Via Imperii

Via Imperii (Imperial Road) was one of the most important of a class of roads known collectively as imperial roads (German: Reichsstraßen) of the Holy Roman Empire. This old trade route ran in a south–north direction from Venice on the Adriatic Sea and Verona in the Kingdom of Italy across the Brenner Pass through Germany to the Baltic coast passing the following cities:

Via Imperii
Imperial Road
Route information
Length1,800 km (1,100 mi)
Time periodAntiquity, medieval
Major junctions
CountriesWest Pomerania, Brandenburg, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Bayern, Austria, Trentino, Tuscany, Lazio
Highway system
Transport in Europe

The cities on the route held the privilege of staple right, merchants were obliged to use the toll road and in turn enjoyed protection by the Imperial authority under the terms of the Landfrieden.

Parts of the historic route are today marked by the Italian Strada Statale No. 12, the Austrian Landesstraßen B 182 and B 177 and the German Bundesstraße 2.


    • Christoph Kühn: Die Via Imperii als Pilgerstraße. in: Unterwegs im Zeichen der Muschel. Rundbrief der Fränkischen St. Jakobus-Gesellschaft Würzburg, Nr. 52, January 2005, p. 13-14
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