Via Francigena Stage 4: Fidenza to Aulla

8 Days & 7 Nights 3.5 Read 4 reviews
  • Encountering the unusual and rare rock formations of the Salti del Diavolo
  • Walk in the foothills of the scenic Apennine Mountains
  • Paying a visit to the Museo delle Statue Stele which houses fascinating primitive sculptures
  • Absorbing the mesmerizing views of the Apennine Mountains when crossing the Cisa Pass
  • Sampling delicious and famous cured meats and cheeses of the Parma region
This journey along the Via Francigena takes you through the Apennine Mountains, known as the “backbone of Italy” and from the region of Emilia Romagna into northern Tuscany. Originating in Fidenza, known for its duomo of pink stone, you cross the Cisa Pass and finish in Aulla, an important pilgrimage stop at the confluence of the Aulella and Magra Rivers. En route you will see numerous signs that in the Middle Ages pilgrimages were of vital importance to people of faith. Discover small alters, chapels, crosses, churches and buildings that gave shelter to the thousands of pilgrims that walked along the Via Francigena in their quest to reach Rome. Beginning in the foothills of the Apennines and incorporating pretty villages and towns, you then cross the Cisa Pass, located at 1,040m before descending into northern Tuscany and to Montelungo, Pontremoli and Aulla. There are captivating sights all along the trail, such as the primitive Stele sculptures, the St Annunziata Church where the Virgin Mary appeared to a young shepherd girl and the Salti del Diavolo; unusual and rare rock formations in the Baganza Valley. At the beginning of your tour you will explore areas near Parma, famous for its cured meats and parmesan cheeses. Be sure to take advantage of these local culinary delights while you walk through these unforgettable areas of Italy.
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What To Expect

This particular section is graded as moderate to strenuous. You will walk through the Apennine Mountains into Tuscany, crossing a high pass and along river valleys, through farming country and vineyards.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Spiritual Journeys
  • Personal Growth
  • Historical Journeys

Activity Level & Terrain

This tour is suitable for people that are in excellent physical condition. It is rated moderate to strenuous as you will be crossing the Apennine Mountains. Even though some days have walks of up to 32km, there are other days that are short, giving you time to recover. However, even on the short walking days there may be elevation gains and losses and on some days these are significant.

Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. As always when walking you should be able to read a map and use a compass in case of bad weather. The trail is also marked by the official red and white signs of the Via Francigena, which have a picture of a yellow pilgrim on them. However these waymarks will not appear all along the way but intermittently. 

Unlike many of the more well-established Caminos, the Via Francigena has seen a relatively recent resurgence in popularity, meaning that trail marking is intermittent (not every region has invested in consistently waymarking the trail), and you should be confident in navigating with a compass and map, as well as using the route notes that we will provide you with. A few of the original sections of the Via Francigena are now (fairly busy) roads, and where necessary you may either follow these roads for a short time, or divert away from the traditional route to enjoy a more relaxed walk.

Accommodations

During your Via Francigena self-guided walking tour in Italy you will stay in a variety of accommodations. The properties range from private rooms in pilgrim's hostels, 2, 3 and 4* hotels as well as B&Bs and guesthouses. At times you will be staying in remote towns and villages, therefore the accommodation in these places are the best that these particular areas have to offer.

Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome and again a supplement is payable.

Meals

Daily breakfasts are included. Breakfasts are usually continental or Italian-style with a choice of breads, 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.

Included
  • Overnights in a variety of accommodations
  • Breakfasts included
  • Detailed maps and routes notes and a comprehensive information pack
  • Transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Emergency telephone assistance from our team in Italy and our UK office if required
Excluded
  • Travel to and from the start and finish points
  • Public transportation where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Drinks & snacks
  • Any additional travel en route, should you wish to miss a day's walking
  • Baggage transfers
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
Extras
  • Additional nights before, after or during the trip
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Half board supplement

When To Go

This trip is available from mid-March to the end of October. You can start your tour on any date in the season.

Time of Year

Spring in Italy is sublime and May and June are absolutely lovely. Autumn is a great time of year as the landscape is made up of a gold and red pallet so September is unmissable. July and August can be very hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day and then perhaps have a long lunch and finish walking in the mid to late afternoon.

Getting to the Start

The best airports to fly into to reach Fidenza are Parma, Bologna or any of the Milan Airports (Milan Malpensa or Milan Linate). From these airports it is possible to take a train to Fidenza. As the first accommodation is outside Fidenza your hosts will pick you up from the train station. You will find information regarding train schedules and fares at the Trenitalia website.

Getting from the End

The best airports to fly out of after finishing your tour in Aulla are Pisa or Genoa. From Aulla take a train to Pisa (via Pisa Centrale Station). The journey takes between one and a half and two hours and you can find more information regarding train schedules and fares at the Trenitalia website. Alternatively if you fly from Genoa you can take a direct train from Aulla to Genoa Train Station and then from here take a thirty minute shuttle bus to Genoa Airport.

Luggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are not included as standard, however you can pay an additional fee for this service. If you choose to include baggage transfers we request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. 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, and a day pack.

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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Fidenza Day 2 Fidenza to Fornovo 20 miles / 32 km Day 3 Fornovo to Cassio 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Cassio to Berceto 7 miles / 11 km Day 5 Berceto to Montelungo 9 miles / 14 km Day 6 Montelungo to Pontremoli 11 miles / 17 km Day 7 Pontremoli to Aulla 21 miles / 33 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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