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The Abbots’ Route - Itinerary

See the map and the places to stop

The Abbots’ RouteThis itinerary consists of the ancient “Abbots’ street”, the street of the Bobbio monks, from the 7th to the 8th century, used it to go back and forth to Rome, before the Via Francigena of Monte Bardone (now Cisa) took on its well-known role.  The recommended route, from Bobbio to Boccolo Noce, is the Piacenza stretch of the “Abbots’ Route”.

 

Bobbio was an important strategic center, in the system of fortresses along the Borgallo street, or the least dangerous of the roads leading to Rome, until Monte Bardone was taken over by the Byzantines who then controlled the road.  As connected as it was the monasteries of Gravago, Corte Torresana and San Giovanni in Pontremoli, Bobbio allowed for complete control of the street going to Rome through the Apennines.

 

In the high Middle Ages, between 600 and 1000 ad, this was the street that the abbots used to go to Rome.  It was also used to transport people and products from the lands possessed by the Monastery, in Val Taro, Val Ceno and Tuscany to Bobbio.

 

The route was used, going and coming back, also by Irish travelers, both ecclesiastical and laypeople, who, on their pilgrimage to Rome, included a stop in Bobbio.  And here they stopped for a visit to the tomb of Saint Columban, the Franciscan Irish monk who contributed to converting the Longobards.

 

Today it is once again possible to relive that moment in time.  The route offers evidence and landmarks form the Middle Ages: fountains, springs and rest stops.

 

From Coli to Mareto: 20 km about (approx. 6 hours)

 

It takes a maximum of 6 hours, proceeding at a constant pace, to complete this route. Passing through the Castello dei Magrini and the Castello di Faraneto you reach the Aserei Mountain where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama. Lots of ups and downs, and in some places it is necessary to go on foot.  You often run into groups of grazing horses.

Last modified Feb 21, 2011

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