I am just returning from a lovely trip to Paris, Venice, Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Côte d’Azur. It was my first visit ever in Europe and, well, it was quite an amazing voyage! What was the link between these destinations? They were all places to see, places to walk.
And indeed, we sure had the opportunity to enjoy walking. From endless walks through Paris to great hiking in Cinque Terre, each and every place we visited had a lot to offer.
While I was in Tuscany, close to San Gimignano, I realized there was a famous medieval pilgrimage route crossing Italy from Aosta (way up in the North) to Rome. This ancient road, called Via Francigena, is one of the 3 most important pilgrimage route with one in Jerusalem and famous Compostelle. In San Gimignano’s surroundings, numerous trekking trails, available for walkers and bikers, offer amazing sceneries.
While in Tuscany, I had chosen an appartment in Pancole, right next to the medieval city of San Gimignano. The landscapes over there are really so amazingly beautiful that I really cried for 5 minutes when we arrived the first day. Breathtaking. Really.
One day, my husband and I went for a walk in one of the hiking trail, departing from an old monastery nearby. I couldn’t stop thinking that people were walking on this route more than 1000 years ago. I was overwhelmed by everything: the cypress, the vines, the olive trees, the singing birds… Then a man walk next to us in a hurry. He had what seemed to be a very heavy box in his hands and looked annoyed by his barking dog. He didn’t seem impressed with the scenery at all…
It made me realize one thing: it’s not the road itself that really makes the pilgrimage. It’s the time we take for ourselves while walking the route. Be it on the route to Rome or to Compostelle, first of all, it is a road to our inner self…
I guess that’s what Luc Desbiens wants to share in the weekend workshop he gives at Spa Eastman. He calls it: “A step towards Compostelle“. While covering walking techniques and informations on Compostelle’s pilgrimage, it’s also a weekend of walking, relaxation and self discovery. Certainly well worth the trip!
p.s. for the first time, Luc is offering an extended version of the weekend; up to 5 days, if you wish.