Thirty years ago, few people had ever heard of the Via Francigena: a 2,000km medieval pilgrimage route that snakes a path from Canterbury all the way to Rome.
I was walking through a centuries-old village in northern Tuscany with not another human in sight. To my right, a few horses grazed in a large paddock. To my left, beyond an old stone house that looked as though it had stood for hundreds of years, a thick copse expanded into a forest of oak, chestnut, holly and ash trees. There was no sound except the buzzing of insects and the drumbeat of my feet hitting the path – a path that, I realised, had become harder underfoot. I stopped and bent down, my pack weighing heavily on my back. Peering through the dirt and moss, I could see bits of stone, like hundreds of disjointed puzzle pieces leading me ahead. I had stumbled upon an ancient Roman road.
I was on day two of walking the Via Francigena, a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route that extends around 2,000km from the English city of Canterbury all the way to Rome. Read more..
Via Francigena – official website
Some reading below to wet your appetite: