During the Middle Ages there were three pilgrimages ‘more’ that had to be travelled by the true believers: visits to the tomb of the Apostle Peter in Rome, the Holy Land and to Santiago de Compostela. The routes were used mainly between the ninth and thirteenth centuries.
The Via Francigena del Sud departs from Rome and arrives in Jerusalem with a boat from the port of Brindisi to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Its route largely follows the route of the ancient Via Appia in the stretch near Rome but there are many different variations.
At the start, in fact, the Via Francigena del Sud follows three different directions because of the problems of the Pontine Marshes along the Appian Way and the dangers of the main roads that were always being traversed by conquering bands.
The maps ideally retrace the ancient Via Appia, Via Casilina and Via Prenestina but pass along the hills and mountains and then reunite once you get to the Campania region. For this reason their paths crossed smaller towns and were lost. They were rediscovered only relatively recently and today are traversed by thousands of tourists in search of unique experiences, contact with nature and visits to little-known villages.
In 1994 the Via Francigena was declared a ‘Cultural Route of the Council of Europe’.