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Via Francigena, past and present for pilgrims and tourists

The path of the Via Francigena is an important cultural itinerary that connects Canterbury and Rome and continues to excite those who travel across the limestone traces left over the centuries through the unspoiled landscape, taking in historical and artistic beauties along the way.

This historical European route that crosses Tuscany represents a unique opportunity to discover almost 400 km (divided into 16 stages) of the ancient route once travelled by pilgrims, merchants and travellers, through forests, hills and medieval villages, all the while encountering intriguing history, art, food and wine.

A journey along the Francigena reveals an incredible beauty, from the north to the south of Tuscany. From the wooded Lunigiana, which contains treasures such as Pontremoli, villages, parish churches and castles, up to Pietrasanta, and then descends to the valley as far as Lucca, go up from San Miniato and cross the hills until you see the towers of San Gimignano, pass Monteriggioni, enter Siena and then continue to the Amiata and Val D’Orcia, going up to Radicofani.

Let’s discover some of the historical background. In 990, Sigerico, the Archbishop of Canterbury, went to Rome to receive the pallium – symbol of the pastoral mission – from the hands of the Pope. On the way back, he noted the stops of the journey in a travel diary thanks to which it was possible to reconstruct the route. However, the Lombards had formerly plotted the route in the 6th century as they crossed the Cisa pass, tracing a safe route to reach the historic seaport of Luni and Tuscia. Over the years, monuments and artistic treasures enriched the main points of a path that was able to link the Mediterranean area with the North Sea, thus contributing to the flourishing of European trade.

Today, the Francigena represents a wonderful journey (secular or spiritual) that is enriching as you encounter nature, culture and tradition treated with a conscious and respectful tourism.

SOURCE: visittuscany.com