Following the path of San Domenico journeys
Born is Spain the 24 June 1170, San Domenico devoted is life to convert the heretics, founding the Order of the preachers, the Domenican friars. The last movements of St. Dominic between Rome and Bologna (1218-1221) testify to the ferment and initiative of the Saint, divided between official assignments received from the Pope and the desire to carry out a great project based on study, preaching and evangelical poverty.
This short journey retraces the Saint last steps on his many journeys between Rome and Bologna, that he walked many times in order to meet with the Pope. In fact, the 22 December 1216 Pope Onorio III officially recognized the Domenican order founded by Domenico, allowing them to receive founds by the nobles of the time…but Domenico did not accept them, wanting the friars to live in poverty and begging.
The choice to retrace the Saint’s last journeys during the Jubilee does not arise from an apologetic idea, but rather from the desire to provide a renowned opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of the founder of the Order of preaching friars. “Every time you travel, you spiritually retrace the journey of existence”.
Arrive in Firenze and breath the Renaissance air all around you: take a stroll along the tiny alleys and end up in Santa Maria del Fiore or climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to get a panoramic view, at sunset!
After a short journey by train to S. Piero a Sieve you start walking towards the Appennines. It's a long walk, running from the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountains at La Futa pass, with the biggest German cemetery in Italy, where more than 30.000 German soldiers were laid to rest, with great views over the Firenzuola valley and Mugello.
This section is especially beautiful as you walk through immense green fields and chestnut woods. At your feet are Roman paving stones of the “Flaminia Militare”, the Roman road that used to link Bologna to Arezzo; you will see traces of the Roman passage still visible on the stones to Pian di Balestra, where you find ourselves at the border between Emilia and Tuscany.
After a short transfer you start walking from Sasso Marconi, named after the Nobel Prize winning scientist Guglielmo Marconi who was born here. You walk across Parco Tolon where the Casalecchio lock-gate has been managing the flow of the Reno River into the city of Bologna for 800 years. To reach the Basilica of San Domenico you walk to the Portico di San Luca, built in 1674: this is the longest covered street in the world, 4 km dominated by 666 arches, which extends all the way to the Basilica of San Luca.