Via Francigena

Various Via Francigena signposts in Italy
Sign showing the path near Ivrea, Piedmont, Italy.
Map of the Via Francigena
The Via Francigena – in France given the Grande Randonnée route number GR145 – crossing the Massif de Saint Thierry, Champagne.
Pilgrims to Rome carved in a relief, Fidenza Cathedral (late twelfth century)
Via Francigena upon the Daunian Mountains; the hill in the background was the site of Crepacore castle.
Pilgrims' accommodation building in Cassio, Parma, Italy
Pilgrims bound for Rome depart Canterbury Cathedral from the Christ Church Gate
Canterbury Cathedral, the starting point of the Via Francigena.
Crossroads of the Via Francigena (designated in France as the Grande Randonnée route GR145) and the GR654 in the département of Marne, northern France.
The Great St. Bernard Pass in high summer.
Column built by the Compagnia di Sigerico at Soprarivo, Calendasco. An identical one stands in the village of Corte Sant'Andrea, Lombardy.
Sigeric's station no. XXX in Aulla, Tuscany.
The Cisa Pass between Tuscany & Emilia-Romagna.
Mediaeval Italian manuscript depicting the Castle of Tentennano on the Via Francigena.
St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City in Rome holds one of the destinations of the pilgrimage, the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle.
Via Francigena along Southern Apennines, near Ariano Irpino, on the final route connecting Rome and the Apulian ports of embarkation for the Holy Land.
A steep section of the Via Francigena in Settimo Vittone, Piedmont.

Ancient road and pilgrimage route running from the cathedral city of Canterbury in England, through France and Switzerland, to Rome and then to Apulia, Italy, where there were ports of embarkation for the Holy Land.

- Via Francigena

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Town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Turin in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy.

The castle (14th century).
The Cathedral of Ivrea.
Unknown painter, second half of 15th century, A Miracle of the Blessed Pierre de Luxembourg (Cathedral).
A scene from the "Battle of the Oranges".

Situated on the road leading to the Aosta Valley (part of the medieval Via Francigena), it straddles the Dora Baltea and is regarded as the centre of the Canavese area.


Principal city of Aosta Valley, a bilingual region in the Italian Alps, 110 km north-northwest of Turin.

Arches of the Roman Theatre.
Porta Prætoria.
The gonfalon of Aosta/Aoste in the salon ducal of the Hôtel-de-Ville.
Tour du Lépreux.
Arch of Augustus.
Aosta Cathedral.

Under his son, Charlemagne, Aosta acquired importance as a post on the Via Francigena, leading from Aachen to Italy.

Camino de Santiago

Network of pilgrims' ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried.

Map of the Way of St James in Europe
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
The reliquary of Saint James in the Cathedral of Santiago
Roman bridge with 19 arches over the river Órbigo. The bridge has been integrated into the modern Camino Frances
St James's shell, a symbol of the route, on a wall in León, Spain
A stylised scallop shell, the modern sign post of the Way
A marker in the pavement indicates the route of the Way of St James through Navarrete, La Rioja, Spain
St James pilgrim accessories
Saint James with his pilgrim's staff. The hat is typical, but he often wears his emblem, the scallop shell, on the front brim of the hat or elsewhere on his clothes
Early 18th century facade of the San Marcos Monastery in Leon, which provided care for pilgrims over many centuries
Way of St James pilgrims (1568)
St James the Moor Slayer (Carrión de los Condes)
A modern post marking the Way
A Camino milestone by St Leonard's church, Wojnicz, Poland
Early photo of Roncesvalles
A boardwalk on the Portuguese coastal Way: Coastal sand dunes of Póvoa de Varzim
Monastery of San Xuliàn de Samos, which provides shelter for pilgrims
St. James pilgrim passport stamps in Spain for the Camino Frances
St. James pilgrim passport stamps in France on the Via Turonensis (Tours route) for the Chemin de St. Jacques de Compostelle. The World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France lists the major French towns with stamps
A Compostela from 2007
Monument to pilgrims in Burgos
A pilgrims hostel in Mansilla de las Mulas
A pilgrim on the barren and impressive meseta, which offers a long and challenging walk
A pilgrim near San Juan de Ortega
View on el Camino del Norte. San Sebastián, playa de la Concha
Sea view on el Camino del Norte, approaching Onton
A pilgrim along the norther route of the Camino de Santiago

But it was only after the capture of Granada in 1492, under the reign of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, that Pope Alexander VI officially declared the Camino de Santiago to be one of the "three great pilgrimages of Christendom", along with Jerusalem and Rome.


City and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio River, in a fertile plain near the Ligurian Sea.

Lucca Cathedral
Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and the Basilica of San Frediano
Palazzo Pfanner, garden view
Palazzo Ducale
A stretch of the walls
Via Fillungo view from the Clock Tower
Autumn atop bastions
View of Lucca from the Clock Tower
The courtyard of Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
Teatro del Giglio
Puccini's statue on Piazza Cittadella created by Vito Tongiani
San Michele in Foro
San Michele at Antraccoli
Guinigi Tower

Thanks above all to the Holy Face and to the relics of important saints, such as San Regolo and Saint Fridianus, the city was one of the main destinations of the Via Francigena, the major pilgrimage route to Rome from the north.


Commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in eastern France near the Swiss border.

Triumphal arch of the Porte Saint-Pierre

Pontarlier is one of the staging posts from northern France, Britain and the Benelux countries for the Via Francigena, now a walking route to Rome with a starting point in Canterbury, England.

San Gimignano

Small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy.

The central Piazza della Cisterna
Towers in San Gimignano
Torre Grossa
Torre Rognosa
The Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale) nearby the Duomo

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance era, it was a stopping point for Catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome and the Vatican, as it sits on the medieval Via Francigena.



Thornthwaite climate classification of Tuscany
Cinerary urns of the Villanovan culture
The Chimera of Arezzo, Etruscan bronze, 400 BC
Battle of Montaperti, 1260
Primavera (1482) by Botticelli
Hanging and burning of Girolamo Savonarola in Piazza della Signoria in Florence 1498 - Painting depicting Renaissance Florence
Map of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Memorial to the victims of the Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre, in which 560 locals were murdered by Nazi Germans and Italian Fascists in 1944
Michelangelo's David
A painting from the Sienese School by Pietro Lorenzetti
Giacomo Puccini
Tuscan poet and literary figure Petrarch
An assortment of Tuscan foods: various wine and cheese, and different sorts of salamis and hams
Vineyards in the Chianti region
The Via de' Tornabuoni in Florence, the city's top fashion and shopping street, contains some of the world's most luxurious clothing and jewelry houses, such as Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci, Versace and Bulgari
Sunflower field near Castiglione della Pescaia, Maremma
Tuscan landscape near Barga between the Apuan Alps and the Apennine Mountains
Lake Massaciuccoli
A view of the Chianti countryside
Balze di Volterra
Fallow deer in the Padule di Bolgheri
Arno river in Casentino
Hilly landscape in Val d'Orcia
Guido of Arezzo
A page from Fibonacci's Liber Abaci (1202)
Battle of Giglio (1241)
Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy
Leonardo da Vinci
Lorenzo de' Medici
Niccolò Machiavelli, author of The Prince
Amerigo Vespucci
Cosimo I de' Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany
Galileo Galilei
Pinocchio, created by Carlo Collodi (1883)
An Italian partisan in Florence (1944)
San Gimignano
Monte Argentario
Maremma Regional Park
Michelangelo's David

Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period.


Commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.

The centre of Thérouanne

Therouanne lies on the Via Francigena.


Town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, central Italy.

Siege of Poggiobonizio by Charles I of Anjou.
The Basilica of San Lucchese.

The importance of the area dates from the 10th century, thanks to its position across the Via Francigena, the main road from Rome to France.

Sigeric (archbishop)

The Archbishop of Canterbury from 990 to 994.

Sigeric made the pilgrimage to Rome following the Via Francigena to receive his pallium in 990, and a contemporary record of this journey still exists.