The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walking and cycling pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzantines as both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which would connect the Kingdom of Pavia with southern cities. When the Franks conquered the Lombards, the route was renamed Via Francigena (French Way). During the first millennium, Santiago de Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem became the Holy places of Christianity and Via Francigena turned into a central hub for the Christian faith. Many pilgrims taking this route would reach Rome and then continue on to Jerusalem – The Holy Land. There are several different routes to take to Rome, for example, there are routes coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
This cycling tour takes you from Lucca to Rome and the Vatican City. Along the way, you will hit towns and cities like Acquapendente, Viterbo, and Sutri. Most of the cycling will be over hills, alongside roads and gravel tracks. The scenery along the track will surround you with stunning Italian countryside, including beautiful fields, woods, vineyards, and various natural streams. You will also be exposed to numerous churches, cathedrals, towers and castles.
There is a certain level of fitness required since you will be cycling over 250 km; however, the route is very doable. The tour is very rewarding, since you will be immersed in the Italian countryside, the peaceful environment and local gastronomy. The tour ends in Rome, where you can take in all of the city’s art, history, and culture, not to mention the spectacular Vatican City.