The history of this trail dates back to the
days of Julius Caesar when all roads led to Rome.
Troops of the Roman Empire marched on a stone-paved,
carefully engineered military road
leading from northern Italy to Rome.
Later, when the empire declined, the path deteriorated,
stones disappeared and during the dark ages the the road
was used only by merchants and itinerant clerics brave
enough to risk bandits and and local violence. However, about
the year 1000AD, new life was brought to the trail by a
mass phenomenon of religious pilgrimage. For the next four
centuries believers from all over Europe journeyed on foot to St Peter’s
in Rome and knights were given the task of assuring safe
tales are told of Robin-Hood type characters protecting
wayfarers and of miracles happening en route. However,
the 1500’s, pilgrimage fell out of fashion and once again the footpath to Rome was forgotten.
It was only in
2009 that the
Italian government, to promote eco-tourism,
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 although, 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 from Formello to Monte Mario in Rome to avoid Rome's traffic).
Accommodation: is in three and four star
comfortable inns chosen for their location, comfort
Level of Difficulty: The terrain
is varied through pretty farmland, forests, national parks and
small towns. There are sometimes hills when entering
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.
- Exploring lovely Orvieto.
- Staying in a
lakeside hotel at Bolsena and taking an
evening stroll on the promenade.
- Enjoying Italian food and
- Learning about
- Admiring frescoes
by great Italian artists.
- Dipping feet
in therapeutic hot pools once frequented by
- Celebrating the
finish at a roof-top restaurant overlooking
the eternal city of Rome.
Our meeting point: Orvieto
End of Tour: Rome.