Medieval Europe was covered by a dense network of routes that had as its point of final destination three cities dear to the Christians, including Rome. Among the roads that led to Rome, the via Francigena was the best known.
The route starting from Canterbury was described in detail by the Archbishop Sigerico during his return journey from Rome where he had received the investiture from the Pope. The road system in the Italian peninsula has been and remains deeply affected by the choices itineraries of the Romans who had identified the natural ways to connect with the various parts of the empire. The medieval pilgrimage routes are all characterized by the presence along the route of shelters and reception with the help of real knightly orders for the protection of the pilgrim. One of the most important street of Italy is via Francigena.
The Via Francigena was a path of communication which contributed to the cultural unity of Europe in the Middle Ages. The journey turns into a gradual immersion in the roots of our culture, in which subtle changes in the landscape, small and great works of art.
The via Francigena is also a journey passing through the Italian landscape, a fascinating array of geographical features. The landscape changes seamlessly: from the pastures of the Aosta Valley to the industrial and agricultural plain of Piedmont, from the broad Po river to the rolling hills of Emilia, from the harshness of northern Tuscany to the sweetness of the Crete Senesi and the enchantment of the volcanic lakes of Lazio. The path is extraordinarily beautiful and unexpectedly new and original even if you already know some of the places visited. When the Lombard rule gave way to that of the Franks, the “Via di Monte Bardone” changed its name to Via Francigena, or “road from France”, in addition to modern France this included the Rhine Valley and the Netherlands. In that period traffic along the route grew and it became the main connecting route between northern and southern Europe, carrying merchants, armies and pilgrims.
The route of the Via Francigena does not go very far from our most beautiful and sacred city. We have selected three important cities of the Via Francigena to experience the sacred experience of the medieval pilgrim and also enjoy these beautiful places.
What to see
- Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights – the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world
- Basilica of St. Ambrose, where St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine and where the saint’s relics can be found
- La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the globe
- the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery
- the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe
- the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture
- the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium
- the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle
- the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Santa Maria alle Grazie Basilica, containing one of the world’s most famous paintings: Leonardo da Vinci’s : The Genius, The Last Supper
What to do
Besides visiting the city, we also suggest you to visit the Quadrilatero della Moda where you can find most striking and important fashion shops and to book the assistance of a Personal shopper who will accompany you for a Shopping & Glamour experience.
Where to get a taste of Milan
- Boutique Hotel in the Centre of Milan
- Lunch & Dinner in fashion restaurants or in Typical Osteria Milanese
- Aperitif in one of the most glamour Coffee Drink of Milan with the possibility to rent a Limousine
- Night walk in Navigli with stop to taste a delicious Gelato
- Live the nights lights of Milan, Via Como with its disco and pubs
- Shopping & Glamour with Personal shopper
What to see
“The beautiful Venice and Padua is her sister,” goes saying a popular, a phrase that helps to understand the beauty of Padua. A fertile land, vital and dynamic lies in the heart of the Veneto plain whose capital, Padova, will amaze you and fall in love. It is the city of St. Anthony, where he centered his preaching mission, of Giotto, the Scrovegni Chapel by Giotto, the most important series of paintings, and Galileo. A city with two distinct faces yet one heart: Padua, both a living religious monument and centre of revolutionary scientific learning, embodies many of the virtues of Veneto: arts, history and nature are in fact integral part of its essence.
The Pontifical Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua (Basilica Pontificia di Sant’Antonio di Padova) is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Padua. Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua. The basilica is known locally as “il Santo”. It is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See The interior of the church contains numerous funerary monuments, some of noteworthy artistic value.
The Scrovegni Chapel: Enrico Scrovegni commissioned it in memory of his father, who as a moneylender was denied a Christian burial. Dante, da Vinci and Vasari all honour Giotto as the artist who ended the Dark Ages with his 1303–05 frescoes. Giotto’s moving, modern approach changed how people saw themselves: not as lowly vassals but as vessels for the divine, however flawed, an humanising approach.
The Palazzo del Bò – Padua’s University: in this institution most controversial thinkers taught here, including Copernicus, Galileo, Casanova, and the world’s first woman doctor of philosophy, Eleonora Lucrezia Corner Piscopia (her statue graces the stairs).
The Loggia Amulea, also known as Ca’ duddo Palazzo Zacco, is an beautiful example of the palace built in neo-Gothic style.
Piazza delle Erbe e della Frutta once called also Piazza delle Biade or Piazza del Vino is one of the many squares of the historic center of Padua. It was for centuries, with Piazza della Frutta, the commercial center of the city. In the two squares is held one of the biggest markets in Italy. Unlike Piazza dei Signori, the scene of civic celebrations, Piazza delle Erbe was the site of the popular festivities. The square is dominated by the Palazzo della Ragione, part of the large City Hall.
The Prato della valle, one of its most beautiful places, the square where to stroll along the watercourse lined with tall statues and monuments
The Basilica of Santa Giustina
The Botanical gardens
What to do
- Tour with private motor boat on Brenta river
- From Padoa to Venice by private motorboat
- Aperitif with Typical Sprizz in a glamour coffee bar
- Night walk in the city center
- Wellness and Art
- Padoa Segway Tour
- Shopping with personal shopper
Where to get a taste of Padoa
- Godenda: local foodies’ favourite, red-leather loungers, a sleek bar, offering seasonal menu offers creative takes on old Venetian classics such as venison and lentils with sauteed apples and there’s an excellent selection of wines by the glass.
- Famous vinery to taste Amarone Wine and a special lunch
- Cafe Pedrocchi: open 24 hours 24, for this reason it was called “cafe without doors” and considered one of the luxury literary cafes of Italy.
Venice is a unique city, a marvel, an open air museum! If it’s your first time in Venice, see all the highlights of this magical city on a combination walking tour of Venice’s narrow streets and a boat tour on the Grand Canal is the easiest way to learn and discover this magnificent city.
What to see
- Basilica of St. Mark, one of the most distinguished creations of medieval architecture and symbol of the ancient Venetian Republic, which contains the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of the city. the Doge’s Palace
- the Bridge of Sighs
- to the Rialto Bridge
- St Mark’s Square, The Piazza San Marco, is probably the most famous site in Venice and it was considered the center of Venetian life since the Middle Ages.
- Galleria dell’Accademia, The Accademia Gallery, is the largest art museum in Venice and houses one of the largest collections in the world of masterpieces of Venetian painting up to the eighteenth century
What to do
- Tour with private motor boat to visit the pearls of Venice, Burano, Murano and Torcello, and have a welcome drink on board
- Murano Glass experience
- Wander the Streets of Burano Island
- Visit Torcello, a nature reserve
- Gondola Luxury Compilation
- Venetian theatrical tour
- Dinner in Casino of Venice
- experiencing Vivaldi in Venice
- Walk in James Bond’s footsteps
- Jewish Ghetto (Ghetto Ebraico)
- Peggy Guggenheim Collection & Correr Civic Museum
Where to get a taste of Venice
- try traditional dishes from the Veneto – like oca in onto (goose in its own fat) or freshwater lagoon fish done in saor
- taste the best polpette (meatballs) in Venice
- enjoy strong selection of Venetian antipasti, including raw sea food