Introduction: For They Were Pilgrims All
It all began with a pilgrimage on the Via Francigena del sud two weeks in April 2012. That was when an international group of pilgrims walked from Teano (north of Napoli) all the 240 km to Rome. We were guided by the friendly and competent members of the Gruppo dei Dodici, an Italian Pilgrim Association. The standard of our accommodation en route was in harmony with the pilgrim ideals of simplicity. And our group of pilgrims was similar to the company described in the Canterbury tales:
There came at nightfall to the hostelry
Some nine-and-twenty in a company,
Folk of all kinds met in accidental
Companionship, for they were pilgrims all…
And by the time the sun had gone to rest
I’d talked with everyone, and soon became
One of their company, and promised them
To rise at dawn next day to take the road…
From the Prologue in Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Under circumstances as the above, whether in the fourteenth or twenty-first century, pilgrims soon learn to get acquainted and become friends. Among us pilgrims was Marisa from Napoli who soon became my cicerone and companion. We must also mention Bianca from Napoli and Laura from Rome – both faithful pilgrims indeed. And there were also pilgrims from many lands who revived the old pilgrim ways to Rome; but that’s another story.
In this brief diary I shall tell of my journey to Napoli et environs in 2013, the above is just a prologue.
So, in the autumn of 2013 I set out to visit Napoli, invited kindly by Marisa and her husband Giustino who offered this pilgrim from the North shelter and hospitality during his stay in Italy, a country he keeps returning to year after year.
Images from Napoli