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Full Italian Via Francigena: Bourg St Pierre-Rome

50 Days & 49 Nights 4 Read 3 reviews
  • Walking the Italian Via Francigena, one of Europe's great pilgrimages from the Alps to Rome
  • Follow trails through classic Italian landscapes and visit exquisite towns
  • Taste regional specialties: wine, pasta, cured meats, cheeses, and gelato
  • Becoming immersed in the culture and history of each region
  • Experience aspects of Italy that are missed by other travellers
The Via Francigena is one of Europe's great walks that pilgrims have been undertaking since the 8th century. Follow trails from the Swiss-Italian border through classic Italian landscapes, visiting towns and villages that are rich in culture and artistic treasure. Pass through many distinct Italian landscapes such as the high mountain pass of St Bernard, tracing the vineyard-covered foothills of the Apennine mountains, iconic Tuscan landscapes, medieval towns, and finally from the hilltop town of Montefiascone down into Rome. You'll be reminded of the route's historic past with many references to the thousands upon thousands of pilgrims who walked the same routes in the Middle Ages to Rome to visit the tomb of the Apostle Peter.

What To Expect

The great thing about this route is it takes you from the foot of the Alps right the way down to the ancient city of Rome and along the way you’ll see a huge range of different landscapes and architectural styles, as well of course as sampling the different tasty regional specialities and wines along the way. The Via Francigena is not as frequently walked by pilgrims as the Camino in Spain and Portugal and is therefore more appealing as a less crowded and less well-known walking route. This does however also mean that the services along the way aren’t as seamlessly setup for pilgrims as you will find on the Camino, and you won’t meet as many fellow other travellers making the same journey as you. The golden age of pilgrimages lasted for several centuries in Italy, but this ended with the Reformation and since then the environment and towns that the path travels through have changed significantly, and this can make the original route of the medieval pilgrims difficult to find. The route passes through rice paddies, through industrial heartlands, and into bustling towns and cities. We have therefore tried to keep as much to the original route as we can, but we have also taken some minor diversions in order to follow a more peaceful and scenic route where we feel it is the best option for you to have the most enjoyable experience. If you are joining us for the full Via Francigena route, then you might like to consider building in a few rest days to your itinerary to give your feet time to recover and also to savour some of the historic towns and cities and rolling countryside that you will be walking through. Stage 1 is only possible to book between the 15-Jun and 15-Sep due to the opening times of the mountain path used at the start of the walk, and the strong possibility of snow outside of these times. If you are travelling in June/early July or September, there may still be some snow during the alpine sections. The first few days of the walk is the trickiest due to the mountainous terrain. The different stages of this tour are rated between 'moderate' and 'moderate to strenuous'. Therefore overall, we have rated this as 'moderate to strenuous' with daily distances between 10.4 and 30.2 kms and the average being around 21 kms per day. You must be in very good physical shape to complete the whole Italian section of this pilgrimage route. It is possible to arrange for additional nights and rest days along the way. There are also options to extend some of the walks to stay on the true Via Francigena path and add additional days to the itinerary as part of this. If this is something you would like to do, then please speak to us when booking. This takes the total distance up to 1,066 kms / 662 mi for the full route.

Trip Type:

Pilgrimages | For those looking to follow a path of self-discovery. Our Pilgrimage and Camino routes take you on a journey through diverse landscapes and local flavours, while meeting like-minded adventurers along the way.


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Long-Distance Trails
  • Alpine Walking

Grade & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded 'moderate to strenuous' overall. The daily distances vary quite a lot between shorter and longer walks, so you must be capable of managing the longer distances.

You need to be in good physical shape to complete the Full Via Francigena as there are also some elevation gains and losses along the way, and a substantial about of mileage will be covered.

As this route tries to remain as true to the original pilgrimage route as possible, you will not only walk on trails and unpaved roads but also on asphalt part of the way. The ‘traditional’ walk is alongside some busy main roads, which is why we give other suggestions (especially near Rome). Please take care when walking along roads and always be mindful of other road users. 


The trail in the most part is well marked but in some of the agricultural areas, such as the cultivated lowlands, this does become sparser. Along the length of the route, it also travels through several different municipalities and the style of the markers can vary between them and not every region has invested in consistently waymarking the trail.

The type of markers includes brown metal plates with two walkers and the route name on them or smaller ones showing a pilgrim and an arrow pointing the right way at road junctions. Red and white signs with a yellow pilgrim on them are also common. There are also signs with little yellow pilgrims on them and a white arrow which points towards Rome (those that are the same but with a yellow arrow lead to Santiago). In the Valle d’Aosta the signs tend to be yellow with Via Francigena written on them along with a route number.

Even if the signs can be lacking or confusing at times, navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost.

Experience & Fitness

You need to be a regular walker and in good physical shape to complete the Full Via Francigena. If you are doing shorter stages then these are less demanding, but the per day mileage still includes longer distances on some days and a couple of the stages include ascents and descents, especially in the foothills of the Alps at the start of the Via Francigena route. We would recommend taking training walks carrying your daypack ahead of going on this trip.

Accommodation Information

During your trip you will stay in a variety of accommodations. The properties range from private rooms in pilgrims' hostels to 2, 3 and 4* hotels as well as B&B's and guesthouses. At times you will be staying in remote towns and villages, therefore the accommodations in these places are the best that these particular areas have to offer.

If you require single rooms for your party we would be happy to accommodate you. Solo walkers are also welcomed.

Important: Due to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. If this is the case, you will always receive directions to and from the trail in your route notes. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days.


Daily breakfasts are included. Breakfasts are usually continental or Italian-style with a choice of bread, croissants, meats, and cheeses. Sometimes it is possible to order packed lunches at your hotel or B&B the evening before or you can buy lunch in groceries, cafes, and restaurants en route. You can opt to include dinners as well if you wish.

  • Overnights in a variety of accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Door to door baggage transfer as per your itinerary
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • Transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • All your trip documents including a detailed information pack provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
  • Telephone support from our office in the event of a problem
  • Travel to and from the start and finish points
  • Public transportation where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks, and snacks
  • Any additional travel en route, should you wish to miss a day's walking
  • Travel insurance (required) and personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
  • Tourist taxes (charged locally at hotels)
  • Additional nights before, after or during the trip
  • Half board upgrade supplement

When To Go

This trip is best enjoyed from mid-June onwards as the first section crosses the Alps and snow can still be on the ground up until July. Summer is a wonderful time to do the trip but it will be hot in August. Autumn is a lovely time of year as the colours start to change and the heat of the summer has subsided. This trip is available from mid-June to mid-September.

Getting to the Start

The best airport to fly into in order to reach Bourg St Pierre is Geneva. This airport is served by many airlines from the UK and from further afield. From Geneva Airport it is possible to take a direct train to Martigny and then a bus from the train station in Martigny to Bourg St Pierre. You will find information regarding train schedules and fares at the Swiss National Rail or Trenitalia website.

Getting from the End

It is best to fly out of Rome. There are two main airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino. To get to Fiumicino Airport you can either take the Leonardo Express train which leaves Rome Termini and takes 30 minutes or you can take the Sabina-Fiumicino line which stops at every station but costs less. To get to Ciampino Airport take train from Rome Termini to Ciampino Train Station and then a bus from here to the airport.

Baggage Transfer

Enjoy the ease of walking with a light backpack and having your main luggage moved for you each day (included). Your bags will be collected from your accommodation and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, a day pack, sun hat, and sunscreen.

Online Documents
At Macs Adventure we care about the environment. We’re taking action to minimise the impact we have by converting the majority of our tour documentation for online delivery. On this tour, most of your detailed tour information will be digitally delivered. You will have access to this documentation via “My Account” on our website and the Macs Adventure Smartphone App.


There are three main pieces of equipment that are essential to you enjoying your pilgrimage, and they are comfortable walking shoes with good wool or anti-blister socks, and a day pack that gives you good back support.

Most surfaces along the way are smooth and so walking shoes should suffice rather than boots. It is hard surface walking for the most part, so we recommend walking shoes that have a good level of padding or walking socks that offer cushioning. There are a few sections of the route which include mountain paths, in particular in Stage 1 in the Alps. For this part of the route waterproof walking boots with good ankle support and sturdy tread are recommended.

This depends on the time of year you are walking; if travelling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you.  During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers, or you may find since it’s still hot that a lightweight rain poncho is more suitable.

You will receive a full kit list as part of your trip documentation.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation, and hospital care.

How fit do I need to be?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
What happens if I cannot walk a stage?
How do the baggage transfers work?


Day 1 Arrive in Bourg-Saint-Pierre Day 2 Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Great St Bernard Pass 8 miles / 12 km Day 3 Great St Bernard Pass to Etroubles 8 miles / 13 km Day 4 Etroubles to Aosta 10 miles / 16 km Day 5 Aosta to Chambave 15 miles / 24 km Day 6 Chambave to Verres 16 miles / 26 km Day 7 Verres to Pont-Saint-Martin 10 miles / 17 km Day 8 Pont-Saint-Martin to Ivrea 15 miles / 24 km Day 9 Ivrea to Lake Viverone 13 miles / 21 km Day 10 Lake Viverone to Santhia 11 miles / 18 km Day 11 Santhia to Vercelli 17 miles / 27 km Day 12 Vercelli to Robbio Train Station; train to Mortara 13 miles / 21 km Day 13 Montara to Garlasco 15 miles / 24 km Day 14 Garlasco to Pavia 16 miles / 26 km Day 15 Pavia to Santa Cristina; transfer to Miradolo di Terme 17 miles / 28 km Day 16 Miradolo di Terme or Lambrinia to Piacenza 21 miles / 34 km Day 17 Piacenza to Carpaneto 14 miles / 22 km Day 18 Carpaneto to Castell'Arquato 9 miles / 14 km Day 19 Castell'Arquato to Fidenza 15 miles / 24 km Day 20 Fidenza to Fornovo 20 miles / 32 km Day 21 Fornovo to Cassio 13 miles / 21 km Day 22 Cassio to Berceto 6 miles / 10 km Day 23 Berceto to Previdè 11 miles / 18 km Day 24 Previdè to Filattiera 13 miles / 21 km Day 25 Filattiera to Aulla 14 miles / 23 km Day 26 Aulla to Sarzana 11 miles / 17 km Day 27 Sarzana to Avenza 11 miles / 17 km Day 28 Walk Avenza to Massa, Train to Pietrasanta, Walk to Camaiore 14 miles / 23 km Day 29 Camaiore to Lucca 15 miles / 24 km Day 30 Lucca to Altopascio 11 miles / 18 km Day 31 Altopascio to San Miniato 18 miles / 29 km Day 32 San Miniato to Gambassi Terme 15 miles / 24 km Day 33 Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano 8 miles / 13 km Day 34 San Gimignano to Strove 15 miles / 24 km Day 35 Strove to Siena 15 miles / 24 km Day 36 Siena to Grancia de Cuna, Transfer to Buonconvento 11 miles / 18 km Day 37 Buonconvento to San Quirico d’Orcia 15 miles / 24 km Day 38 San Quirico d’Orcia to Castelnuovo dell’Abate 9 miles / 14 km Day 39 Castelnuovo dell’Abate to Rocca d'Orcia 12 miles / 19 km Day 40 Rocca d’Orcia to Radicofani 17 miles / 27 km Day 41 Radicofani to Proceno 16 miles / 26 km Day 42 Proceno to Bolsena 19 miles / 30 km Day 43 Bolsena to Montefiascone 11 miles / 18 km Day 44 Montefiascone to Viterbo 12 miles / 19 km Day 45 Viterbo to Caprarola 12 miles / 19 km Day 46 Caprarola to Sutri 11 miles / 17 km Day 47 Sutri to Campagnano di Roma 18 miles / 28 km Day 48 Campagnano di Roma to Isola Farnese 13 miles / 21 km Day 49 Isola Farnese to Rome 16 miles / 25 km Day 50 Onward Travel

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