I remember when I was little. I would look with wide eyes in a mixture of curiosity and fear at those strange shells painted on the houses in my home town of Fondo. My grandma would tell me tales of woe, recounting ancient stories of terrible plagues, of praying to the heavens, of whole families from our valley who had travelled to Saint James, all the way to Compostela.
When I grew up, I studied, I worked and I began walking.
Do you like walking? I love it. Over time, I discovered that walking is the best form of meditation. So, on foot, I journeyed to Santiago di Compostela in Spain on my own. I discovered how many similarities there were between the worship of Saint James and my homeland. I became very interested in pilgrimages and was delighted to discover that there was also a beautiful one here in the Val di Non: the Way of Jacopeo d’Anaunia. You can do the whole thing in seven days or, if you have less time, in just three stages. It leads you to sacred places, ancient hermitages and little mountain churches. But above all, it introduces you to people like me and many others who, like my grandmother, will tell you stories of ancient plagues, of praying to the heavens and of pilgrim families.
Grab your backpack and start the journey.