On the Waldensian roads
Guide to “The Exile” road
A complete guide to retrace, on foot or by bicycle, the itinerary of the deportation of the Waldensians from Piedmont to Switzerland which took place in the winter of 1687. The stops, the detailed maps, the useful addresses for staying overnight along the way. And, day by day, the chronicle of that long journey towards exile.
Walking is beautiful. Walking on historic paths is even more beautiful, because you can see landscapes, towns and cities in a deeper dimension. In your mind you retrace the events that once occurred along the way. This guide presents a centuries-old path, along a road already traced out in Roman times, a road that linked Turin and Geneva across the Moncenisio hill. In the months of January-February 1687, that road was traveled by 2700 Waldensians, deported by the Savoyard army. They were people of all ages: women, men, children and the elderly. More than 300 lost their lives along the way. Today, the “Huguenot and Waldensian Roads” historic trail, certified by the Council of Europe as a “European Cultural Route”, leads to Bad Karlshafen in northern Hesse. In Italy, the Waldensian route described in this guide starts from Saluzzo, in Piedmont: 14 stages that cross the Alps and arrive in Geneva, crossing valleys, towns and cities in Italy, France and Switzerland. Maps, an iconographic apparatus created ad hoc and a dense sequence of historical, artistic and cultural insights to deepen one’s knowledge of the places and environments crossed. Because walking on the “Roads of the Huguenots and Waldensians” means realizing that in the meantime an alternative has arisen: a united Europe in which the values of freedom and tolerance are strong and in which human rights, religious freedom and of conscience.