Via Francigena: all roads lead to Rome — part 1

Feb 23, 2019 669

BY: Andrea Angelini

The great German writer of the Age of the Enlightenment, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, once said: “Europe was born on pilgrimage, and its language is Christianity”. That is very true, as European identity and its cultural heritage enjoyed its greatest rise in the Middle Ages, when the Via Francigena, together with the routes towards the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela, was one of the three “Peregrinationes maiores”.

This historical itinerary starts from Canterbury, in southern England, all the way to Rome, running through France (hence the name Francigena) and Switzerland, crossing sea, mountains, lakes, spiritual places and magnificent medieval cities, some of which, like Lucca or Siena, became strategically important thanks to the pilgrim trail.

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