On the First National Day of the Via Francigena, Sunday May 3, Siena will celebrate the ancient pilgrims’ route with a rich program of events designed to promote the knowledge of the Via Francigena trail in Siena and particularly its first section inside the walls, along Via Camollia.
Guided tours, medieval-style snacks, and fourteenth-century music played live will be the ingredients of the day entitled “Camollia: the Via Francigena enters Siena“, which marks the beginning of a series of initiatives to promote this part of the history of Siena.
These days devoted to the Via Francigena represent a project in which Siena wants to play a crucial role to help bring the Via Francigena back to life and to its old splendor.
In the Middle Ages, Siena was one of the most important steps on this ancient route which lead pilgrims from Northern Europe to Rome. Today, the Francigena itinerary through Siena includes visits to historical places and monuments which bear witness to the past.
The meeting point is Piazza Chigi Saracini, inside Porta Camollia, at 2pm, in the spot where the Via Francigena entered Siena. From there, accompanied by the official guides for free (3 groups leaving at 2pm, 2:30pm and 3pm), visitors will walk towards Porta Romana. The guided walk will finish before 5pm, in time to participate in the celebrations dedicated to Saint Catherine in Piazza del Campo.
The walk will take people to visit several places which played a special role for pilgrims, such as San Pietro alla Magione, the house of the Templars and later of the Knights of Malta, to whom the Church is still connected. Here visitors can learn about the way in which the pilgrims were welcomed in Siena and about the history of the Order. The tour will then lead people to visit the church of Sant’Andrea, where an inn and a cemetery were located, and then up to the museum of Santa Maria della Scala.
The participants will continue their walk to Porta Romana and then to the Orto dei Pecci, where they will be served a small snack in medieval style with Cinta Senese ham. There will also be 14th century music played live.
To help people find out more about the Via Francigena in Siena, the Visitor Center has prepared leaflets with a map and information. They have also prepared explanatory panels for blind people (installed inside the city walls near Porta Camollia), a brochure with a map that pilgrims and visitors will find in shops and bars and restaurants in the area of the city gate Porta Camollia and a brochure in Italian and English that provides detailed information about the monuments along the route of the Via Francigena in Siena.
A dinner in the Contrada dell’Istrice near Porta Camollia.