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Connect with the Past on 4 Pilgrimage Routes through Emilia Romagna, Italy

by Aoife O’Riordan

Apr 16, 2024

© Emilia Romagna Region Tourism Board


The northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna has a lengthy history, one spanning the worlds of Etruscans, Gauls, Romans and early Christians. In fact, traces of its early spiritual past can be found and walked today. With 21 existing pilgrimage routes found in the region, Emilia-Romagna recently added four new pilgrimage paths, each tracing the walks of famous saints and followers from centuries ago.

Get in touch with nature and your spiritual side by embarking on one of these scenic routes.

Saint Anthony pilgrimage

© Emilia Romagna Region Tourism Board

St. Columba’s Way

St. Columba was an Irish monk born in 540 A.D. in Leinster, Ireland. The saint set sail with 12 disciples from Bangor, near Belfast, and, for more than 30 years, traveled throughout Europe establishing monasteries and communities. This path traces his steps beginning in Soprarivo, northwest of Piacenza. The path ends in Grotta di San Colombano in the Trebbia River Valley.


© Emilia Romagna Region Tourism Board

The Romea Germanica Imperiale Way

This route links Trento with Arezzo, passing through Modena. The path is part of the Romea Germanica road network and, over the centuries, was used for religious, military and trade purposes for the Celts, Etruscans and Romans. Much later, the Lombards, Franks and Germanic peoples utilized this route. Along this path, travelers will find art heritage cities like Modena and small historical hamlets like Fiumalbo. Fiumalbo was officially named one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. This route also intersects with the Wool and Silk Road and runs parallel toRomea Strata Longobarda Nonantolana Way and Romea Nonantolana Way.


© Emilia Romagna Region Tourism Board

St. Anthony’s Way

The Cammino di Sant’Antonio passes through Veneto and Tuscany, following a route connecting important centers of spiritual and religious importance. The path goes southward from the Basilica of St. Anthony at Padua for 248 miles before entering Emilia-Romagna from a bridge over River Po, passing through Ferrara and continuing to Sanctuary of St. Luke in Bologna. Ancient parish churches, gentle Apennine ridges and villages line this historical route, which leads to Casentinesi Forests National Park. The route also passes through Dozza, Brisighella, Hermitage of Montepaolo and more, while also intersecting with Dante’s Way, the Way of the Gods, Assisi Way and St. Francis’ Way from Rimini to La Verna.


© Emilia Romagna Region Tourism Board

Piccola Cassia Way

This old road dates from the foundation of the Roman colonies in the Po Valley Plain. This route now spans about 106 miles through fertile plains and hills with gullies and vineyards before rising toward dense mountain forests and extensive meadows. The trail starts from the gates of Modena and follows the ridge between the Panaro and Samoggia Valleys and then enters the valley of the River Reno.


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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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