The paths of faith

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Church of San Salvatore - Macra (valle Maira)
Chapel of San Fiorenzo - Bastia
Church of San Giovanni (particolare) - Saluzzo

After the year 1000 the Europeans began to go on pilgrimages. Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem were the most important destinations. But other paths with a whole lot of  parishes, monasteries and hospices radiated out from these major trails.

Typical features of the true main character of the Middle Ages were the cane and the saddle bag: the pilgrim, a poor Christian on a journey along the paths of faith did not have any belongings, but was rich in faith and compassion.

Once crossed the Maritime Alps (Maddalena, Finestre, Tenda) the pilgrims who came from Provence arrived almost always in Borgo San Dalmazzo and then, they finally reached Asti (a city located along the road Via Francigena by Moncenisio) walking along the rivers Tanaro and Stura. For the territory of Cuneo this path was a great southern diversion for the road to Rome and it was yet unknown. 

A variety of hospices, which depended from the most important monasteries, guided the pilgrims across the wide territory. From the Maddalena pass they could reach the “Giacobee” roads, which connected the South of France to Santiago de Compostela.

Those who decided to reach Rome or the Holy Land passing through Liguria could  follow the footsteps of S. Francesco and the road Via Lagarum, that led from Savona through Cairo Montenotte, Cortemilia and Alba to Asti. One could also reach the Ligurian port from Borgo S. Dalmazzo across Ferrania, Vicoforte and Mondovì. 

Since the 16th century the idea of the pilgrimage began to wane and pilgrims preferred to visit the local shrines, which in the following centuries gained more and more importance.

Many ancient paths of the faith can now be found again while on a trip to Rome. Interesting diversions that give the opportunity to visit the wide territory of Cuneo. A visit that will contribute in a positive way to one’s spirit and to the rediscovery of treasures already fallen into oblivion.