Not the Camino

Patrick

New Member
I was doing a little thinking, in preparation for my journey on the Francigena next May, and was considering what was going to be different.

My experience on the Northern Camino (LOVED it) was largely and happily solitary, with delightful but only occasional encounters with other pilgrims. I think I already know to expect that on the Francigena, and I'm content with that.

But...I enjoyed the historical connection between the various Caminos to Santiago, and the development of the roads, as the kingdoms of Spain were regained from Moorish control, as a way to permit pilgrims to make their way. So in 2017, when I was making my way from Hendaye in France, to Hondarribia in Spain, the bridge was named the Pont saint-Jacques / Puente de Santiago, though it is 700 kilometers from Santiago. I'm guessing that the original bridge was built for pilgrims, and then subsequent bridges that replaced it carried the same name. That kind of historical connection and consciousness follows the way all across Spain on the Northern Route. I had noticed something similar on my briefer Portuguese Camino in 2015. There were scallop shells and images of St. James built into the architecture of the churches, bridges and even park monuments all along the way. These reminders kept centering me. I was a part of something ancient and new, something adventurous and nourishing. I might have been alone at the moment, but I was still a part of something much larger than my self, or my present moment.

I'm guessing that may not be the case for the Francigena.

For those who've done the Francigena, if you have a moment, am I right in thinking there is much less consciousness of the Francigena in the minds of the people we meet, and the buildings we see?

If so...I'm guessing I have to plan on carrying the historical sense of pilgrimage to Rome along with me unsupported by all the little architectural grace-notes. Could you also share any thoughts of how to stay in a sense of pilgrimage without the exterior supports?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
For those who've done the Francigena, if you have a moment, am I right in thinking there is much less consciousness of the Francigena in the minds of the people we meet, and the buildings we see?

If so...I'm guessing I have to plan on carrying the historical sense of pilgrimage to Rome along with me unsupported by all the little architectural grace-notes. Could you also share any thoughts of how to stay in a sense of pilgrimage without the exterior supports?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I would say that there is at the moment there is less consciousness of the Francigena in most of the people you see but that there is much connection with pilgrimage in the buildings you see.

As yet there are not the commercial numbers required to make the VF as well documented architecturally as a route as the CF. The the buildings are there and the scholarship has been done just not in a handy book for the route but spread over many books and pamphlets.

Once you get to Rome there are many Architectural Reference books such as Palladio's Rome, The Einsiedeln Itineries and many others
 

sharon w

New Member
We are currently walking the Via. We started in Lucca and there seem to be quite a few pilgrims at this time of year. So, maybe the spirit of the via will grow with increased numbers. We have met plenty of pilgrims. One night there were 47 of us in one Ostello, so I think it’s popularity is increasing.
 
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