Thursday, September 2, 2010

Colle Val d'Elsa: On the Steps of the Medieval Pilgrims in the Discovery of the Beauty of the Siena Region along the Francigena Road

Ancient Europe has a young soul composed of asphalt, stones, ground and wonderful landscapes. It is the Francigena Road, historical road that from Canterbury takes you to Rome and that for many centuries has collected stories, tribulations, and hopes of pilgrims, common people, wayfarers, and just travelers. Of the nine hundred kilometers that run through Italy, a good four hundred are in Tuscany. During the past few years, the process of development of this route seems to have given the road again the importance it had in the past, historically, economically and culturally. Last month the first signs were set up in the section of the Francigena that runs through the Siena area, with its last stretch towards Rome, going through the Val d’Orcia, Viterbo and the Bolsena Lake. These are the signs that will mark the whole route across the nation. The inauguration of the new signs started at Monteriggioni, giving new visibility to the ancient road, a project, which was started in 1993 by the European Union. This is an important event for the lovers of the Francigena and for those who wish to discover our territory through a path that keeps charming the visitors, for it represents a tangible tie between past and future. From the doors of Siena to the crenellated walls of Monteriggioni, and from the Valdesa Castles to the San Gimignano Towers, going through the stretches that run next to the ancient roads can be an unusual alternative to visiting the treasures of the Siena region.

(Portions of this article first appeared in "Toscana & Chianti News")

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