territory of Lucca, San Gimignano with its towers, of Siena on its hills. Centuries of pilgrims and history have crossed these paths that wind through the woods’ natural landscapes to the medieval villages of the cities.
Where the Tuscan Maremma ends begins the Lazio one. This path, documented by Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, as early as 990, is approaching its goal. Rome is now only 200 kilometers away.
To get there, you pass by Lake Bolsena; then, through the Roman Via Cassia, you arrive in Viterbo. As you approach Rome, the route is enriched with churches, churches, monasteries.
The arrival at the center of Christianity represents the physical journey destination but often the departure for a rich and intense inner path.
The Via Francigena is an opportunity to be seized to question yourself and test yourself in every sense.
In any case, it is a road that is worth taking to discover many things about your country and yourself.
In this introduction, I wanted to introduce you to the Way’s general climate to immerse yourself in centuries of history and kilometers. If this route attracts you and you would like to document yourself better, there are many things to delve into, from the history of this pilgrimage to the difficulties and length of its stages.
But here, we want to take into account above all the Tuscan stretch of the Via Francigena. If you’re not used to these walks, pairing a punta ala vacation with a few stops of this experience might be a way to get closer to this world.