Tracks of Ancient Pilgrims

Following in the footsteps of pilgrims and other medieval travellers is set to grow in popularity as a holiday idea. Here are three routes from Loreto which will help you discover many other places of religious faith in Le Marche. They are 'La Via Romea', 'La Via Salaria' and 'La Via Lauretana'.

The first was the path taken by the pilgrims from Rome to the Adriatic coast. It passes Fano before rising into the Metauro Valley and the localities of Monte Giove, Cartoceto and Fossombrone. It then carries on past Gola del Furlo, Acqualagna and Cagli. Sassoferrato, Fabriano, Jesi, Ancona then Loreto.

The Via Lauretana became popular in the second half of the 1400's after the construction of the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto. It follows the path of the Chienti Valley with the Passo del Cornello at Serravalle its most western point in Le Marche.

Finally, the mythical via Salaria which enters Le Marche near Arquata del Tronto, heads past Ascoli Piceno and reaches the coast at San Benedetto del Tronto. The pilgrims refuelled wherever they found themselves at the end of a day on the road. Today, we can book over the internet or via our mobile phones.

The Holy House of Loreto, or Santa Casa di Loreto,is a religious and cultural destination. A number of Events are held during the year, the main celebration day is the 10th of December. www.santuarioloreto.it

The annual palio of Loreto called Corsa del Drappo takes place on the 7 September - www.comune.loreto.an.it

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