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Via Micaelica. Religiosity from Rome to Monte Sant’Angelo

The Via Micaelica from Rome to Monte Sant’Angelo is an important stage of the approach to Jerusalem in the footsteps of the cult and the very ancient pilgrimage of the archangel Michael. In fact, its destination is the Micaelico sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo, a “locus terribilis” linked to very ancient cults, a pilgrimage destination since the Longobard era, an outpost of the Latin world against the Byzantine dominions and a compulsory stop for those whose destination was Siponto, an ancient port of embarkation for the coasts of the Near East and the Holy Places of Jerusalem.

Via Micaelica stages in detail

The itinerary, identified in 2002 and subsequently constantly updated and monitored by the Iubilantes association of Como, starts from St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and in 17 days makes it possible to reach the destination, covering about 450 km. It touches on places dense with history that take us back to the origins of the Christian world, such as the Roman catacombs of San Sebastiano, or that hark back to medieval Christianity, such as the abbeys of Casamari or Montecassino. It is no coincidence that a large Saint Michael stands out engraved on the Porta San Sebastiano and on the fabric of the Aurelian Walls, the starting point of the micaelico route.

Along the way, the figure of St. Michael the Archangel – the angel of the Apocalypse, weigher of souls and victor of the devil, fascinating overlapping of Christianity and paganism, guardian of sheep tracks and shepherds – accompanies the walker: ancient dedications of churches, recurring place names, commemorative plaques, small rock sanctuaries, almost always also linked to an ancient cult of water, are signs of this. The route is therefore truly a ‘Via Micaelica’ punctuated by a myriad of ancient sanctuaries linked to the cult of Michael the Archangel, up to the final stop, the evocative sanctuary on the Gargano.