After having devoted many books to travel in Italy, Brilli has focused his latest endeavours on the general history of travel. After having studied voyages linked to exploration and conquest ("Where Maps End") and then mercantile journeys ("Traders and Adventurers"), he now turns his attention to pilgrimage. As usual, the author draws on a rich set of classical accounts that he weaves together in a suggestive tapestry. More specifically, he supplies a resonant portrait of three major travel destinations for pilgrims: Jerusalem and Palestine, which Christians have visited since the 3rd century; Mecca, access to which is forbidden for infidels and which only a few courageous Europeans have seen; and Rome, capital of Christendom. The book is full of examples of travel routes, support structures, dangers (ranging from brigands to epidemics), rites, commerce, relics, souvenirs, adventures, and misfortunes, as experienced through the ages during religiously motivated travel.
Attilio Brilli is one of the world's foremost experts on travel literature.