The Via Francigena, Franchigena, Francisca or Romea, is part of a bundle of routes, also called Romee streets, which led from Central Europe, especially from France, to Rome.
In southern Italy, especially in Puglia, it is also attested a street Francesca - linked to the practice of pilgrimages - which some associate with the Via Francigena claiming to be its continuation to the south, toward Jerusalem, although there are no historical evidence of this claim.
The first archival records mentioning the existence of the Via Francesca date back to the ninth century and refer to a stretch of road in the countryside around Chiusi, in the province of Siena; while in the tenth century the bishop Sigerico described the route of a pilgrimage he made from Rome to return to Canterbury, on what since the twelfth century it was universally recognized as the Via Francigena.
The Sigerico document is one of the most important examples of this network of European routes in the Middle Ages, but it does not exhaust the many alternatives that came to define a dense web of connections that the pilgrim walked according to the season, the political situation of territories crossed, or religious beliefs related to the relics of saints. One of his most striking joints is a unique way to reach Assisi in the footsteps of St. Francis, starting from the north (La Verna) from south (Greccio).