In 990, Sigéric – the incumbent Archibishop of Canterbury (GB) – returns to England from Rome. Throughout his long voyage, he records in his journal a detailed list of all the stages along the way; it would become the cornerstone of the ViaFrancigena.
Let us start with a little piece of history. Already in the Roman period, a route which would connect Rome to Northern Europe became a necessity and was eventually built on the basis of what has been described in the introduction. In the High Middle Ages, this route became an important trading highway and was christened, at the end of the 9th Century, « Via Francigena » - the road to France.
Recently elected « The Grand Cultural Route of the European Council », the Via Francigena adds up to a total of 1'800 km between Great Britain and Italy, making its way through France and Switzerland. Consisting of a total of 14 stages, the Via Francigena route touches on the town of Aigle on sections 7 (Vevey-Montreux-Aigle) and 8 (Aigle-Massongex-St-Maurice). It should be noted that the Via Francigena corresponds to Itinerary N° 70 of Swiss Mobile, the national network dedicated to non-motorized travel.
In the same vein as the famous Santiago de Compostela, the Via Francigena is also an important pilgrim route. The journey puts important cultural european sites on the map and as such is a real asset in terms of both culture and tourism.