Published on 27 June 2022

In St. Anthony’s footsteps from Sicily to Padua from June 30 to October 9, 2022

1,800 kilometers of Relay Walk with a relic of St. Anthony through Italy. The calendar and the stages of the Antonio 20-22 Project

Over 1,800 kilometers separate friar Anthony of Lisbon’s shipwreck site from Padua, the city of his choice. This summer, 800 years after the Forlì sermon that revealed him as the great announcer of the Gospel, a relic of our Saint, which forms a part of the Antonio 20-22 Project, retraces St. Anthony’s footsteps through all of Italy in 92 stages of the journey from Capo Milazzo to his Basilica in Padua. Anyone can join along the Walk and share a few kilometers or more of the enterprise to mark this 800 years anniversary.


Enquiring into the figure of Saint Anthony on the occasion of the 800th anniversary.

Historical records offer us three significant, successive 800-year anniversaries within the 2020-2022 time frame that shed light on St. Anthony. Pope Francis himself has encouraged us to celebrate these anniversaries. We are talking about the 800 years of Anthony’s Franciscan vocation (1220), his first arrival in Italy, shipwrecked in Sicily, and then his first encounter with St. Francis (1221), and finally his “unveiling” with the sermon of Forli (1222), where all those present were able for the first time to appreciate Anthony’s ability and effectiveness as an evangelizer. The importance of his proclamation, the mandate to make Jesus known among all people will remain his distinctive trait for the rest of his life. This is the reason behind the Antonio 20-22 Project, and the retracing of his footsteps of 800 years ago, under the sign of human encounter.


From June 30 to October 9, along the roads travelled by St. Anthony 800 years ago.

The Walk along the paths traveled by St. Anthony is the most suggestive of the initiatives of the Antonio 20-22 Project, but it also includes more.

It is a Relay Walk undertaken in a Franciscan spirit of poverty by a small group of pilgrims with which other people may freely enter without the need of any prior registration, on a day to day basis whenever they wish, either at the start, in the middle or at the end of each stage, in order to pray together with the host community.

The participants will carry with them, in a special reliquary backpack, a relic ex-ossibus of St. Anthony.


Over 1,800 kilometers; over 3 million steps; 19.5 kilometers on average; 9 regions crossed; 42 dioceses encountered; 92 stages; 103 days duration (on some Sundays, as with medieval pilgrims, the Walk will pause); an overall 45,919 meter of climbs, and an equal number of meters of descents; 12 very challenging stages; 29 challenging ones; 25 medium ones; 25 easy ones.


From Capo Milazzo and then along the Via Popilia and then into the Walk of St. Anthony to Padua.

The Basilica of St. Anthony is the last stage of this journey, but our Saint first set foot in Italy in Capo Milazzo, near Messina in Sicily. Today there is a small and suggestive cave-shrine dedicated to Saint Anthony in Capo Milazzo.

After crossing the strait to Calabria, the Walk follows, as far as possible, the route of the ancient Via Popilia, crossing Calabria, Basilicata, Campania, Lazio (from this region the signs appear of the official route of “The Walk of St. Anthony”), Umbria, Tuscany (with a significant stay at the shrine of La Verna), Emilia Romagna (with a significant stay at the shrine of Montepaolo in Forlì) and Veneto, ending in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua on October 9.


The project has been conceived and promoted by the Friars Minor Conventual of the Italian province of St. Anthony of Padua, in collaboration with some lay people, and by other associations devoted to St. Anthony: the Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, the Messenger of Saint Anthony, the Walk of St. Anthony, The Association of the Walk of St. Anthony, the Franciscan Youth Center – northern Italy, Peregrinatio Antoniana, St. Anthony’s Charities. It also relies on the patronage of the entire Franciscan family of Italy (Conventual Friars, Capuchins, Minors, TOR; Poor Clares of various federations; Franciscan Sisters; OFS Lay Franciscans).


Full program and updates: