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davil bridge in borgo a mozzano

The Pilgrimage festival


More and more walking has been rediscovered this summer 2021. Physical activity, but without any competition, with calm and time to relax strolling through the landscape, getting to know people, tasting local products, discovering the history and its characters and simply feeling good.


Walk on...


In Lucca the first Pilgrimage Festival is organised. A five-day event with a rich calendar of historical meetings, book presentations, guided visits in museums and a walking experience along a section of the Via Matildica del Volto Santo to which the first edition of the festival is dedicated. The historic itinerary on the Via Matildica del Volto Santo is dedicated to the discovery of the lands of Matilde di Canossa, and connects Lucca to the city of Mantua: it is 285 kilometers long and crosses, in 11 stages, the territory of 3 Italian regions (Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany).

The festival starts on Tuesday 20 July, at 5:00 pm at the Via Francigena Entry Point, with the meeting "Lucca capitale del pellegrinaggio", open to the public. The event is coordinated by the director of theFestival del Medioevo of Gubbio, Federico Fioravanti. At 9.00 pm, the latest book by the historian and researcher Ilaria Sabatini, dedicated to Florentine pilgrimages, will be presented. Finally, at 10:00 pm, a guided tour in the Via Francigena Entry Point.

On Wednesday 21 July the festival moves to Sesto di Moriano, at Pieve di Santa Maria, with the meeting on the stories of Florentine travelers in the Middle Ages "Dalla Toscana all'Oriente" and the next day it will stop in Bagni di Lucca. The meeting at the parish church of San Cassiano in Controne will be on the theme of the differences between the Middle Ages and the modern era. At the end, a guided tour of the Pieve museum is proposed.
On 23 July, meeting in San Romano in Garfagnana for a reflection on slow tourism and pilgrimage.

On 25 July, in Porcari a talk about Matilde di Canossa and the medieval road system.


A festival on the way!


For those who want to try their hand at the walking tour, two "walking tests" are scheduled along the paths of the Via Matildica: on July 24 in the morning in Borgo a Mozzano and on July 25 in Pieve Fosciana on two different sections of the Via Matildica and the Volto Santo.

On 24 July, in the afternoon, the Via Matildica meets the Cammino di Santa Giulia. The relay from Santa Giulia with stages from town to town along the historical route, arrives in Lucca, and at 5:00 pm the walkers will be received at the church of Santa Giulia for the handover to conclude the week of walks. On Sunday 25 in Altopascio San Jacopo, the patron saint of pilgrims and of Altopascio is celebrated.

All meetings are free and subject to availability.

Reservations for the opening event on Tuesday 20 July can be made by sending an email to or by calling +39 334 1046719.