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Via Romea Germanica

from august 26 to october 9, 2016

For centuries, travellers and pilgrims have walked the roads in Europe for commercial or religious reasons, stopping at inns, convents or monasteries to get food and take a rest. They were slow and tiring itineraries at that time. Nowadays that we have retraced them, they suggest us a new model of tourism developing and promoting of the cultural and artistic heritage of many areas almost completely unknown to traditional tourism; a new aggregation between pilgrims and travelers with local landscapes.

And the Italian territory is known to be rich in artistic and architectural jewels of religious or civil style, even outside of the most known and popular ones all over the world.

The commitment of local administrations to get more value of their territories crossed by the ancient roads walked by pilgrims and travellers can only mean a cultural and material enrichment of local communities in a view of a gradual historical and artistic recovery.

They are itineraries of Faith and Culture which become an important driving force for the local economy and, above all, for young entrepreneurs. They are memories of a practice of pilgrimage, worship and art created in a passed age that come to the attention of the travellers of our century again with renewed force.


Total cost of the whole route (44 nights) €3.300

ROUTE 1: Brenner-Trento 180km | 26 agugust – 3 september
(€ 640,00)

The journey starts at the Brenner Pass . Everyone will reach the starting point on his own ( the train station is well linked to all towns)

The first stage (Brenner-22kms Campo di Trens) is straightforward, mostly downhill, along the Isarco River and cycle track partly unpaved. We start the trail from 1300 meters above sea level of the Brenner pass to get to 950 a.s.l. of Vipiteno, where we can admire the frescoes of the church of Santo Spirito and the Tower of the Twelve. We leave Castel Tasso on the right and Castel Pietra on the left. We climb to Campo di Trens to admire “Our Lady of Avalanches Vipabbazia-di-novacellaiteno

On the second day (27 kms Campo di Trens-Bressanone) we descend to the Welfenstein castle and arrive at Fortezza, where we can see significant traces of the ancient Roman road to the Brenner Pass. Neustift Abbey welcomes us in its immensity and religiosity. Then we get to the bishop city of Bressanone that merges a medieval atmosphere with a modern lifestyle in a fascinating mountain world.

chiusaThe third stage (Bressanone-Chiusa 15kms) takes us to highlands through a pastoral landscape dotted with small churches, landmarks of the pilgrims, arriving in Castel Velturno, ancient bishopric with a castle notable for its frescoes and furnishings . We go down to Chiusa, ranked among the most beautiful villages in Italy where we pay a careful visit to the Sabiona Abbey.

On the fourth day (Chiusa-Collalbo 25kms), a more challenging day, we go to highlands, with beautiful views of the Dolomites on the left and the Isarco valley. The small church of Santa Verena reminds us of the passage of pilgrims and Collalbo, in its modernity, reminds us that we are on the Renon plateau, the holiday center for the people from Bolzano; before and after Collalbo we can have a look at the phenomenon of the Earth Pyramids.

In the fifth stage (Collalbo-Bolzano 16kms) we go down quickly to Bolzano, where we have time to go sightseeing ( squares, streets and churches).

On the sixth day (Bolzano-Termeno 26kms) we cross the forest around the Monticolo lakes, the vineyards of Caldaro Lake and arrive in Termeno on the wine route.

We continue through many vineyards in the seventh day (Termeno-Cadino 25kms), we cross the Adige River and arrive in Salorno, the border town of the region called Alto Adige. A few kilometers away we enter into a different region ,Trentino, by walking the bike path up to Cadino.

On the eighth day (Cadino-Trento 24kms) vineyards are flanked by apple trees. After Lavis, we walk along an ancient Roman road, Via Claudia Augusta, which leads us directly to Trento.

ROUTE 2: Trento – Ferrara 144km | 4-11 september

After visiting the city and going through the Holy Door, we set out for the first walking day (Trento-Levico Terme 22kms) by leaving Trento and the Adige Valley . We still go on walking along the ancient Roman road, the Via Claudia Augusta, which leads us to the Passo del Cimirlo and enter the Valsugana valley. We will be welcomed by the Levico lake after skirting the Caldonazzo lake.

On the second day (Levico-Borgo Valsugana 16kms) we’ll walk along the Brenta River, still a stream, following the bike path of the Brenta river or streets parallel to it. We could divert to the Sella Valley to admire a wonderful hilly landscape and an incredible number of natural masterpieces.

cismonOn the third stage (Borgo-Cisnon 28kms) we continue to go along this valley, narrower and narrower, but masterfully built up by man with facilities of all kinds. When in Grigno we can divert to the Big Trench; before arriving at Cismon it will be worth stopping at the fortress carved into the rock of Covolo Buttistone

On the fourth day (Cismon-Bassano del Grappa 28kms) we’ll leave the bike path to either walk mostly along the main road through a lot of villages, all of them offering something different, or along the right bank of the river admiring the numerous rapids crowded by rafting lovers. We’ll arrive in Bassano by entering the city right from the Alpini Bridge.Padova

On the fifth stage (Piazzola-Padova 26kms) a shift by coach from Bassano to Piazzola is provided ; then , after a visit to the Villa Contarini, we’ll go on trekking inside the beautiful park of Punta Speron ; the trail is completely surrounded by nature until the entry to Padua.

After a day off to visit the city of Padova and gain indulgences of the Jubilee, we move into the sixth day, by coach first, then walking the stage Polesella (Ro) -Ferrara (22 kms) . Firstly we’ll walk along the banks of the great PO river , then in a beautiful bike path that leads us to the gates of Ferrara, the Este family city, with its castle, cathedral and historical center worthy of being carefully visited: one more stop for the mercy jubilee.

ROUTE 3: Ferrara – Ravenna 115km | 12-17 september
(€ 415,00)

FerraraThe Ferrara-Traghetto section (30 kms) develops first from the center to the outskirts of the town of Ferrara: Corso Porta Reno, piazza Travaglio, via Kennedy, via Bologna, via Sammartina, then it crosses the Ferrara reclamation along channels and canals up to Marrara where we start to follow the Po di Primaro to get to Traghetto, a small village called like that because it was founded where ferries were used to go from the Bologna State to the Ferrara one.

Continuing on our pilgrimage (Traghetto- Argenta 17kms), we pass from the Po di Primaro to the the Reno river bank flowing in a canal; we follow the stream for a while, then go down to the old embankment, we pass near Saiarino, an important center for the Comacchio remediation adjustment; finally the town of Argenta welcomes us with its Valli di Campotto.

valli-di-comacchioThe stage Argenta – Valli di Comacchio (24kms) continues along the bank of the Reno river by crossing a country torn from man to the swamp with a surprisingly water channeling. We arrive to Anita, a village founded in the 30’s to provide the people conducting reclamation with houses; it was named after the general Garibaldi’s wife who came to these places to escape the Austrians.

Once we arrived at the Comacchio Valleys; we leave from the valleys to get to Casalborsetti (26kms); We pass near Sant’ Alberto, an ancient river port where boats used to dock to go on to Ferrara; now we can go to the village just taking a ferry, otherwise we continue our journey by walking along the river on the right and the large view of the valleys on the left with a lot of ever changing animals depending on the different seasons; we can also see some remains of eel farms and fishing huts; we pass the memorial stone commemorating the burial place of Anita Garibaldi to get finally to Casalborsetti, another recently founded village.

Firstly we walk the stage Casalborsetti-Ravenna (18kms ) along a beautiful bike path, then through the Pineta di San Vitale, so called because it was a property of the monks of the San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna, ( today it belongs to the Municipality of Ravenna ) ; the monks cared for and used it for centuries to collect pine nuts and medicinal herbs. Ravenna first welcomes us with the Mausoleum of Teodorico, then with the Rocca Brancaleone and its historic center: let’s stop to visit what was once the capital of Italy for three times, a World Heritage City, the city that boasts a incredible number of unique masterpieces in the world; most of all, a lot of Byzantine mosaics

ROUTE 4: Ravenna – La Verna 130km | 18-23 september
(€ 415,00)

On the first day (Ravenna Forlì-30km), after getting out of Ravenna along Via Roma, then off Via Cesarea, via Romea, we climb onto the banks of the Fiumi Riuniti, and then the Ronco river ones; we continue an itinerary that crosess many towns and villages in a lovely peaceful scenary. But beforehand, we can visit the excavations of Sant’Apollinare in Classe and the Basilica itself to have an even more significant souvenir of Ravenna. After passing the highway – the Bagnolo village is worth visiting together with the Fornò church, we are at the Ronco village, the eastern outskirts of Forli that can be reached by walking the bicycle path along the Via Emilia.

cusercoliOn the second day (Forlì-Cusercoli 32kms) off again from the Ronco village by walking along the left bank of the Ronco river in a wonderful landscape, lush vegetation, lakes, a golf course. We arrive in Fratta Terme,a spa bath village, then Meldola. A mixed man-made and natural track along the Ronco riverside up to Castelnuovo, and finally to Cusercoli, where the valley ends and the river disappears in the mountains: this stage says goodbye to the plain lands; let’s start climbing the Apennines.

As a matter fact the Cusercoli-Santa Sofia stage (20 km) features a full sliding track, halfway up the left bank of the river Ronco, the name of which has become Bidente. We cross Civitella, then Galeata and its archaeological remains; a visit to the Abbey of Sant’Ellero, a stop at the Church of Pianetto, unique example of Florentine architecture in Romagna, the climb to the castle of Pianetto can’t be missed . At last Santa Sophia welcomes us; its palaces along the river remind Florence. When in the Galeata village, we enter the territory of the former Grand Duchy of Tuscany. We are now close to the current border with Tuscany ; let’s enter the Casentino Forest Park.

Let’s start the Santa Sofia-Bagno di Romagna stage (25km) and climb the Colle Carnaio ; let’s go down to the hot springs of the Bagno di Romagna village after paying a visit to the hermitage of Corzano, then off to the one of the most beautiful stages, but also the most challenging because of the altitude and the steep track: Bagno di Romagna-La Verna (km23). After walking a short stretch of an asphalt road, we enter the forest from Gualchiere, a small recently recovered village: we climb along a path built on the rock, with even sections of an old pavement, the first one in the Wildernes area (the first one in Italy), then the Nasseto meadows with a refuge, the ridge marl where a lot of care has to be given , the forest of Monte Zucchero Dante, Passo Serra, gateway to the Holy Valley and Tuscany. We turn left and follow the GEA 00 path that , by crossing small villages such as Serra di Sopra, Serra di Sotto, Corezzo, Frassineta, Pezza, Jonah, Moscaio, Banzena , Campi, Bibbiena, all of them along the historical route of the Via Romea, brings us to the Verna Sanctuary in 15 kms; the Franciscan atmosphere is all around us in a deep and penetrating peace that we can prove intensely by participating in the life of the friars for a day.

ROUTER 5: La Verna – Orvieto 164km | 24 september – 2 october
(€ 565,00)

We leave the La Verna Convent , with its beauty and pervasive atmosphere and go down to Croce Sarna where we start the La Verna-Subiano stage (29kms), at first in the forest, then through well-preserved different agricultural areas. We cross the villages of Rosina and Chitignano, known for ferruginous springs and the Ubertini castle, the castle of Valenzano, more villages such as Giuliano ,Subiano and Capolona, two villages facing the Arno river.

After crossing the river, let’s go along the river itself (Subiano-Arezzo stage – 20kms) up to the Parish church in Sietina, which is worth a stop, then we cross the river again at Ponte Giovi and head towards Arezzo, a city that deserves our attention because of its history , religious and cultural monuments. In the evening we move to Rigutino by coach, namely the Parish Church of Sassaia, where a fantastic OSPITALERO ( landlord ) will give us an unforgettable welcome.

Let’s say good bye to Giovanni, the landlord, and head to Castiglione Fiorentino (Sassaia-Cortona stage – 28km), then Cortona along hillside trails, in the midst of beautiful olive groves, villas and Etruscan tombs, a view of the Val di Chiana and , below us, the SS71 road, the one joining Ravenna to Montefiascone and partly following the route shown by the Monk Alberto di Stade.

cortonaLet’s leave Cortona to start the Cortona -Pozzuolo (Castiglione del Lago) stage – 24kms, and go down to the the Val di Chiana plain land;we’ll walk along a high edge that allowed pilgrims to pass safely through swamps infested by malaria in the past. We pass the Canale Maestro reclamation canal, cross the border between two wonderful regions, Tuscany and Umbria, then we arrive firstly in Petrignano del Lago, then Gioiella and finally to Pozzuolo on the ridge that divides the Lake Trasimeno from the Lakes of Montepulciano and Chiusi. We are 8kms away from Castiglione del Lago that deserves all of our attention.

In the Pozzuolo-Paciano stage (17kms), we’ll go on walking along the ridge, pass near an Etruscan tomb, go past Vaiano, descend into the valley of Moiano, pass the railway and the drainage canal and climb to Paciano, an architectural jewel.

Let’s go from Paciano to Citta della Pieve (22kms) along a path completely merged in beautiful olive groves and a gorgeous forest on the outskirts of the town, known for its saffron production, but even more for being the birthplace of Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino ; you can admire the magnificent Adoration of the Magi in the town. Let’s leave Città della Pieve to reach Ficulle (22kms), through Fabro. Once again we go down to the valley, namely the Chiani valley once a swamp. We are on the left edge in a gravel path and mostly in the shade. We cross the Santa Maria village, get to Fabro Scalo then the castle of Fabro, 2 kms on the right. We climb to Ficulle, a small town along the Roman Via Cassia, lying on a ridge overlooking the valley of the Paglia river ; in the distance you can see the cliff where Orvieto stands.

In the Ficulle- Orvieto stage (24kms) we go down quickly to Allerona Scalo, cross the Paglia river and head to Orvieto rising in the north-west side, walking along Via Delle Conce, then via Cava: the city of the “Corpus Domini” welcomes us with its civil and religious architectural masterpieces ; we’ll take a bit of time for a careful visit and to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy.

ROUTE 6: Orvieto – Roma 148km | 2-9 october
(€ 565,00)

OrvietoFrom Orvieto we’ll be driven to Lubriano by coach to start the Lubriano Montefiascone stage (20km). Let’s have a look at the landscape in front of us, mostly Civita, the dying city, on a tuff spur, and go down to the Valley of the Badlands along a fully equipped trail before getting to Civita. We cross Bagnoregio and climb up to the plateau leading to Montefiascone that soon appears in the distance showing the giant dome of the cathedral. We are welcomed by the Church of the Pilgrim, San Flaviano, then we climb to the fortress and have a look at the Lake of Bolsena: we ‘ve got to the Via Francigena, and just over 100 kms are missing to get to Rome.

Once again we go down to the plain separating Montefiascone from Viterbo (18 kms); sometimes we walk along the ancient paving of Cassia, we pass near the spa of Bagnaccio and go back to Viterbo where the Pope’s Palace welcomes us.

The Viterbo-Vetralla stage (18 kms) is characterized by the Etruscan archaeological site of Castel d’Asso and hazel crops. The route is quite windy and fairly hilly always following the direction of the ancient Via Cassia, although that road has now been replaced by a modern one.

From Vetralla we head to Sutri (23 kms), the Etruscan town, by crossing Capranica, along a path with some reliefs, but not too high, and partly in a forest. We get to Sutri by walking along the ancient cemetery and the Roman theater: everything deserves a careful visit.

Let’s leave Sutri and head to Campagnano di Roma (27 kms), along a hilly route, which runs through large farms of the Agro Romano. We arrive in Monterosi, cross the Treja Valley Park, leave in the distance the autodrome of Vallelunga on the right and arrive in Campagnano.

Let’s start another stage, Campagnano – La Storta (25 kms), the last stop before getting to Rome, by crossing a territory of an incredible beauty: the remains of an ancient volcanic crater, today crossed by countless gullies and ravines, are the Sorbo Park; shortly after we are in Formello where we can find a modern comfortable hostel , then we enter the archaeological site of Veio, Isola Farnese and finally La Storta.

The last stage, La Storta-Roma, 17 kms, the most desired, but also the most problematic one: we are on the outskirts of Rome, so beware the traffic having to walk along paved roads mostly. We walk along the Via Cassia, we go past the Great Ring Road of Rome, turn right and enter the nature reserve called Insughereta; we’ll cross it completely up to Via Augusto Conti; let’s walk 200 mts and turn left in via Achille Mauri that we walk for 1km, even when it changes its name in Via Cherubini, then off Via Guadalupe and via Troya up to the confluence in Via Trionfale. Now we follow Via Trionfale for 1,5 kms till piazza Monte Gaudi… well, you’d better have a map to get to the porch of St. Peter that welcomes us with open arms in the Holy Year of the Jubilee of Mercy.

At the end of each preset itinerary, visit to the Holy Doors and the cities are planned..

The route can be started and completed at any time.

In this case, it should be provided for €75 per day inclusive of accommodation in addition to €40 re: the day of departure.

Via-Romea-Germanica-pergamenaAt the end of the itinerary it is released, in accordance with the ORP and the Offices of the Rectory of St. Peter, the Testimonium certifying the pilgrimage to Rome.
To receive it will be presented the complete Credential* data and stamp attesting the passage along the route of the Via Romea Germanica:

a) For the pilgrims who travel the Via Romea Germanic walk: at least from Lake Trasimeno through Castiglione del Lago, Città della Pieve, Orvieto, Montefiascone, Viterbo, Vetralla, Sutri, La Storta, Rome (250 km)

b) For the pilgrims who travel the Via Romea Germanic cycle: at least S.Sofia (400 Km)

* Provides access to the “Hospitality”, shelters for pilgrims; It allows to obtain benefits where there is an agreement between operator and Association Via Romea Germanic. In it are shown the place and date of departure and the place and date of arrival, the stamps encountered resorts and hospitality facilities, demonstrating the path you travel.



  • Guide and tour leader
  • Luggage and passenger ( when necessary) transport
  • Accommodation (hostels, holiday homes, B & B, farm houses, religious centers, small hotels) in larger rooms, including breakfast
  • Affiliation to “Il Cammino dell’Anima”


anything not specified above



Alberto was born in the late twelfth century and in 1232 became Abbot of the Benedic ne Monastery of the Holy Virgin Mary of Stade that was an important Hansea c port city located at the mouth of the Elbe River in Germany.

In the convent, quite powerful due to land ownership, the abbot Alberto recognized the need to include a more rigid ecclesiastical discipline, according to the rules of the Cistercian model. Having to get permission to do so by Pope Gregory IX in Rome, he began the journey to Rome, the center of Chris amity. The Pope gave his consent to the desired reform, but the brothers and the local Archbishop, that of Bremen, rejected it, as they were more concerned about a balance of power with the House of Guelph rather than a further commitment to the reform of the monastery.

Alberto was extremely disappointed and resigned from his office then he entered the convent of the Friars Minor of St. John (voted to the Franciscan ideal of poverty) located in the town of Stade. Here he devoted himself to writing not only some theological works but the so-called Annales too, a chronicle in Latin of the most important ecclesiastical and political events of his time. A dialogue between two monks, Tirri and Firri, about the best way for a pilgrimage to Rome, is added to this work. In the dialogue, wri en in a story form, as it was o en done in the Middle Ages, the abbot provides several routes with accurate data about distances and places to cross, the conditions of roads and directions, the exact length of each stage in German miles. The original manuscript is in the Herzog August Library of Wolfenbuttel, in Germany.

The trip Abbot Alberto walked is now the official route of the Via Romea Germanica.

Abate Alberto Distade
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