All Roads Lead to Rome: The Via Francigena Pilgrim Trail

Slow tourism is gaining popularity all over the world. Where once we hurried to get from place to place, now we realize that it is the journey that matters.

The popularity of pilgrimages in the past 20 years is part of this reverse swing in travel.

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, writers such as Emerson considered walking in the open air, away from the corruption and decadence of the city a ‘valued ideal’. And it remains that way today.

A slower tempo, whether it is for a temporary escape from the pressures of life or for deep personal reflection, renewal and growth, has become a common denominator with slow travelers on the pilgrimage route.

If the idea of meandering through ochre-coloured fields, passing medieval ruins, farmhouses and miles and miles of verdant green vineyards piques your interest, then the Via Francigena walk may be worth considering on your next trip to Italy.

The Via Francigena officially became a European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1994 (in the same way that the Camino de Santiago was in 1987), and another group with local government and European Union funding, the European Association of Via Francigena (AEVF), was set up in 2001 to help promote development of the route.

The 1180 mile-long route runs through dramatic landscapes and passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. The Italian Via Francigena begins at the Grand-St-Bernard Pass, and continues through the majestic Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and down to Lazio and finally Rome.

It is one of three key spiritual trails of Europe that has been utilized since medieval times. The most famous of these trails leads to Santiago de Compostela (in the North of Spain), the Via Francigena leads to Rome, and the third pilgrimage was to the holy city of Jerusalem.

You can decide how you would like to do the pilgrimage. Some travelers spend three months covering the entire distance, many others just walk a few days, enjoying key sections (such as Tuscany). There is a plethora of options as far as accommodation goes, and no hurry to complete the walk. Some pilgrims march through the villages, whilst others enjoy a slower pace, staying at fine boutique hotels and making the most of the chance to absorb the cultural beauty of each spot and taste the regional cuisine

Did you know that the team at Hello Italy Tours can design a package for you? Our team of experts specialize in one thing, Italian travel. We can book your accommodation, and even organize a private guide to walk with you and explain the fascinating history of this ancient route.

Find out more here >>> Amazing Tuscany Walking Tour