Rome to Canterbury on the Via Francigena
The Via Francigena has historically had several names over the centuries. The route was originally known as the Via di Monte Bardone which appears to have been the easiest route to travel to or from Rome over the Appenines. As more and more pilgrims headed to Rome, the name changed. According to Wikipedia, ‘the route passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy [and was thus] known in Italy as the "Via Francigena" ("the road that comes from France") or the "Via Romea Francigena" ("the road to Rome that comes from France"). In medieval times, it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the Pope and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.’ Via Francigena was ‘first mentioned in the Actum Clusio, a parchment of 876 in the Abbey of San Salvatore at Monte Amiata (Tuscany).'
The Via Francigena is an ~1,200 mile medieval pilgrim route that starts in Canterbury England, crosses the English Channel at Dover to Calais, France, treks across northern France, over the Swiss Alps at St. Bernard’s Pass and ends in Rome. In 990 AD, Sigeric, the Archbishop of Canterbury, also known as Sigeric the Serious, traveled the route to be ordained by Pope John XV. On his return, he kept a journal for future pilgrims, detailing the walking route and noting all the stopping places. The route has changed over the years, but his journal is still considered the most authoritative guide to the walk. The route is well-marked, and there are hotels, hostels or sanctuaries along the entire route. It sounds like a worthy challenge. Due to certain visa restrictions, we plan to walk in the reverse direction from Rome to Canterbury.
Our goal is to walk the path between April and August of 2019. Join us as we document the preparation, as well as the actual walk from start to finish. We’ll be updating regularly.
Look for a gear & equipment list here in the near future.