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Home The Pilgrims' Paths in Emilia Romagna Via Matildica of the Holy Face (Walk of Faith) or Matilde's Path

Via Matildica of the Holy Face (Walk of Faith) or Matilde's Path



03-sentiero-di-matilde-di-canossa.pngReliving the story of Matilde di Canossa through the ancient places of her great feudal lands is a very evocative task which can be done by walking Matilde's Path, a network of itineraries along old medieval roads.  These lead to castles of the Great Countess passing through old stone towns in an enchanting natural landscape and connecting to ancient, traditional religious paths.   

This itinerary links Mantua, where the blood of Christ can be found in the Church of Sant’Andrea, a great work by Leon Battista Alberti, in Lucca, where the Holy Face is housed, through Reggio Emilia and on to the road to San Pellegrino in Alpe, a medieval hostel and a longstanding pilgrimage destination.

The slowness of the walk will allow you to discover the artistic and historic heritage left by the most important woman of the Middle Ages, through castles, tower houses, ancient parishes and towns made with stones.  This meaningful walk is also the "natural" access way to the National Tuscan-Emilian Apennine Park and to its Mab-Unesco Area.

There are twelve suggested stops, from Mantua to Reggio Emilia, from the cliffs of Canossa to the hostel San Pellegrino in Alpe - located in the Apennine peaks, a natural balcony overlooking the Garfagnana and towards the final destination: Lucca.

The route is marked with white-red paint marks and along the entire path there are signs in the form of metal arrows indicating the nearest destination, the midway point and the next stop, according to the national standards established by the CAI – Italian Alpine Club.  At the main points of the path, there are also rest stops for hikers with information boards.


The Province of Reggio Emilia emits the Pilgrimage Credentials.


In detail


Regions crossed: Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany

Stops: the walk starts in Mantua and reaches Lucca with legs ranging from about 20 to 25 km and can be divided as follows:

1st leg: Guastalla Reggio Emilia AltaVelocità Station 26.3 km

2nd leg: Reggio Emilia AltaVelocità station Vezzano sul Crostolo 19.8 km

3rd leg: Vezzano sul Crostolo – Canossa 11.5 km

4th leg: Canossa - Casina 14.5 km

5th leg: Casina - Carpineti 13.5 km

6th leg: Carpineti - Toano 17 km

7th leg: Toano - Gazzano (Villa Minozzo) 18.5 km

8th leg: Gazzano - San Pellegrino in Alpe 19.7 km


Along these lines, a bike-pedestrian path is being designed that will make this itinerary easier to use for tourists and pilgrims by bike.

Length: the total length is 140.8 km

Level of difficulty: easy, due mostly to the length of the legs. The itinerary does not have any particular technical difficulties.


Discover this path leg by leg



The life of Matilde di Canossa


Tourist Information Office of Reggio Emilia

Tel. +39 0522 451152


Tourist Information Office of Canossa

Tel. 336 2287340

Tourist Information Office of Castelnovo ne' Monti

Tel. +39 0522 810430


Municipality of Vezzano sul Crostolo

Silvia Riva, Tel. 0522.601911



Last modified May 03, 2017

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