The history of this trail dates back to the
days of Julius Caesar when Roman troops marched on a stone-paved military road
leading from northern Italy to Rome.
Later, when the empire declined, the path deteriorated
and during the dark ages it
was used only by merchants and itinerant clerics brave
enough to risk bandits. One of these was Archbishop Sigeric
who, in 990AD, travelled to Rome and kept a detailed
travel diary. Then, about 1000AD, a
mass phenomenon of religious pilgrimage brought new life
to the trail using Sigeric's map. For the next four
centuries pilgrims journeyed on foot to St Peter’s
in Rome and
tales are told of miracles happening en route. However,
the 1500’s, pilgrimage fell out of fashion and the footpath to Rome was forgotten.
It was only in
2009 that the
Italian government, to promote eco-tourism and compete
with the Spanish Camino,
restored the ancient trail. Way-markers now direct
walkers through some of Italy’s loveliest countryside
and through towns that have changed little
since medieval times.
In theory, the Via Francigena starts in Canterbury England and ends in
Rome so to cover the entire route would take months. We
walk only the final 130 km. We have two
experienced guides so each day there is a choice of doing an
easy walk at a relaxed pace or a longer, more challenging distance.
A support bus is available for assistance if needed. Walking this historic route does wonders for body, mind and spirit but
our walks have no religious focus. For those who wish, a "Testimonium" certificate is
available at St Peter's for anyone who walks the
last 100 km (it is permissible to travel by bus when
entering Rome to avoid city traffic).
Accommodation: is in
comfortable inns chosen for their location and comfort. One
is a restored 15th century convent which is now an
atmospheric 4 star hotel.
Level of Difficulty: The terrain
is varied through rolling farmland, forests, national parks and
small towns. Our support bus follows and is
available at various junctions along the way.
|Some of the
- Arriving at the
spectacular St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
- Taking an
evening stroll on Bolsena's lakeside promenade.
- Enjoying Italian food and
- Learning about
- Dipping feet
in therapeutic hot pools.
- Celebrating the
finish at a roof-top restaurant overlooking
the eternal city of Rome.
- Walking through
beautiful Tuscan scenery
- Overnight in a
restored 15th century convent (now a 4 star
Our meeting point: Siena
End of Tour: Rome.