Matilde’s Way of the Holy Face is an ancient pilgrimage trail and trade route about 200 km long which connects the cities of Mantua and Lucca, passing through Reggio Emilia and crossing the regions of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. Picturesque villages and strategically placed ancient castles lie in its path in the lands of Countess Matilde amid cultural variety and a uniquely rich natural environment.
In the lands of the Countess Matilde di Canossa the trail crosses the Po Valley Plain and rises into the Apennines, then dropping down toward Lucca where it joins the Francigena Way and continues to the papal throne at Rome.
The route of Matilde’s Way now joins Mantua, a UNESCO city and perhaps the birthplace of the countess herself, to Lucca where the Volto Santo (Holy Face, a wooden crucifix) is kept, passing through the village of Guastalla, Reggio Emilia and the spiritual hermitages of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park.
It is a great European trail that penetrates the cultural, historic, economic and religious thinking of the European Continent.
Intersections Matilde’s Way of the Holy Face rejoins the Francigena Way in Tuscany.