The Via Francigena
Certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" in 1994
In 990ad Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, travelled to Rome to meet Pope John XV and receive the investiture pallium. Along theway, he recordedt he 79 stages of the journey in his dairy. Thanks to this document, it has been possible to reconstitute the then shortest route between Canterbury and Rome, which can now be followed by all travellers.
When travelling on the via Frandgena, we realise that the pilgrim way has influenced the fabric of the villages. The route often runs along the main street and is bordered by the most important churches and the most beautiful buildings. Archaeological sites and religious buildings abound on the Via Francigena and, most importantly, many of the masterpieces of Romanesque architecture stand beside the route, which goes to show its importance for religious and artistic development in medieval times.
Travellers can rediscover this 1800 km journey through England, France, Switzerland and Italy along the paths followed by the pilgrims, en route to Rome, and then onward to Jerusalem or to Santiago de Compostela. This route is a way of rediscovering the land, the history and the people at the slow pace, allowing contemplation, of those who travel on foot. A rhythm that gives the modern pilgrim a better understanding of the landscape, of history and of the nations of the past and present.
Council of Europe values
The Via Francigena was a communication path which contributed to the cultural unity of Europe in the Middle Ages. Today, the Via Francigena is considered as a bridge between the cultures of Anglo-Saxon Europe and Latin Europe. In this respect, the pilgrim trail has become a metaphor for a journey to rediscover Europe's roots and to reencounter and understand the different cultures that build ou common identity.