Pilgrim identity on the Via Francigena

#1
As I am walking on the Via Francigena through Italy this year. I was wondering how we can easily identify each other as pilgrims rather than as tourist out for the day in Tuscany! Not that I don't wish to meet and talk with some tourist of course.
On my previous pilgrimages in Spain to S de C the shell hanging on the rucksac was a good sign you were meeting a fellow traveller. But I have not heard anything about what is used on the Via Francigena. Is it still the scallop shell, one of the most iconic symbols of the Camino de Santiago?
Or is there something else I have never been aware of ?
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Theoretically it is the Crossed Keys symbol. They are much harder to come by than you might imagine and I know of people who have welded or soldered together two large old keys.

In reality more people will probably be aware that you are a pilgrim with the shell attached to your pack than the keys.
 
#5
Hi,

I have been given this little pilgrim image (plywood, abt. 6 cm) by the "Associazione La Via Francigena di Sigerico", in Ivrea.

View attachment 118
Hi NavyBlue I think that is so simple to cut out and it does resemble the figure on a lot of the waymarkers painted yellow it could be a seller with cross keys on it just like the forum buff for the Camino Santiago forum!
 

Jotown

New Member
#8
I purchased it online from the website shown, along with some other items from them...
however, postage was 'quite a lot' !!...

I have just received this from the CPR , which looks great, and very affordable !




NEW PILGRIM BADGES

The pilgrim symbol to Santiago is the scallop shell and easily available. Pilgrims from Jerusalem traditionally returned with a palm branch. But today you cannot, even in Rome, easily find a nice souvenir with two crossed keys, the traditional symbol for Rome.

The Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome decided to produce two badges based on our logo with the two crossed keys and the small Via Francigena pilgrim. They are both 60mm diameter.

The left-hand one is a self-adhesive embroidered textile badge, weighing two grams, which will be sent to all members that paid/pay their membership for 2018. You will also be able to buy more for £3 plus postage.

The one on the right, is more durable and reusable, and makes an excellent souvenir of a pilgrimage to Rome. It is made of zinc and weighs 65grams with a 26mm-wide slot so it can be fixed to e.g. backpack straps. It costs £7 plus postage.
  • The badges will be on sale at the Confraternity's AGM on 10 March, and all currently subscribed members attending will receive a free patch. Also look out for our online shop, coming soon on http://pilgrimstorome.org.uk
 
#9
Many thanks for your undoubted research Jotown, the cost of joining when I require six badges for myself and my friends that would be quite expensive too for us all to join £120. We would however also get our credentials at the same time!
I am also pondering if a couple of us join, if we could buy the additional Credentials, and Badges?
 
#11
Many thanks for your undoubted research Jotown, the cost of joining when I require six badges for myself and my friends that would be quite expensive too for us all to join £120. We would however also get our credentials at the same time!
I am also pondering if a couple of us join, if we could buy the additional Credentials, and Badges?
That...I don't know, I'm sure they'll tell you..

I have contributed to and joined both the CPR and CSJ (and other pilgrim associations) at differring times,
as they all do so much good work on behalf of us all..
and I think that if we can , we should contribute to them
 
#12
Well i do agree with you there Jotown, that's a really good way for me to put it across to my friends. After all if i'm prepared to pay and join, why not ask them all to do so!
 

Piero Frustascarpe

Moderator
Staff member
#13
As already someone else wrote, there is no official badge/patch/sign for the pilgrims on Via Francigena.
But to recognize pilgrims in Italy and distinguish them from local hikers is very simple. The trails of Via Francigena are not too much traveled by hikers and trekkers, because they are "too much easy" for them, and they prefer climbing on mountains. :)
You can recognize pilgrims because:
  • they are the only people who carry a 40 liter (or above!) rucksack;
  • they wear "unusual" clothes compared to the tech stuff of hikers;
  • most of them use a staff or sticks (Italian hikers never use sticks in flat trails or on less than hard slopes, unless they do nordic walking);
  • they walk in the unambiguous "pilgrim style", you can recognize it from far far away;
  • they are very friendly and recognize you immediately as a member of the "pilgrim tribe", because you too have the same characteristic "signs" ;)
So, buona passeggiata!
 
#14
I put stuff on my pack that I found on the way: A little wooden cross I found on the Alpes, a button I got from a pigrims office in Ivrea and a pin a friend made with a key on it. Although the last one I lost somewhere in France.. Everyone I met knew I was a pilgrim. The cross is going with me on my next pilgrimage. And as said above: somehow people can tell if you are a pilgrim.
 
#16
Some very interesting answers thank you all very much. Of course pilgrims are such a diverse group of walkers, often, but not aways keen walkers of hills and mountains, before they take to long distance walking and also extend their walking life on pilgrimage paths. That's not to say there aren't any challenging climbs on a pilgrimage!
 
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