One thousand kilometers in 47 days
On the 13th of May, on the route Romea Strata – one of the ancient pilgrimage routes which crossed the regions from the Baltic Sea to Rome – the Pilgrimage Promotion Tour will begin

One thousand kilometers in 47 days.

The Pilgrimage Promotion Tour, organized by AERS (European Association Romea Strata – Associazione Europea Romea Strata), will start on the 13th of May.

The Pilgrimage Promotion Tour aims at enhancing the Romea Strata pilgrimage route, the ancient path that in the past was leading pilgrims and walkers from the Baltic Sea to Rome, and was almost being forgotten.

On this ancient route, cultures, ideas, pilgrims, and traders have passed, and have caught the attention of researchers, who aimed at giving life to a visionary project that has now become a very tangible reality.

The Pilgrimage Promotion Tour will last three years, with the goal of raising awareness on the Romea Strata in its entire itinerary, from the Baltic Sea to Rome. This is a unique opportunity to retrace a millennial path, rich in beauty, nature, art, history, religion and gastronomy. On the 13th of May, pilgrims will start their journey from Krakow, in Poland, will pass through Velehrad in the Czech Republic, cross Austria and then will enter Italy from Tarvisio, to finally reach on the 13th of June Aquileia, in Friuli Venezia Giulia – the final stage of the Pilgrimage Promotion Tour. The route, consisting in 1,100 kilometers, will be organized on the model of a “relay race”: at the borders, the delegations of the various countries will pass to each other the travel diary of the Via Romea Strata, that will serve as testimony of the route.

Next year, the Italian path of the Romea Strata that goes from Aquileia to Rome will be covered in the tour and, in 2023, the northernmost part of the itinerary, from the Baltic Sea to Krakow, will then be walked as the final itinerary of the tour.

It took intuition, comprehension, determination and an great amount of work over many years to bring the Via Romea Strata back to light and to public attention, with the intention of making it the reference point for Europe as it once was. The Via Romea Strata is the common heritage of seven European countries, with over 3,000 kilometers of beautiful natural landscapes, artistic works, history, faith and culture. Today it is mapped and georeferenced.

AERS, the European Association Romea Strata, established in 2018 by thirty founding members representing four states (Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Italy) in which the Romea Srata transits, has the goal of rediscovering and valorizing the route. The continuation of the Romea Strata in the Baltic Republics that reaches Tallinn, in Estonia, is currently being studied and developed.

To have the chance to see Europe on foot is an incredible experience, which makes possible to enhance the common roots we have in the continent, by overcoming the boundaries created throughout history. To deepen and promote the generative themes of the Via Romea Strata, AERS has established a Scientific Committee composed of about forty professors and experts who are working on nine areas of research and thirty thematic strands of the ancient pilgrimage route.

The mission of the Scientific Committee is not only to validate the route from a historical point of view, in all its value and truthfulness, but also to promote and raise awareness on the route through special itineraries and paths centered around the great themes of the ancient roads – the Wool Route, the Silk Road, and the Saints, art and architecture that characterize the Romea Strata.

AERS is also working on the candidature of the Romea Strata for the nomination of “Cultural Itinerary of the Council of Europe” by the European Institute of Cultural Routes, certification that has been previously awarded to the Camino di Santiago, to the Via Francigena and to the St. Olav’s Way.

In addition to the Pilgrimage Promotion Tour organized by AERS, there is another extraordinary initiative promoted by two passionate cyclists who will cycle the entire Via Romea Strata from Tallinn to Rome in the summer of 2021.

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