4 pilgrim routes in Lazio

In Lazio there are 4 main paths that pass through some of the most important places of worship in Italy, in Rome and beyond. All of these can be done either on foot or by bicycle, depending on individual preferences.

The Via Francigena

The Via Francigena is one of the best known roads and connects Canterbury, England, and Rome, to reach Santa Maria di Leuca in Puglia. It is a set of roads more than 3,000 kilometres long, passing through 5 countries, 16 regions and more than 600 towns. The route mixes dirt roads, gravel roads and mule tracks without great technical difficulties.

Of course, it is neither necessary nor realistic to think about walking the entire route: the path is divided into stages and it is possible as well as advisable to select sections of the route to be completed. For example, from Rome to Santa Maria di Leuca there are 45 stages that therefore require 45 days of walking. Within Lazio, on the other hand, you can start from Rome and arrive at Castel Gandolfo and then continue the next day towards Velletri passing through Cori, Sezze, to the Abbey of Fossanova. Then continue to Terracina, Fondi and reach the border with Campania at Minturno.

The St. Thomas Way

The St. Thomas Way connects Rome and the Basilica of St. Peter with Ortona in Abruzzo, where the Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle is located, which contains the remains from 1258. The route is 316 km long and crosses the heart of Lazio and Abruzzo; it includes 17 intermediate stages and can be covered in about 16 days on foot.

The route combines faith and nature, connecting both places of religious interest and natural parks (the Castelli Romani Park, the Simbruini Natural Park, the Velino Park, the Gran Sasso Park and the Majella Park).

The Way of St. Francis

The Way of St. Francis is a route that reaches Assisi from two different starting points: La Verna in Tuscany to the north, and Rome in Lazio to the south.

The part of the route that connects Rome to Assisi is 300 km long and includes 14 stages, which can be covered in as many days. The way passes by numerous places of faith until it reaches the heart of the Franciscan order. The walk starts from Rome and passes through Sabina and the Holy Valley, a symbol of the life of St. Francis, where there are several Franciscan shrines and convents such as Greccio (where the first nativity scene in history was made), Poggio Bustone and Fontecolombo. Among the places of interest on the route we also find the Scared Grove on the borders of Lazio.

There are also some secondary paths of lower or higher difficulty, depending on your preferences. The important thing is to plan the route before departure.

The Way of St. Benedict

The Way of St. Benedict route connects Norcia in Umbria with Montecassino in Lazio, and links up with the southern Via Francigena. It is a 300 km walk that includes 16 stages and as many days of walking, which winds between the Apennines and the hills. On the route, which traces the footsteps of Saint Benedict of Norcia, we find numerous places of religious interest, including:

Cascia, where Saint Rita Roccaporena lived

, where Saint Rita Valle Santa was born, where Saint Francis of Assisi Subiaco spent his life, where the 12 monasteries founded by Saint Benedict were located, of which 2 still exist and can be visited The Charterhouse of Trisulti The Abbey of Casamari The Abbey of Montecassino, and the end of the path.