Via Francigena

The Via Francigena, which means "the road that comes from France," was in existence as early as the 10th century, when Catholic converts from the northern outskirts of the Holy Roman Empire began embarking on long pilgrimages to reach the tombs of St. Paul and St. Peter in Rome. The word “Francigena” literally means “the road that comes from France.” Today it extends from Canterbury in England through France and to Apulia in the south of Italy, by way of Rome.

The Walk of St. Francis, Central Italy

Today, the “Cammino di San Francesco” (St. Francis’s walk) connects more than 20 landmarks, including Assisi, Perugia and Gubbio. Although popular among Italian Catholics, this route is not as famous as other European pilgrimages, leaving foreign visitors with room to enjoy a quiet and peaceful trek.

St. Benedict's Path

Over the years, this road, which connects sites connected to the life of St. Benedict, increased in popularity with Catholics, as pilgrimages could combine visits to locations related to other beloved saints, such as the town of Cascia, where St. Rita lived, and Roccasecca, the birthplace of St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Anthony’s Walk

In the month of June of 1231, Portuguese-born St. Anthony felt that he was approaching his death and asked to be carried aboard an oxen-led carriage from the town of Camposampiero, near Milan, to the convent he founded in Padua. Since then, pilgrims have walked along the same path to honor the memory of the beloved saint

St. Augustine’s Walk

The Way of St. Augustine connects three locations that played a key role in the life of the 4th-century saint, including Cassago Brianza (formerly known as Rus Cassiciacum), where Augustine converted to Christianity; Milan, where he was baptized; and Pavia, where his remains are currently preserved.