Via Francigena Articles Carol is a regular contributor of Via Francigena articles to the news section of the official Via Francigena website. You can follow the links to read about her Via Francigena articles. Canterbury to Rome in 2016 This articles tells the story of […]
Orvieto is a stunning hill top town in Umbria, Italy. At its pinnacle is Orvieto Duomo, a brilliant example of Italian Gothic architecture dating from 1290 AD. The façade is constructed to enhance the illusion of soaring into the heavens! It is embellished with a […]
On the 17th June this year, I walked in the second of four Via Francigena Marathons in Italy. The Francigena Val di Susa Marathon began in Avigliana near Turin, and continued for 42 km to an ancient Roman amphitheatre in Susa. There was an air of excitement as we traversed the cobble stones of the Piazza Conte Rosso beneath the ancient ruins of the Avigliana castle. Then, the marathon continued through all the amazing places seen in the photos. You can read all about the marathon at Via Francigena Tours.
‘Art should be about joy!’ David Hockney has been true to his words! And, to celebrate his 80th birthday, a lifetime span of his works is exhibited (June 21 to Oct 23 2017) at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. This huge collection of his works gives […]
Grand-St-Bernard Pass is a gateway between Switzerland and Italy that has been used by travellers for thousands of years. But at an altitude of 2473 m (8114 ft) the weather can be very unpredictable, as I discovered last Saturday! I travelled up to the Pass to attend a ‘Compagnons de la Via Francigena’ celebration. It has been 20 years since work commenced on alpine segments used by pilgrims. Their hard work has made it possible for Via Francigena pilgrims to make the journey from Canterbury to Rome.
Last Saturday, a Swiss group walked from Bourg St-Pierre, in the blizzard-like conditions, to Grand St-Bernard Pass Hospice to meet the Italian group who had walked from San Rhémy. There was great excitement as the two groups met, followed by exuberant speeches in the magnificent Chapel, and a communal meal.
The Hospice has cared for travellers ever since it was established by St Bernard in 1050. The hospitality today is just as amazing. Somehow they managed to cater for our large group, a big parish group, a wedding and many pilgrims. And then, there were the famous St Bernard dogs walking the Alps and in their kennels in the Museum.
See my article on Via Francigena official website.
Go to Via Francigena Tours to arrange your visit to Grand-St-Bernard Pass
Romainmôtier Abbey is the oldest Romanesque Abbey still being used as a Reform Church in Switzerland. I first became aware of it because it is one of the cultural highlights when travelling the Swiss Via Francigena pilgrim route. When I was staying in Lausanne, on Lac Leman, I took a 30 minute train trip to visit the Abbey. But, I accidentally got off the train at Arnex-sur-Orbe, one stop early. So, I decided to use Google Maps on my phone, and walk to the Abbey. I had the Swiss country side all to my self and became immersed in the golden fields, green pastures, and snow clad Jura alps in the distance.
Although it was still winter in Switzerland, it was very hot walking for two hours through the Swiss countryside. But, the blue dot on my Google Map faithfully led me to Romainmôtier Abbey.
When travelling the Via Francigena, I always manage to get lost in labyrinths. And, here is one in the garden of a man who helped me find the right path to the Abbey. Then, as I headed round the bend in the path, the Abbey was finally in view!
Entering the Abbey grounds I was so pleased to see a tea room, I failed to notice the beauty of the orange building. The orange building used to the residence of the Prior!