The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walk pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzantines as both were looking for more territory in Italy. The Lombards made the Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which connected 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 – Holy Land.
This route begins in Piacenza and ends in Aulla. During the walk, you will be surrounded by beautiful fields, woods, and over streams in the stunning Italian countryside. It is challenging, a reasonable level of fitness is needed. But the walk is certainly doable, as there are many flat roads and tracks with intermittent hills and slight inclines, that can be traversed without too much difficulty. All along the journey, there are plenty of magnificent sights to see such as churches, cathedrals, towers, and castles, not forgetting the incredible landscape of Italy. This walk is very rewarding, as the countryside and towns provide a refreshing euphoria throughout the route and at the end of the journey.