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Val D\'Orcia

24 Val d’Orcia, like the rest of Tuscany, has earned itself a reputation as a bastion of secular culture. Even the smallest hamlets are proud of their independence and local political matters are discussed everywhere you go. But at the same time, Val d’Orcia’s hills and cypress trees are criss-crossed by one of the most important “paths of faith” in Europe. During the Middle Ages, churches and abbeys of great splendour grew up along its course. “In 990 Sigeric was appointed archbishop. That same year he travelled to Rome” we may read in the Anglosaxon Chronicles, the foremost document on British medieval history. Like thousands of forgotten pilgrims, this prelate travelled for 80 days to reach Rome and for another 80 to return home, moving on horseback (or by mule) at the slow pace of the clerics and assistants walking alongside. He stayed in Rome for three days, during which he visited a total of 23 churches and basilicas and received the solemn blessing of Pope John XV. Spedaletto roads and monuments built by faith VALDORCIA_INT_ING 30-07-2009 18:48 Pagina 24

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