The official route of the Via Francigena, the one documented by Bishop Sigerico on his return to England and marked by small and large monuments, the fragmented than they wanted to reach the Holy Face before resuming the journey to Rome or to the north and took advantage of any path , possibly the easiest to get to your destination.
The Francigena runs through many stories, and many different times.
Thus, fragments and testimonies of this journey, are in quite different physical and cultural sites, the hospital of the Tea Pass introduced on the mountains to the path of inner Francigena, the small church in the hills marked the passage to the city, the large hospital of Alton, the reception in the middle of an unstable swamp.
Together with the penitent pilgrims, the Via Francigena as well picked, in increasing numbers, direct merchants to the main fairs across the Alps: this intensive use of determined construction, along its course, the host hospices, villages, monasteries and castles that constitute examples of Romanesque architecture, often well preserved and included in a natural landscape that enhances its value.
The Via Francigena in the territory of Lucca goes to Rome from Porta Beltrame, a place of historical Versilia near Lake Port that is currently one of the remaining wetlands of nineteenth-century land reclamation. Because of the presence of marshes, by this point, the Francigena bent inward to reach Camaiore, XXVII leg of the journey of Sigerico.
Here the pilgrims could find hospitality in the Benedictine monastery of the Abbey of St. Peter, a strategic step in the journey, where in September 2016 was opened a modern hostel pilgrim. Along the way Francigena Versilia as well as the church of Badia, we find many small churches, Santo Stefano in Vallecchia, San Giovanni and Santa Felicita a Valdicastello, Santi Giovanni e Stefano in Camaiore, San Pantaleone in Pieve a Elici, in which it is easy to find memory of the passage of the road.
Reached Montemagno, the road goes down decisively towards Lucca, surpassing Valpromaro and coasting, near the historic center of Lucca, the Serchio river, in the stretch of the river park. Those who wish can rest and refresh themselves at the local hostel of Pellegrino located near the parish.
Lucca is a major milestone and the testimonies of the passage of the pilgrims are more or less evident in many historical buildings and streets of the city, starting with the cattedrla edi St. Martin, among whose engravings figure a maze, symbol par excellence of medieval pilgrimages, on facade of a statue of the patron saint in the act to donate part of his cloak to a pilgrim, in the atrium the text of the oath of the money changers, an honest commitment to pellegrini.All'interno finally houses the miraculous crucifix of the Face saint, carved according to legend, by Nicodemus and came miraculously to Lucca through the Mediterranean with the sole guidance of divine will. At this point pilgrims were devoted to Lucca to consider an alternative destination in Rome. They stopped here all the "famous pilgrims': Sigerico same and Niklaus Icelandic abbot, the king of France, Philip Augustus and the Irish who were praying in Lucca also their fellow Frediano, he pilgrim himself and the bishop of Lucca in the fifth century.
Leaving Lucca, the Sigerico street was lost in the swamps that occupied the plateau, choosing according to the season the healthiest steps.
Today the path is well marked and crosses piccoi villages and cultivated fields to reach Altopascio, hospice Teupascio, already the eleventh century give hospitality, spiritual comfort, medical treatment, bread. In large shapes that are still produced in the area, typically without salt and a symbol of welcome and hospitality. The Hospice of Altopascio, led by the monks of the Tau, Knights and maintenance of bridges and roads was very important institution, with dependencies in Franca and England. The hospital buildings are preserved in the village square with the church and the bell tower with the "lost" the bell sounded at sunset to urge the still distant pilgrims.
From Altopascio the road continues towards San Miniato, through forests of oak trees and terraces now planted with vines and olive trees.
The Francigena, which in the Middle Ages pilgrims passing from Canterbury to Rome in the Lucca area you can cover on foot, horseback, or by bike.
More Info: Francigena track in Camaiore
Our hotels in Camaiore is a few meters from the historic track and gives to the pilgrims of the Via Francigena the following offer:
10% discount on room rate (single or double)
Dinner menu with a starter, pasta and main course euro 15,00
The offer is only applicable with pilgrim credential.