The Abbot Albert, while he was at the Benedictine Monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Stade (Hamburg), recognized the necessity to adopt a more rigid ecclesiastical discipline, according to the model of Cistercian rules.
Since he had to obtain the permission by Pope Gregory IX for that purpose, he started his journey towards Rome.
The Pope gave his approval to the wished reform, but the Brothers and the Archbishop of Bremen refused it.
Disappointed, Alberto resigned from his position and entered the Convent of Friars Minor in San Giovanni (Stade).
Here he dedicated himself to writing the so called Annales, a Latin chronicle of the main ecclesiastical and political events of his time.
In this work you can find the dialogue between two monks concerning the best ways for a pilgrimage towards Rome. In the dialogue, the Abbot points out different itineraries with precise data on places and distances to cross, on the conditions of roads and exact indications on the length of the individual stopovers in German miles.
The path, about 2200 km long, has been rediscovered thanks to the work of passionate scholars and archaeologists.
It is made up of three main sections: Germany (from Stade to Wernigrode through Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria). Austria (Seefeld - Innsbruck- Brenner) and Italy.
The Italian itinerary covers 1000 kilometres (divided in 46 stopovers) from Alps to Rome and crosses inspiring views immersed in the nature, villages and towns rich in art and history, through both internationally famous places and less known Italian corners.
The Itinerary can be covered on foot, by bike, on horseback, but also by car and motorbike, choosing from time to time the favourite stopovers to cover with calm and tranquillity, based on the available time and abilities.
There are four Umbrian legs: from Pozzuolo to Paciano (21 km), from Paciano to Città della Pieve (15.6 km), from Città della Pieve to Ficulle (21.7 km), from Ficulle to Orvieto (24.8 km).
It’s a journey at the discovery of some historic and artistic jewels of the Green Heart, among ancient testimonies and landscape beauties.
The Umbrian stages
- First stage: from Pozzuolo to Paciano (21 km)
Pozzuolo Umbro, or simply Pozzuolo, is a hamlet of the municipality of Castiglione del Lago.
A village of early medieval origin, it is located 8 km from Castiglione, on the hills of Trasimeno bordering the Valdichiana Senese.
Before starting your journey towards Paciano, you should visit Castiglione del Lago, interesting for its position, but especially for its historical centre and its monuments, starting from the splendid Corgna Palace.
- Second stage: from Paciano to Città della Pieve (15.6 km)
Paciano is situated on the slopes of the Pausino mountain, on the hills south of the Trasimeno Lake and at the centre of a territory rich in woods of holm oaks, oaks and chestnuts. Thanks to its unique environmental, cultural and artistic heritage, it is considered one of “Italy’s Most Beautiful Towns”.
Don’t miss the Church of St. Carlo which, characterized by an elegant 17th century portal, hosts among the paintings of local painters even those of Francesco di Castel della Pieve, assumed to be the Master of the painter Perugino.
The aristocratic Baldeschi Palace, today seat of the museum “TrasiMemo Trasimeno’s Memory Bank” overlooks via Sensini.
- Third stage: from Città della Pieve to Ficulle (21.7 km)
Città della Pieve, rich in art and history, is the homeland of Pietro Vannucci called Perugino, one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance.
The famous artist, master of Raphael, left different artworks in his home town, including the magnificent fresco of the Adoration of Magi.
Also of great interest are the Corgna Palace, with paintings of the middle of 16th century, and the cathedral.
Ficulle is located in the southern part of Umbria, not far from the border with Lazio and from the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno. Its earthenware handicrafts, a unique historic and cultural heritage, made it famous as the “village of crock’s producers”, skilled masters of crock who shape clay with uncommon skills.
The Hall Castle is a must-see; built in 1350 by Angelo Monaldeschi della Vipera, whose family arrived in Italy following Charlemagne in the 9th century. Perhaps, as a sign of appreciation, they built the small Renaissance chapel, at the entrance of the castle, that has a big fresco of the 15th century Umbrian school depicting the visit of the Three Kings in Bethleheme.
In the south-west of Umbria, Orvieto is a splendid town of Etruscan origin that rises on an imposing tufa rock dominating the broad valley of the Paglia river.
The city has a rich artistic and cultural heritage, bringing with it the magic and power of 3000 years of history that are visible in the Medieval urban structure remained unchanged over time.
Don’t miss visiting The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, masterpiece of the Italian Gothic architecture, the Church of St. Juvenal (1004), the Church of St. Andrew, built on the ruins of a pagan temple and of an Early-Christian church, the Church of St. Domenico with the mausoleum of the Cardinal De Braye made by Arnolfo di Cambio, and then Soliano Palace (1297) hosting the Museum “Emilio Greco” and the Papal Palace, hosting the National Archaeological Museum, the Palazzo del Popolo “Claudio Faina” and the Civic Museum Febei Palace.
For further information:
The Pilgrimage Credential
To follow the Itinerary, request the Pilgrimage Credential allowing to access “ospitali” (pilgrims' lodging) and to obtain some discounts.
The Credential carries the place and date of departure and arrival, the stamps of the places and of the accommodation structures visited, as a demonstration of the path travelled.
The Credential is also the document needed to obtain the certificate of pilgrimage completion, once arrived in Rome, the "Testimonium”.