Many roads lead to Rome.
More and more people want to make a pilgrimage not only to Santiago de Compostela, but also to reach the eternal city on old pilgrimage routes. Similar to the Ways of St. James, the route of the VIA ROMEA from Northern Germany to Rome was forgotten for many centuries. But for some years now, it has been possible to walk on this old pilgrim route.
The VIA ROMEA of Abbot Albert of Stade is not to be confused with the Via Francigena, the currently most famous pilgrim route to the eternal city. The VIA ROMEA runs vertically from Stade to the south via Austria and the Brenner pass and only meets the Via Francigena on the last section, west of Viterbo.
In his description of Abbot Albert of Stade’s itinerary, the following places appear: Stade, Celle, Rietze, Braunschweig, Hornburg, Wernigerode, Hasselfelde, Nordhausen, Bad Langensalza, Gotha, Schmalkalden, Meiningen, Bad Neustadt, Münnerstadt, Schweinfurt, Würzburg, Ochsenfurt, Aub, Rothenburg, Dinkelsbühl, Marktoffingen, Donauwörth, Augsburg, Igling, Schongau, Oberammergau, Partenkirchen, Mittenwald, Innsbruck, Brixen, Bozen, Trient, Padua, Venedig, Ravenna, Forli, Arezzo, Orvieto, Viterbo, Rom. These form the “basic framework” of the VIA ROMEA today.
In Germany, the VIA ROMEA is divided into 12 sections. The first section in the north is the Stader Geest (Stade – Harsefeld – Zeven). Continue to the south with sections Heide (Zeven – Scheeßel – Soltau – Bergen – Celle), Ostfalen (Celle – Rietze – Wolfenbüttel – Braunschweig – Hornburg), Harz (Hornburg – Wernigerode – Hasselfelde – Nordhausen), Thuringia (Nordhausen – Bad Langensalza – Gotha – Schmalkalden – Meiningen), Rhön (Meiningen – Mellrichstadt – Bad Neustadt – Münnerstadt – Schweinfurt), Franconian wine country (Schweinfurt – Würzburg – Ochsenfurt – Aub – Rothenburg o.d.T.), Romantic Franconia (Rothenburg o.d.T. – Schillingsfürst – Feuchtwangen – Dinkelsbühl), Donau-Ries (Dinkelsbühl – Marktoffingen – Nördlingen – Donauwörth), Swabia (Donauwörth – Markt Meitingen – Augsburg – Igling – Schongau), Pfaffenwinkel (Schongau – Oberammergau) and Bavarian Alps (Oberammergau – Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Mittenwald).
A complete overview (link list) of all daily stages in Germany can be found in our PDF-list: Link list daily stages.