The Via Francigena, Europe’s oldest road of pilgrimage, beginning in Canterbury and ending in Rome, has reopened the route’s access to the north of the Italian capital, which had been closed for 20 years.
The 13.7 km section of the trail there runs within the Riserva dell’Insugherata and Monte Mario, a large green space in the middle of the city. The area comprises two reserves of 1,000 hectares, waterways, forests of chestnut trees and oaks, a rich fauna, as well as places of historic and artistic interest, such as the Tomb of Nero, Villa Madama and Villa Marranti.
The reopening of the Rome stretch is good news not just for pilgrims, but also for nature lovers, hikers and those interested in experiencing “slow tourism”.
The 1,600 km long Via Francigena passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. In medieval times, it was an important pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.