From Rome to Subiaco: Journeying in the footsteps of St Benedict

A path that traces the route taken by St Benedict when he left the city of Rome to reach the Aniene Valley has opened to the public.

In 497 AD, Benedict of Norcia was so troubled by the decline of Rome that he decided to leave the city in search of solitude and a place where he could concentrate on his faith. His unique journey from Rome took him through Affile and along the Aniene Valley to Subiaco, and is widely known as "the walk with the blessed".

Now, thanks to the opening of an important street in the city of Rome, this special journey taken by St Benedict is open to the public and starts in Trastevere in Rome, which is where the San Benedetto family resided so many years ago, and continues all the way to Subiaco.

The route follows the city's aqueducts and passes through Palestrina, Castel San Pietro Romano, Poli, Guadagnolo, the sanctuary of Mentorella Pisoniano, Bellegra, Olevano, Roiate, Affile and Subiaco, where it joins the pilgrimage from Norcia to Monte Cassino.

The walk is full of natural charms and although it only takes you a few dozen kilometres outside Rome, the city seems a world away, giving you a feeling of escape and a chance to connect and reflect on your spirituality. It also passes through several enchanting places, such as the sanctuary of Mentorella, which is one of the oldest Marian sanctuaries in Italy and a sanctuary that was particularly dear to Pope John Paul II, who went on an official visit to Mentorella only 15 days after his election as Pope.

One of the most striking parts of the walk is the Carol Wojtyla pathway, which was named after the Polish pope. Although it is somewhat long with a steep incline, the path is completely surrounded by woodland, offering silence and harmony in nature. Another enjoyable point on the route is the path from Pisoniano up to Bellegra - it is a fairly challenging course, with a long and steep climbs surrounded by a forest with beech and chestnut trees, and leads to the summit of Mount Castellone before descending into a magical forest that leads to Subiaco.

If you are interested in enjoying this walk on a tailor-made holiday in Rome, please contact us to find out more.

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