The new section of the pilgrimage route of the Way of Saint Anthony between Gemona del Friuli and Padua
An 800-year-old Way of the spirit crossing two regions, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, in 11 stages. More than 250 kilometres, through countryside and villages, places packed with art and historic hamlets. Following in the footsteps of the Saint. And above all, an important sign of recognition for Gemona, the world’s first holy place dedicated to Saint Anthony.
Gemona abounds in history, nature and precious artistic
treasures.The town’s medieval centre is a jewel, reconstructed perfectly after the 1976 earthquake.
Majano’s Roman origins are attested by numerous artefacts.
The spot most abundant in historic memories is San Tomaso, the Romanesque church of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Sequals is the town of mosaic artists, and of Villa Carnera,
home to Primo Carnera, known as ‘The Good Giant’, world heavyweight boxing champion in the 1930s.
Sequals-Montereale Valcellina stage
Located on a terrace of floodland between the rivers and
the mountains in the province of Pordenone.Famous as the home of ‘A.Pitter’ hydroelectric station, the first hydroelectric generating plant in the region and one of the first in Italy.
Montereale Valcellina-Polcenigo stage
Included in the official list of Italy’s most beautiful villages,
or “Borghi più belli d’Italia”, Polcenigo is located in a splendid natural setting abounding in waterways.It has a medieval castle, a number of sixteenth and seventeenth-century stately homes, and several churches.
Known as the ‘Garden of Venice’ for its Venetian atmosphere.
Many of the town’s homes feature ornamental motifs in Renaissance or Baroque style, making Sacile an enchanting little town.
Sacile-Vittorio Veneto stage
City of art, music and wine.Vittorio Veneto stands on the
slopes of the foothills of the Alps, near Treviso, in the shelter of the gentle hills.Titian’s altarpiece in the Cathedral and the clock on the bell tower, one of the oldest in the world, are worth seeing.
Vittorio Veneto-Susegana stage
The landscape around Susegana, a jewel in the hills of Treviso,
looks like something out of a fairy-tale, with leafy rows of grapevines casting shadows on the grass.Don’t miss Salvatore Castle, or the many sights to visit in the area.
An important junction of roads and a river port in medieval
times, Vidor was heavily damaged in the First World War, when bitter fighting damaged the town’s artistic heritage
Asolo is a small centre of trades and farming in the province of Treviso, also counted among the “Borghi più Belli d’Italia”, the official list of the country’s most beautiful villages.Its name brings to mind the splendours of the court of Caterina Cornaro.The town’s enchanting location among the hills has always attracted artists and writers from all over Europe to Asolo.
Camposampiero is a name of medieval origin.There are plenty of historic sites worth visiting in Camposampiero, the most important of which are linked with Saint Anthony of Padua’s brief visit.
A centre of Venetian art and culture, famous for Giotto’s
frescoes in the Cappella degli Scrovegni, dating from the years 1303-05, and for the thirteen-century Basilica of Saint Anthony, containing the Saint’s tomb.
The Way of Saint Anthony
On foot or by bicycle in the footsteps of Saint Anthony
The new section crossing Friuli and Veneto is the northernmost part of the Way of Saint Anthony in Italy.
One of the best-known pilgrimage routes has now been extended with a new section, from Gemona del Friuli to Padua, in the year marking the 800th anniversary of the Saint’s arrival in Italy, shipwrecked off Capo Milazzo in Sicily, from which he travelled to Assisi, Padua and Gemona. The first experiments with this Way date back to 2019, when Gemona hosted a famous convention, after which the project began to take shape.
The Way covers more than 250 kilometres in 11 stages, five in Friuli and six in Veneto, averaging 25 kilometres per day. In some sections it coincides with the Romea Strata and the Way of Saint Christopher. A path through places of faith, art, history and culture travelling the entire Italian peninsula from Gemona to Capo Milazzo, in Sicily, where the Saint of Miracles is said to have survived a shipwreck in 1221, the year in which he met Saint Francis.
The Sanctuary of Saint Anthony in Gemona
Universally recognised as the world’s oldest place of worship dedicated to the Saint of Miracles. The older church, initially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was re-dedicated to Saint Anthony in 1248, only 17 years after his death, before the Basilica opened in Padua in 1310. Thus Gemona del Friuli becomes the ideal “gateway”, the starting point of a Way following in the footsteps of a beloved Saint, ideally joining the north of Italy with the south, and specifically Capo Milazzo in Sicily.
How to prepare spiritually and get your pilgrim credential
If you wish to travel the Way of Saint Anthony as a pilgrim on foot or by bicycle, in the true Christian spirit, it is important that you agree with the meaning and spirit of the Way.
The pilgrim credential is issued to pilgrims free of charge by the Friars Minor of the Sanctuary of Saint Anthony in Gemona del Friuli and the Friars Minor of the Monastery of the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua.
Saint Anthony, pilgrim in Europe.
Saint Anthony was first of all a pilgrim, in the tradition begun by Saint Francis and followed by the Franciscan Order which Francis established and Anthony joined. Anthony crossed Italy and all of Europe carrying his message of faith and devotion.
Travelling the Way of Saint Anthony will take you to the places the charismatic Saint passed through, and offer you the experience of spiritual pilgrimage characteristic of the Franciscan Order.
The pilgrimage routes that cross the beautiful peninsula of Italy ideally represent the form of “slow tourism” currently enjoying new popularity in the religious and secular worlds alike. This form of tourism embraces slowness, experiencing nature in a sustainable way, rediscovering local traditions and filling the eyes with the beauty of nature, the landscape, art and history.
The “Comitato Cammini” is a committee supported by MiBACT, Italy’s cultural heritage ministry, which promotes slow mobility and walking routes all over Italy. Gemona del Friuli is very happy to join this network of green footpaths, in which the opportunity to travel on foot expresses a sustainable, customisable, truly exciting new form of tourism and travel.
Leave the Sanctuary of Saint Anthony behind you, following the yellow arrows against a brown background that will accompany you for eleven days, all the way to Padua.
Enter the historic town centre of Gemona below the beautiful Castle, restored after the 1976 earthquake. The trail out of Gemona is well-marked, but don’t forget to turn around and enjoy the view! Be very careful when crossing the PROVINCIAL HIGHWAY, at km 5.0, as there is no marked pedestrian crossing and the traffic travels very quickly.
From here on, follow secondary roads all the way to Osoppo. You may stop to visit the church of the Madonna della Neve at km 8.3.
Cross the town centre of Osoppo, exiting the village along Via Peonis. From km 9.3 follow a dirt road parallel to the Tagliamento and the old Gemona railway line. You will come to the Bars, a spring created by the waters of the Tagliamento River, and a fish farm.
Cross the single railway track and continue on to Regional Highway 463, walking on the highway with due care to cross the bridge over the Ledra River. Continue walking parallel to the regional highway, passing by a big supermarket.
The end of today’s stage is near: the wonderful Hospitale di San Giovanni in Maiano, dating back to the days of Saint Anthony himself: it was built in 1199 over the ruins of an older Lombard tower.
Staying in the hostel, run by volunteers, is a truly unique experience. Pilgrims are accommodated in a tastefully renovated 12-bed room in exchange for an appropriate donation. A kitchen is available for preparing meals.
Where to get your passport stamped? The volunteers at the Hospitale have the official stamp of Majano.
Leave the fantastic medieval Hospitale behind and head northwest toward Borgo Quai. Continue along Via Limbiate to km 2.5. Follow Provincial Highway 84 for a few metres, then turn right onto a dirt road. Follow the yellow arrows on a brown background, passing the Jewish cemetery at km 3.9.
The trail may seem to zig-zag, but it actually follows the exact route of the Via Romea Strata, offering a unique opportunity to enjoy this little-known corner of Friuli.
Come to Lake Ragogna, passing by a tower from which to admire the view of the lake and its fauna. Turn right on Via Giuseppe da Monte toward the town of Muris.
Walk westward along Via Vittorio Veneto to km 8.9 from the day’s starting point. Here, turn left onto Via ai Colli.
Cross the Tagliamento River on Provincial Highway 5 at km 13.7, crossing safely on the road bridge, being careful to watch the traffic.
At km 14.7 come to the village of Pinzano al Tagliamento. A tree-lined avenue takes you past the cemetery (km 16.2) and into the hamlet of Valeriano, where the Way of Saint Anthony and the Via Romea Strata finally part ways.
Be careful from km 17.5 on, as you will be walking on a provincial highway with no sidewalk. Stay on the left side of the road.
After passing through Valeriano and visiting the splendid frescoed chapel of Santa Maria dei Battuti, continue along the main road to km 19.5 from today's starting point. Leave the road and head toward the Cemetery, crossing the Ancona road to come to a chapel known as Chiesa dell’Ancona. Now head toward the village of Lestans.
Cross the bridge over the stream, Torrente Cosa, and climb to the church of Santa Maria Assunta.
Continue along a narrow path, cross provincial highway 22 and then head for the pass at the chapel of San Zenone. Go down again, and turn left onto a dirt road at km 24 from today’s starting point.
Continue following the arrows along dirt roads and minor roads to the village of Sequals, villa once owned by Primo Carnera, the famous world champion heavyweight boxer of the 1930s.
At km 25.7 from the start of today’s walk, turn right just after the little bridge; be careful not to miss this turn, as the arrow is hard to spot.
You are now in Sequals, end of the second stage, where the official stamp may be obtained at Bar al Cret in Piazza Pellarin.
Where to get your passport stamped? Bar Crepet - Sequals
Leave Sequals and head westward to cross the bridge over the River Meduna 1.9 km from the starting point of today’s stage.
Turn left right after the bridge onto Via Arba in the town of Colle.
Head for the church dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, a place of worship inspiring a sense of calm and serenity.
The chapel can also be reached by fording the Meduna, which is normally dry and is used for military drills.
If you decide to go this way, at your own risk, go down to the river from Sequals, on your left just after Hotel Belvedere on Via Odorico Odorico.
Go down to the river bed and cross directly to the other bank, then walk south along the riverbank for 2.2 km. This will take you to Via Sant’Antonio, where you will find the church of St. Anthony.
If you do decide to take this route, you ought to be aware that there is a dam a few kilometres upstream of the bridge which is occasionally opened without warning. However, it takes only 5 minutes to cross the river, and the route is lovely.
Follow the yellow arrows to the village of Arba, whose inhabitants have constructed a number of votive shrines dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua.
Exit the town along a dirt road (km 10 from the day’s starting point) through cultivated fields.
Be very careful here, as it is easy to lose sight of the arrows!
At km 12.8 from the day’s starting point is the church of the Madonna di Strada: a good place to take a break in the shade.
Continue along dirt roads through the woods to Maniago, famous for its knives and blades. Beginning at km 14.5 from the start of this stage, if you fail to see the yellow arrows you can follow the red and white trail markings of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI), identifying the Frassati path (Mount Jouf).
Come out of the forest at km 17.2 from the start of the stage and follow the main road into the centre of Maniago, where you can visit the cathedral of San Mauro.
Come out of the forest at km 17.2 from the start of the stage and follow the main road into the centre of Maniago, where you can visit the cathedral of San Mauro.
Leave Maniago taking Via Manzoni, then Via Piave and Via Vittorio Veneto to Maniagolibero, turning right uphill onto Via Ortigara. Follow the trail markers to leave the paved road where it curves to the right and continue along a dirt path to the bridge over the River Cellina, crossing it safely along the provincial highway.
As usual, be careful and watch the traffic, as the bridge has no sidewalk.
You are now 23 km from the day’s starting point.
At km 24 you come to the town of Montereale Valcellina, with the church of San Rocco.
Start in the main square of Montereale Valcellina and head toward the railway station.
Cross the railway at the level crossing, then take the path running parallel to the tracks. The path is separated from the railway by a concrete barrier.
At km 4.7 the road curves to the left, only to resume its original direction parallel to the tracks 100 metres farther along.
About 7 km after the start of the stage, turn right where the path forks, then turn to the left immediately, in the direction of Marsure.
After 11 km walking across the Friulian countryside you finally come to the first town of the day, Bares. Cross provincial highway 39, and at km 14 begin a steep but short climb to the church of San Giorgio, with its marvellous views to the south.
16 km from the start of the stage, take Via Monte Cavallo, a busy road, heading uphill only to leave the road shortly thereafter, at km 17, to take the path on the left.
Continue through the woods, being careful not to miss the trail markers.
At km 20.4 from the start of the stage you will come to the hamlet of Dardago, where there is a drinking fountain.
Go back into the woods, and cross provincial highway 29 again at km 22.8 via an underpass.
A dirt road takes you to the hamlet of Polcenigo, listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, the end of the fourth stage.
About 1 km away is Gorgazzo, a spring of icy water, the perfect place for a picnic!
Where to get your passport stamped? Convent of San Giacomo Apostolo
Leave the main square of Polcenigo behind, walking along Via San Giovanni. About 600 metres down the road, take the path on the right and climb to the top of Colle San Floriano, with the chapel dedicated to Saint Florian. The southern flank of the hill is a rural park with an experimental organic farm.
Walk down into the valley again, turning right at the bottom of the hill to visit the springs of the River Livenza and the Palù: a natural area where traces of Neolithic settlements have been found (km 5.3). Turn back the same way to take the Sentiero delle Marcite path, through an area where water is king.
At km 9, leave the dirt road to walk on a paved road.
Follow the yellow arrows on a brown background to Via Sacile.
Just before the village of Nave, 14.2 km from the start of the stage, leave Via Sacile to take a minor road to the church of Sant’Antonio Abate (15.1 km from the start of the stage).
You are now nearing Sacile, a town popular with the Venetians, which welcomes us with all its beauty at the end of this short stage offering walkers an opportunity to take a break and enjoy the town.
Leave Sacile and head toward Ronche; pass a number of industrial sheds and take Strada Canevon.
You will come to Caneva after about 6 km. You may take this opportunity to visit the town’s Castle, though it is some way off the route. Leave Caneva and head toward Stevenà.
At km 8.5 you enter the region of Veneto, in the municipality of Cordignano; the first settlement you come to is a hamlet belonging to this municipality, Villa di Villa. This is where Cordignano Castle once stood, now in ruins.
Leave the town behind and take Via Palù to Sarmede, at km 12.4
Sarmede is known as “the city of fairy-tales”
Due to its International School of Illustration, an educational centre run by Fondazione Stepan Zavrel. Established in 1988 and inspired by the great Czech illustrator’s dream, the school was the first in Italy to offer a programme of study specialising in illustration for children, still incarnating the Foundation’s ideal of education and the spirit of the “town of fairy-tales”.
In the main square is the early nineteenth-century church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Baroque style, with a simple gabled façade and no bell tower. The church is home to Noè Bordignon Gloria’s fresco of Saint Anthony of Padua.
From the end of October to the beginning of February each year, Sarmede hosts an International Exhibition of Illustration for Children.
Leaving the town of Sarmede behind, at km 14.8 you enter the village of Cappella Maggiore, dominated by the parish church in the centre of the town, dedicated to its patron saint, Mary Magdalene.
Don’t miss the frescoes in the church of Santissima Trinità, referred to locally as the Mattarella. This is the ancient Lombard building that gives Cappella Maggiore its name.
At km 19.4 is the town of Colle Umberto, raised above the valley and famous for its view of the hills.
At the base of the town hall is a rest area in the shade, with a drinking fountain, tables and chairs. Lodgings, cafés and restaurants are available nearby.
Leaving Colle Umberto behind, head toward San Giacomo di Veglia, and at km 24.4 you come to a particularly interesting building, a fifteenth-century Oratory dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua.
Located on the Statale Alemagna highway near the gates of the town of Vittorio Veneto, the church of Saint Anthony of Padua is a very tall building of medium size. It consists of two volumes: an octagonal main volume, one of the sides of which constitutes the façade, and a smaller building with a small dome annexed to the back of it.
The façade facing the road features a wooden door with a niche above containing a large statue of Saint Anthony; above this is a half moon-shaped window.
The church, which was already in existence as an oratory in Renaissance times, was rebuilt in 1693, testifying to the popularity of the cult of Saint Anthony.
Walk along the cycle path by the Statale Alemagna highway into Vittorio Veneto. Turn left at the Emisfero supermarket into Viale Pinto.
At km 25.4, turn right into Via della Bressana to come to Piazza Giovanni Paolo I di Ceneda, with the Museo della Battaglia, the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the church of San Paolo al Piano.
Make a final effort to climb to the top of Colle del Castello di San Martino, a bishopric with a view over the town of Ceneda (km 27.8).
Vittorio Veneto is made up of two parts: Ceneda and Serravalle.
The previous stage ended at the bishop’s castle, Castello Vescovile di San Martino, which is where stage 7 begins.
But it’s definitely worth visiting Serravalle, perhaps taking the cycling and pedestrian path along the River Meschio.
This is the starting point for a variant on stages 7 and 8 which takes you to Vidor through the hills where Prosecco is made and the villages of Cison di Valmarino and Follina.
Stage 7 begins by climbing into the woods above the castle to the church of San Paolo at the top, with an amazing view over the valley below. The church is unfortunately kept closed. From here, go back down into the town of Ceneda, then head southwards along Via della Gallina.
Take the underpass below Via Antonio Canova, a high-traffic road, into an agricultural area, following Via Manzato and then Via Sotto la Riva to the underpass below motorway A23 (km 5.7). Turn left and walk uphill through the fields. At the top of the hill, turn left along a dirt road to another paved road (Via Cavalla e Bruscole). Turn left, to the south. Where the road curves left, turn right into Strada delle Bruscole (km 7.1).
Follow Strada Val Caldregne. At the end of the road, turn right and climb the hill to Ogliano at km 9.2.
Leave Susegana, climbing to the castle of San Salvatore, the symbol of Susegana, beautiful for its architecture and its panoramic views.
Continue climbing gently along a paved road. Turn right where the road forks and follow the dirt road downhill to the castle of Collalto, now in ruins, though the hamlet is well worth a visit (km 7.0)
Cross provincial highway 4 at the bridge over the Lierza to come to the town of Falzè di Piave (km 10.4) along minor roads. From here, continue down to the Fontane Bianche Nature Reserve (km 13.3), with its springs and woods, through which the Piave River runs. The large amount of water flowing from numerous springs explains the name Fontane Bianche. The white stones of the Piave are magical. The purity and vitality of the water wash away the toxins of modern life and offer moments of pure pleasure.
Come to the Sacrario dell'Isola dei Morti at km 17.0, standing on a small surface in the middle of the river between the northern bank of the Montello and the town of Moriago della Battaglia. The name is a reference to the macabre discovery, in the days following the final battle on the Piave, of thousands of bodies of Italian assault troops, carried here by the current of the river or struck down by Austro-Hungarian bullets as they attempted to reach the other bank of the river. Ever since, the island has been a place for commemorating the great sacrifice made by these soldiers in the final days of the war.
Continue along the floodplain of the Piave to the end of the river path near the Abbey of Santa Bona (km 23.5), now privately owned and closed to visitors, a very important location for life on the river in the Middle Ages.
After soaking your feet in the clear river water, continue 600 metres to Vidor and the end of the stage.
Where to get your passport stamped? At the bar across from the town hall.
Leave Vidor and head toward Ponte di Vidor on minor roads. BE CAREFUL… The bridge is very narrow and has no sidewalk. Keep close to the left side and walk in single file, as close to the edge as possible.
Follow the trail markers through the villages of Covolo and Levada on minor roads, and a steep but short climb will take you to the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Rocca (km 7.5). The Due Rocche dirt path starts here.
A good place for a a break is the monument to the fallen Alpini of the First World War (km 10.5).
Continue to Forcella Mostaccin, a favourite pass among amateur cyclists in the Veneto region.
Climb from here to the chapel of San Giorgio, towering over the plains above Maser. This enchanted place is very popular with families on day trips (km 12.7).
Continue along the path on the northern slope of the Colli Asolani hills to Rocca di Asolo (km 16.4), in a dominant position above the splendid town of Asolo, a highlight of any visit to the province of Treviso, the end of today’s stage.
The end point is at the foot of the castle, which is open to visitors; but don’t forget to explore the rest of the town, a favourite with Eleonora Duse and Queen Catherine Cornaro.
Leave Asolo and head in the direction of Padua, now only two days’ walk away.
After Asolo castle, take Via Sottocastello downhill. About 200 metres from the Castle is a steep but short staircase on the right, taking you to a shady downhill path.
Follow the trail markers to the foot of the western slope of Asolo hill; cross the Muson SP6 provincial highway with care and take the Sentiero degli Ezzelini path to Camposampiero. Terra degli Ezzelini is the name of the area between Bassano del Grappa, Romano d'Ezzelino, San Zenone degli Ezzelini, Asolo, Castello di Godego, Castelfranco Veneto, Camposampiero, Onara di Tombolo and Cittadella. Between Asolo and Padua you will be walking more than 60 kilometres on beautiful cycling and pedestrian paths, partly unpaved, visiting important towns offering an abundance of history, art and religious sites and getting to know the plains of the upper Veneto area, toward the vast foothills of the Grappa area.
Cross the provincial highway and follow the cycling path through the fields to the little 'Nature Park on the old Muson river bed', a great place to take a break. The cycling path, now unpaved, follows the river bank through the trees and past beautiful ancient villas to the park of the old oratorio of San Pietro in Castello di Godego (fourth to eighteenth centuries). After Castel di Godego, walk along the sidewalks and roads of the town, past the cemetery, to the big roundabout of the ring road and the intersection of the road to Bassano del Grappa. An underpass helps you get past this busy road safely.
You now enter Castelfranco Veneto, a splendid walled city. The route takes you through the city walls to the cathedral, where you turn right, to the west. Don’t miss the birthplace of the painter Giorgione!
Leaving Castelfranco behind, when you come to the road bridge over the River Muson, turn left to take the Sentiero degli Ezzelini footpath again. The alternative route for those with disabilities continues across the bridge to Via Piave. Turn into Via Piave and then turn left on Via Viscon. A few metres later, turn left into a side street under the viaduct to return to the Sentiero degli Ezzelini path.
About 10 km along the path, at about 31 km from the start of the day’s stage, when you come to a wooden bar kiosk, leave the Sentiero degli Ezzelini footpath and, after a short downhill stretch, walk one kilometre along the Treviso Ostiglia cycle path to the Sanctuary of the Visione di Campsampiero, dedicated to Saint Anthony.
Leave the Sancutary of Camposampiero to head for another sanctuary, the sanctuary of Arcella in Padua, erected on the spot where Saint Anthony died, on the final stage of your pilgrimage to the Basilica dedicated to the saint. This stage of approximately 24 km touches upon three areas of great significance not only for the worship of Saint Anthony but for history and art. The Way of Saint Anthony largely follows ancient routes which have been walked by the faithful since medieval times, especially from the Sanctuary of Camposampiero, from which people have never given up the ancient tradition of walking to the shrine of the saint in Padua to request the saint’s intercession and assistance. The final stage on the Way of Saint Anthony is almost entirely along pedestrian paths. The itinerary follows dirt roads through the countryside and the banks of the River Muson right to the gates of the city of Padua (Pontevigodarzere), and your feet will only touch pavement when you inevitably need to cross a road. This makes the final stage of the Way of Saint Anthony extremely safe for pilgrims, as well as truly interesting for its natural beauty and landscapes.
The route touches on areas which have not yet seen urban development, despite their vicinity to various towns and to the city of Padua itself. From Pontevigodarzere it is of course necessary to walk through urban neighbourhoods. In recent years cycling and pedestrian routes have been identified through the city (particularly along the main route from Pontevigodarzere to the Arcella) to permit safe, serene passage through the city to the Sanctuary of the Arcella and then along Via Dante to the final destination: the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Pilgrims concluding their pilgrimage here may go to the sacristy of the Basilica to request a 'cartula', a precious certificate of completion with a blessing in Latin, signed by the rector, officially certifying the completion of their pilgrimage.