Embark on a 3- or 7-day tour that leads through the entire Val di Non valley, just as the pilgrims once did. The yellow shell marks the right path. The pilgrim's card not only identifies you as a pilgrim from a traveller: it allows you to stamp the stages you have completed as well as to benefit from a simplified organisation of your overnight stays in our partner accommodations.
Do you like hiking? I love it. I realised that hiking is the highest form of meditation. That's how I solely reached Santiago de Compostela in Spain and discovered how closely the cult of St James is linked to my region.
My curiosity for pilgrimages was aroused and I was surprised to find out that also the Val di Non valley holds a beautiful path of faith: the Way of St. James in Anaunia . It leads you to sanctuaries, historic hermitages and charming mountain villages. But most of all, you will meet me and many other people who, like my grandmother, will share age-old tales of plagues, of heavenward prayers and of families of pilgrims...
Below you will find all the information about this tour and how to best organise it. As there are a lot of things to explain, we have split the information into the following sections:
The name of this pilgrimage route derives from the ancient name of the Val di Non valley: Anaunia. The Way of Saint James of Anaunia was founded in 2007 by a group of friends – the association "Associazione Anaune Amici del Camino di Santiago" (= Anaune Friends of the Way of Saint James). After the experiences they had made in Galicia, they wanted to reveal the many traces left by pilgrims who had travelled through the Val di Non valley in the past and narrate the story of seven families from the village of Fondo who survived a terrible plague.
The Val di Non is a wide valley situated halfway between the Alps and the Lake Garda. The Romans were well aware of the strategic importance of this valley, which is why they built important passageways in this area. Some of the most important roads were those that crossed the Palade mountain pass and the valley called Val d’Ultimo/Ultental, leading through the entire region towards the valley of the Giudicarie and, finally, to Lake Garda.
These safe and comfortable roads, which were accessible all year round, were eventually used by pilgrims travelling through the valley from the north towards Rome, Santiago de Compostela and even Jerusalem. Testifying to the lively flow of pilgrims coming from all over Europe, there are still chapels and frescoes dedicated to St James, as well as the remains of numerous hospices where the friars once welcomed the pilgrims and provided them with spiritual care.
Yet there is also a more recent history, of which there are no written records, but which is documented in a series of frescoes decorating the houses of the village of Fondo. In 1482, a terrible plague hit the Trentino and decimated its population. Some families vowed to Saint James to undertake a pilgrimage to Compostela if they were spared the plague. Surviving the epidemic unharmed, the seven heads of the families set off on a journey to the faraway sanctuary in Galicia, located about 2,300 km from Fondo. As a sign of gratitude, they had seven frescoes painted on the house fronts of their hometown upon their return - one for each family.
The association "Associazione Anaune Amici del Camino di Santiago" (= Anaune Friends of the Way of St. James Association) preserves these stories and created a path which connects all of the historical sites of devotion and presents the valley through the eyes of the pilgrims of the past.
The itinerary of the Way of St. James in AnauniaThe starting point of the Way of Saint James in Anaunia is Sanzeno, the place where the Basilica of the Holy Martyrs of Anaunia and the Sanctuary of San Romedio are located. This place is the spiritual centre of the valley. The story of Romedius himself testifies to this, as he came here to honour the holy martyrs and decided to settle down as a hermit on the nearby ledge where the famous sanctuary is located today.
The circular hike leads in 7 stages across the entire valley and links the most important historico-cultural sites along the way: the same places where once the pilgrims used to pray or rest. Of particular interest are the Sanctuary of the Assumption in the hamlet of Senale/Unsere Liebe Frau im Walde, the Church of San Marcello in Dardine, the Church of San Martino in Vervò, the hermitage of San Pancrazio above the locality of Campodenno, the Church of Saint Bartholomew in Romeno and - as the end of the pilgrimage route - the Sanctuary of San Romedio.
If completing all 7 stages is too demanding, you can also opt for the 3-day variant of the circular tour: Once you have reached the town of Rumo, you have the possibility of heading back to Sanzeno along the short version of the Way of St. James that leads to the Sanctuary of San Romedio, instead of proceeding further into the Val di Sole valley.
Technical information: Level of difficulty, duration and difference in heightThe entire route is well signposted and runs along old roads, paths and cart tracks. Crossroads and important landmarks are indicated with a red and white signpost displaying the trail symbol as well as the next destination. The symbol of the classic yellow shell confirms that you are on the right path.
The hike doesn't represent any particular technical difficulties. On average, you cover about 20-25 km per day - hence a total of 150 km spread over 7 stages. The daily difference in height ranges from a minimum of 600 metres to a maximum of 1,100 metres. Some sections feature a greater difference in altitude than others and can therefore be more demanding. However, the sequence of each stage is designed so that a challenging stage is followed by an easier one.
Accommodations along the Way of St. JamesAll sections end in localities with accommodation facilities. Some hosts also offer the possibility of spending just one night in the accommodation and provide targeted services to share both their values and the concept of "slow tourism" with their guests. When booking your accommodation facility without the help of an agency, we remind you to show your pilgrim's card upon arrival.
Here you will find an overview of the participating partner facilities, categorised by stage.
It is easiest to organise your tour via the Travel Agency of the Val di Non valley, which has always collaborated with the Association of the Way of Saint James in Anaunia. In this way, the agency manages all the organisational aspects and acts as a useful reference point for pilgrims undertaking the Way of Saint James.
Here you will find all prices and details of the organised tour package.
Rest points along the itinerary
As the route crosses several villages, there are small supermarkets and restaurants where you can stop off for a meal or to restock your provisions. The grocery stores are usually open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Monday afternoons, Thursday afternoons and Sundays, however, they are closed. During lunchtime, restaurants are open until 2 p.m.
It may be more difficult to find a place for lunch along stages 3, 4 and 6. In those cases, we recommend asking your accommodation facility for a lunch box for the next day
Map, pilgrim's card and hiking certificate
The official map of the Way of St. James is sold together with the hiking guide. The association frequently updates this edition, which not only includes descriptions of the different stages, but also plenty of natural history, historical and cultural information. The hiking guide and the map can be purchased online at the following link as well as on the website of the association "Associazione Anaune Amici del Camino di Santiago".
The pilgrim's card is the official document that distinguishes you as a pilgrim from other travellers and accompanies you throughout the entire journey. It also contains the spaces for marking your stages - you will find the respective stamps in the small churches along the tour. Send your request to email@example.com to receive your pilgrim's card at home.
The pilgrim's card is required to receive the hiking certificate upon your return. Simply send the photo of your pilgrim's card - showing the stamps of the 7 or 3 stages - by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Afterwards, you will receive the hiking certificate for having completed the Way of St. James in Anaunia.
Partner accommodation facilities along the Way of Saint James in Anaunia
Hotels and agritourism facilities that offer tailor-made services to facilitate the tour.Details
chiese timbro cammino
Qui trovi la lista delle chiesette che al loro interno conservano il timbro per la tua credenziale.Details
Holiday Package Way of St. James in Anaunia 2023
Just focus on your hiking tour - we'll take care of your reservation!Details
Jacopeo d'Anaunia Path
Val di Non as seen through the eyes of a pilgrim of time ago.Details