The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walk pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzanties. Both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made the Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which would connect the Kingdom of Pavia with southern cities. When the Franks conquered the Lombards, the route was renamed Via Francigena (French Way). During the first millenium Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem became the Holy places of Christianity and Via Francigena turned into a central hub for the Christian faith. Many pilgrims taking this route would reach Rome and then continue on to Jerusalem – Holy Land. There are several different routes to take to Rome, for example, there are routes coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
This section begins in Aulla and ends in the town of Lucca. The walk is actually quite short and mainly gentle, so there is not too much difficulty to face on the route. You will be walking along roadsides, over bridges, hills, and numerous earth tracks but also through lovely woods and over rivers in the incredible Italian countryside. It is a bit challenging at parts, so a reasonable level of fitness is needed, but the walk is certainly doable. All along the journey there are plenty of magnificent sights to see such as churches, cathedrals, towers and castles, including an interesting archaeological site at Luni. This walk is very rewarding on multiple levels, as the countryside and towns provide a refreshing euphoria throughout the route and arrriving at the end of the journey.