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Wednesday 30 June 2004

Via Francigena

"The Via Francigena is the common name of an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France to Rome, though it is usually considered to have its starting point much further away, in the English cathedral city of Canterbury. As such, the route passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. The route was known in Italy as the "Via Francigena" ("the road that comes from France") or the "Via Romea Francigena" ("the road to Rome that comes from France"). In mediaeval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul." Wikipedia

We set off from Aosta near the Swiss border on 14 May 2004 with little idea of what lay ahead.  We soon discovered that the via Francigena was a route system, rather than a single "way".  Seasonal conditions, bandits, and other factors would determine the paths traditionally followed.  Today much of the old paths lie buried under modern motorway.  We took minor roads for preference, diverting from the "official" via Francigena and also take the higher level roads where possible to arrive in Rome on 14 June 2004.  

When we received our Testimoniums from Father Bruno at the Vicariato in the Vatican City, we were numbers 142 and 143 to register in the Register of Via Francigena.