Monteriggioni is one of the cities along the
route of the ancient Via Francigena. In medieval times the
practice of pilgrimage was important: as a matter of fact
many pilgrims travelled on foot across Europe in order to
reach the three main sites of Christianity: Rome, Jerusalem
and Santiago de Compostela. According to the place that the
pilgrim had reached as a proof of completion of his journey,
he wore a specific emblem: the shell for Santiago de Compostela,
the palm for Jerusalem and the key or images of the saints
for Saint Peter in Rome. In particular the shell became the
symbol of the pilgrimage.
The Via Francigena or Franchigena or Francesca is so called
because Italy was linked to the France through this way. The
medieval road is 1600 km long. Pilgrims came from the via
Tolosana which led to Santiago de Compostela or from the Northern
Europe and in particular from the Alps and across the pass
Sigeric, Archibishop of Canterbury, wrote one of the first
books about the pilgrimage along the Via Francigena. He described
his return journey: between 990 and 994 he covered the distance
from Rome to Canterbury.
The Via Francigena was an important road until 1300, when
people were not interested in pilgrimage any longer and then
in the medieval roads of pilgrimage.
Nowadays there are not many signs to mark its position, unlike
the road to Santiago de Compostela. Moreover, there are not
many houses for the pilgrims, even if more and more parishes
or religious houses or private can house pilgrims.
for the equipment
In the Middle Ages the pilgrim, before
leaving, was “invested” by the blessing of the
priest and he received some useful objects for his long journey.
Among these objects there were the saddlebag, a small bag
made from the skin of an animal, the walking stick, the “petaso”,
a broad- brimmed hat, and a short cloak, the “pellegrina”.
Moreover before leaving, the pilgrim confessed his sins and
made his will. The pilgrim respected some rules even in his
journey: he travelled during the day and he slept by night
and he could not stay in the same place for more than two
In general the pilgrims must take a rucksack which weighs
not more than 8- 10 Kg (17,64 lb- 22,05 lb), a sleeping bag
and a soft mat. Moreover, do not forget that foot must stay
very comfortable, so take both trainers or sneakers and climbing
boots, because you walk both across roads and paths. HAVE
A NICE JOURNEY!
concerning the Sienese route of the Via Francigena
In the crypt of the Church "Santa Maria Assunta"
inside the castle of Monteriggioni a permanent exhibition
has been presented about the"Via Francigena " with
particular attention to the Sienese area. The exhibition was
realized by the Italian architects Coppini and Della Torre,
which made pilgrimage in 2005.
for more information about the Via Francigena
we suggest pilgrims to ask a credential to their dioceses
or to their confraternities and/or for more information contact
the “Confraternita di San Jacopo di Compostella”
di S. Jacopo di Compostella
Europea via Francigena