The Via Francigena in Italy

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Via Francigena in Italy

The Via Francigena or the Camino to Rome is an ancient Camino trail that takes pilgrims on an epic journey from Canterbury, England; across the channel to France and through Switzerland before crossing Italy on their way to Rome. Like the Camino de Santiago, this is a historic medieval route and pilgrimage walked for centuries.

In medieval times, the Via Francigena was an important road for pilgrims heading south to Rome. The road connected Abbeys and monasteries, on the path to the Holy City of Rome.

This route takes walkers through some of the most stunning regions in Europe, such as Kent and the Dover cliffs, the Great War battlefields of Northern France, the Champagne region, Lake Geneva and the mighty Alps, the Apennines, lush Umbria, the picturesque hills of Tuscany and finally Rome, the eternal city.

The most popular trails to start your journey with are the Via Francigena in Tuscany, or we created a specific Cycling section of the Via Francigena, and the Last section of the Via Francigena into Rome – the last 100km in one week.

This stunning Pilgrimage to Rome was named European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in 1994. Read more Francigena articles on our blog.

Highlights and must-see on the Via Francigena

The Route in Italy crosses some of the best landscapes in Europe. Here are some of the must-see along the Via Francigena:

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Want to bring your family on the Via Francigena in Tuscany? Have a look at our Via Francigena Family Holidays below.

When to go on the Via Francigena

Although you can travel year-round on the Via Francigena, we recommend Spring and fall. Tuscany and Lazio can be wet in winter and hot in Summer. We have catered to people in the summer months, and if you are able to cope with 30degrees on average, you will be totally fine.

What to Bring on the Via Francigena

The Via Francigena is not different from any Caminos. Download our free Packing ebook here

Via Francigena Route description

Love is in the air this week and what better way to celebrate than by rambling through the land that practically invented romance? Become doe-eyed in the home of Chianti, lose yourselves along Tuscan hills or become the stars of your very own Renaissance painting. For a romantic getaway with a difference look no further than the Camino to Rome.

San Miniato to Siena

What better way to uncover beautiful Tuscany than on foot? Rove across rolling green hills and lush vineyards, marvel at medieval architecture. On this section of the Via Francigena walking from San Miniato to Siena, there is a new treasure to be discovered each day with world-class Italian cuisine to fuel your journey. This is a hiking holiday to suit everybody’s needs with relatively short distances and little elevation to allow you to take your time and enjoy every moment just like an Italian!

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Viterbo to Rome

The final section of the Via Francigena from Viterbo to Rome, takes you ambling through the idyllic Lazio countryside and down Roman paths, across bountiful orchards of orange and lemon and lush olive groves on your way to one of the most iconic cities on the planet. Lose yourself in the streets of Viterbo and Sutriand be transported back in time through the many historical sites en route. You’ll finish your week’s walking in the eternal city, tucking in to the world’s best pizza washed down with a glass of Chianti.

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Lucca to Siena cycling

Perfect for lounging lovers looking for a relaxing cycling trip, we recommend an easy 8-day cycle from Lucca to Siena. The tour includes 6 cycling days, covering between 14km and 27kms per day. This tour is suitable for all levels. You will have plenty of time to explore historic towns and villages along the way and enjoy a leisurely lunch break.

Includes: standard packages include half-board accommodation in selected properties, luggage transfers and a holiday pack with walking notes, maps and practical information.

History of the Via Francigena in Italy

At the end of the 10th century Sigeric the Serious, the Archbishop of Canterbury, followed the Via Francigena to travel to and from Rome to be consecrated by the Pope.

He recorded his route and his stops on the return journey, but nothing in the document suggests that the route was then new. In 1985 the Italian archaeologist of roads, Giovanni Caselli, retraced the itinerary as described by Archbishop Sigeric and this is the itinerary our route follows at Camino Ways.

The Via Francigena was not a single road, like a Roman road, paved with stone blocks and provided at intervals with a change of horses for official travellers.

Instead, it comprised several possible routes that changed over the centuries as trade and pilgrimage developed and waned. The Lombards financed the maintenance and defence of the sections of road through their territories as a trading route to the north from Rome, avoiding enemy-held cities such as Florence. Unlike Roman roads, the Via Francigena did not connect cities, but abbeys instead.

More information on the Vie francigene official website.