Who travels, who does not, and why?

Who does not: especially rural peasants;   urban poor

Who does:

traders, international businesspeople and their crews

  • Destinations: mainly other trade centers
  • Longer-term foreign residence: nazione; fondaco


Nobles and royals:

  1.  Official visits: an important part of diplomacy
  2. Crusades

Non-nobles not traveling for international business

  1. Mercenaries and other soldiers
  2. Pilgrimages


1095—fall of Acre 1291

Beyond Holy Lands:

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela


St. James

9th c origins

Pilgrim: Detail from church in Santiago de Compostela

Image result for santiago de compostela medieval pilgrimage

Rome and pilgrims

“The Veronica: (Sudarium): at Hospital of Santo Spirito (Borgo), to St Peters 1297

Undated miscellany; Oratio de sancta Veronica followed by Mirabilia

Rome, Bibliotheca Hertziana: Dg 450-891 Coll. rom. fol. 15v

Mirabilia. Rome: Blado, 1516



Pilgrim with Veronica at top of his hat. Detail: Triumph of the Church Militant (1366-7), Spanish Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Fifteenth-century pilgrim badge. London, British Museum

Fifteenth-century pilgrim badge. London, Museum of London

La via Francigena

1300 Jubilee: Boniface VIII

Geography and Knowledge

Classical sources:

Ptolemy (ca 100-170) Geography. Latin translation 1407; print 1470

Map (Florence, mid 15th c) based on Ptolemy using his first projection (modified conic)

Another projection (British Library)

Sailing expertise:

Tools: compass; astrolabe

A sundial-compass by michael butterfield. late 17th century.

Late 17th c compass and sundial made by Michael Butterfield

portolan charts