“Keep your feet on the ground and your thoughts at lofty heights.”
The Francigena Way, or Via Francigena, is an amazing pilgrimage in Europe from Rome to Canterbury. It crosses seven Italian regions (Latium, Tuscany, Emilia, Liguria, Lombardia Piedmont and the Aosta Valley) and then proceeds beyond the Alps, through Switzerland and France, and It ends in Canterbury in UK. This cultural route retraces the steps of the Archbishop Sigeric who wrote down the 70 stages of his journey to Rome to his birthplace and Episcopal seat Canterbury in 990 A.D.
Last week I took an airplane from Alghero to Pisa to reach the hearth of Tuscany and discover this trait of the Francigena Way. This route is a priceless cultural heritage because the path winds through the real identity of this region: ancient villages, endless meadows, poppy fields and amazing historical building such as churches, stone houses and old palaces. If you want to experience the real soul of Tuscany, I suggest you to wear comfortable shoes and dresses and choose one of the itineraries of the Tuscan Francigena Way. This is a nice way to admire the world around you and take your time to reflect about how wonderful nature and our history are and to create a deep connection with the land. Landscapes are an explosion of colors and details which capture your attention. It is not only a religious route but also a path of discovery, an authentic way to visit a place and to leave your footprints through a journey of learning and sharing.
A pilgrimage is an opportunity to enter a place on tiptoe and leave an indelible mark through mild steps which respect the the environment and the history of a territory. You are far from the chaos of the modern life and you can slowly and unhurriedly contemplate the beauty around you. This sustainable way of travelling gives you the chance to enrich yourself and to safeguard the places you visit because it contributes to preserve our past to make our future better. The beauty of a country is evidenced by its culture, by the richness of the art, by its customs and traditions. A country with a culture rich in colors and shades is a country with a strong identity and this is what makes an area unique and original.
Francigena Way is a treasure to be preserved through our journey.
You have only to walk with your feet on the ground and let free your mind step by step.
Written by Valentina Meloni