ur itinerary has its start in Fidenza, crossroads of several different routes. Fidenza Cathedral emblematically bears witness to the complex significance of medieval monuments, which blend in their architecture human and universal values, the concepts of nature and spirit, sin and salvation. Most of the sculptural decoration was carried out by Benedetto Antelami, who probably worked at it at the very beginning of the 13th century. To reach Fornovo from Fidenza and thus get ready to cross the Apennines, the pilgrim had two options; the most direct path left the Via Claudia, as the Via Emilia was called in medieval times, at Coduro, where the church of San Leonardo stood, and it proceeded through the Fidenza countryside towards Santa Margherita, crossing an area called "la Francesca". From here the road headed straight for Borghetto di Noceto, Medesano, Felegara and finally Fornovo. The stretch leading from Medesano to Felegara is in fact mentioned as the "municipal road named Francesca" in the 18th century cartography. The variation through Parma was probably less popular but equally important and charming. It proceeded from Fidenza along the Via Emilia towards Parma, passing through San Pancrazio, with the church where the relics of the Saint were kept, and finally reaching the church of Santa Croce, just outside the town.

Foto 1: Saint Simon in the Cathedral of Fidenza
Foto 2: The Cathedral of Fidenza
Foto 3: The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Fornovo

Hiking Tips
1st stop: Fidenza - Fornovo
Lunghezza: km 35
Distance: 9
Walking time: National Road nr. 9
(Via Emilia); provincial and municipal
roads with sections of dirt roads
Road signs: Via Francigena
signs all along the road
Refreshment stops: bar - restaurants in
Borghetto, Costamezzana,
Medesano (Metane; submansio
XXXV of Sigeric), Felegara
Rest stop: Fornovo
(Philemangenur; submansio
XXXIV of Sigerico).
Hotels, inns, restaurants.
Information: Tourist
Association Pro Loco Fornovo,
Via XXIV Maggio 34,
Tel. fax. +39 525 2599.
IAT di Fidenza, Piazza Duomo 2,
43036 Fidenza, Tel. +39 524 84047.

The Via Francigena