• Religious Tourism
    • Active & Green
    • Art & Culture

Orio Litta and the Via Francigena

An evocative route that combines nature, faith and art, to explore on foot or by bicycle.

From the Lodi countryside to religious residences, discover our tips for exploring the Via Francigena while taking in the beauty of the area.

 

Lombardy's cultural heritage boasts some unique locations that attract tourists from all over the world year after year. One of the most exciting experiences in Lombardy is to travel along the Via Francigena: a pilgrimage route that rivals that of Santiago de Compostela. Here nature, art and faith come together in an unforgettable experience that visitors will remember forever.

What is the Via Francigena?
In the Middle Ages, the roads that pilgrims travelled to reach the eternal city were called "vie romee". One of these was the route of the Via Francigena, described in detail by Sigeric the Serious, Archbishop of Canterbury, who in 990 A.D. went to Rome to visit Pope John XV: the journey is over two thousand kilometres (divided into 79 stages) starting from England and finishing in the heart of the Old Continent. The Italian section of this long journey includes 44 stages, starting from the Great St. Bernard Pass. 

The Via Francigena in the Lodi area
Following in Sigeric's footsteps, the route enters the Lodigiano area in the village of Ponte di Mariotto and runs along the river Lambro, continuing along the Po. Along this part of the route you can admire green meadows dotted with hares, pheasants and herons: a perfect setting to find peace and serenity.

A visit to Orio Litta: what to see 
The first signpost marking the Via Francigena is located near Orio Litta, about 20 km from Lodi, on the left bank of the Lambro. Here you can visit the Oratory of the Blessed Virgin of Caravaggio, and then head to the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist the Martyr, but especially worth a visit is Villa Litta Carini, an imposing residence that boasts a number of magnificent frescoes with a mythological theme. Also worth mentioning is the Benedictine cell of Cascina S. Pietro, today a welcome centre for all pilgrims. 

The Via Francigena on foot: when to go
When is the best time of year to explore the route? The best months are without a doubt May and June, or September and October. To make the most of this experience, we suggest that you avoid the hottest times of year, when temperatures are too high, and make sure you set off very early in the morning. Many parts of the route have little or no shade so you will need something to cover your head and sunscreen. 

Cycling along the Via Francigena: the loop route 
Keen mountain bikers will enjoy the circular loop route, which was created to connect Orio Litta and Corte Sant'Andrea. Starting from the courtyard of the Villa Litta Carini stables, follow the grassy path up to the Roggia su Venere bridge, and then head towards Ospedaletto Lodigiano, the site of a former pilgrims' refuge. Along the way you can admire the vault of the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie, the stunning façade of the Church of Santa Maria in Galilea and why not pause at the "Casa dell'acqua" in Senna Lodigiana, an information and rest area and drinking water supply point.

Whether you choose to explore this spectacular route on foot or by bike, you are sure to be impressed by the beauty of the landscape and the vestiges of history found along the way.


Route information

Starting point:
Orio Litta

End point:
Corte Sant’Andrea

Total distance on foot:
3.6 km

Cycle route:
3.8 km

Difficulty:
On foot: medium | By bike: medium

On the same topic

Hospitality, monastery-style

Convents and monasteries places historically open to hospitality
  • Religious Tourism
Stay the night in a Lombardy monastery

Corte Sant'Andrea and the Via Francigena

Follow the Via Francigena through Lodi to discover a world of history and tradition
  • Religious Tourism
Corte Sant'Andrea and the Via Francigena

Cammino di Sant'Agostino

Retracing the Way of one of the most important figures of history will give an important new dimension to your awareness of life
  • Religious Tourism
Cammino di Sant'Agostino

Monks and beer cross paths in Monza and Buccinasco

Craft breweries in the monasteries of Lombardy
  • Religious Tourism
Craft beer brewing in the monasteries of Lombardy

The Easter rituals that bring Lombardy to life

Religious rites, centuries-old traditions, and folklore: this is how Lombardy is preparing for Easter 2022
  • Religious Tourism
I riti di Pasqua che emozionano la Lombardia

Lodi, places of spirit

Lodi’s network of cycle paths has reached the formidable length of nearly 250 kilometres, making it a veritable paradise for lovers of slow tourism
  • Religious Tourism
Lodi luoghi dell'anima

Churches Mantua

Discovering the places of worship of the Mantuan area. To fill the spirit between faith and religious art
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Mantua, spiritual journeys in Lombardy

La Via Matildica del Volto Santo

A great route of faith and culture
  • Religious Tourism
La Via Matildica del Volto Santo

Churches in Lombardy

Great works of art are hosted in the churches in Lombardy. In fact, many sacred places are interesting for those who love cultural tourism
  • Religious Tourism
Churches in Lombardy, travel guide

Holy honey

A centuries-old tradition still alive in the abbeys
  • Religious Tourism
Where to buy honey made by monks in Lombardy

Churches Como

Como, appreciated for the beauty of its landscapes, combines beautiful villas and glimpses of the lake with beautiful churches
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Como, a guide to Lombardy

Cammini della Regina

Percorsi storici da Coira a Como
  • Religious Tourism
Camini della Regina, religious itineraries from Coira to Como

Medieval cookery at the Abbazia di Morimondo

Gastronomic experiences at the Abbey of Morimondo
  • Religious Tourism
Gastronomic experiences at the Abbazia di Morimondo

La Via Regina

The Queen of the Ways, ancient, crucial. A network of travellers’ hospices and monuments evidence of the historic importance of the route
  • Religious Tourism
La Via Regina

Churches Monza

A journey discovering the history of the territory through architecture and spirituality.
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Monza, exploring Lombardy

The monk’s pantry: where to indulge your tastebuds

Guide for gourmands in the monasteries of Lombardy
  • Religious Tourism
A gluttonous guide to the monasteries of Lombardy

Km-0 in Lombardy: agriculture in monasteries

In the monasteries there is still the atmosphere of the past. If you want to buy genuine products, at Km 0, you can contact the monks
  • Religious Tourism
Km-0 agriculture in the monasteries of Lombardy

The Way of the Monks

From Milan to Via Francigena, through the Po. The Way passes through three protected parks, a WWF oasis, monasteries and abbeys
  • Religious Tourism
The Way of the Monks

Church Varese

From the Sacro Monte of Varese to the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, a spiritual path made of artistic and landscape beauties
  • Religious Tourism
Church Varese, what to see

Churches Lecco

Churches, basilicas and shrines in Lecco and surroundings: a religious heritage between the Romanesque and the Marian cult
  • Religious Tourism
Churches Lecco, ideas for visiting