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
  • Beautiful landscapes, churches, towns and villages
  • Savouring regional specialities; wine, pasta, cheese and cured meats and cheeses
  • Becoming immersed in the culture and history of each region
  • Follow trails through classic Italian landscapes and visit exquisite towns
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.
The different stages of this tour are rated between moderate and moderate to strenuous. However the trip is rated 'moderate to strenuous' overall with daily distances between 11.5 and 32km. 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.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

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

This trip is suitable for:

Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Spiritual Journeys
  • Personal Growth
  • Historical Journeys
  • Mountains

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded moderate to strenuous. However the daily distances vary quite a lot between shorter and a lot longer ones, so you must be capable of also walking 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.

Navigation

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.

Accommodations

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.

Meals

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.

Included
  • Overnights in a variety of accommodations
  • Breakfasts included
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Detailed maps and routes notes and a comprehensive information pack
  • Private transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Access to the GPS tracks using the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • 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
  • 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

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.

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 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.

Equipment

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?
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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Bourg-Saint-Pierre Day 2 Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Great St Bernard Pass 7 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 17 miles / 28 km Day 6 Chambave to Verres 17 miles / 27 km Day 7 Verres to Pont-Saint-Martin 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 8 Pont-Saint-Martin to Ivrea 16 miles / 26 km Day 9 Ivrea to Viverone 14 miles / 22 km Day 10 Viverone to Santhia 11 miles / 18 km Day 11 Santhia to Vercelli 19 miles / 30 km Day 12 Vercelli to Robbio, Train to Mortara 13 miles / 21 km Day 13 Montara to Garlasco 15 miles / 24 km Day 14 Garlasco to Pavia 17 miles / 28 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 15 miles / 24 km Day 17 Piacenza to Carpaneto 14 miles / 23 km Day 18 Carpaneto to Castell'Arquato 9 miles / 15 km Day 19 Castell'Arquato to Fidenza 14 miles / 23 km Day 20 Fidenza to Fornovo 20 miles / 32 km Day 21 Fornovo to Cassio 13 miles / 21 km Day 22 Cassio to Berceto 7 miles / 11 km Day 23 Berceto to Previdè 11 miles / 18 km Day 24 Previdè to Filattiera 13 miles / 21.5 km Day 25 Filattiera to Aulla 14 miles / 22.5 km Day 26 Aulla to Sarzana 13.5 miles / 22 km Day 27 Sarzana to Avenza 11 miles / 18 km Day 28 Walk Avenza to Massa, Train to Pietrasanta, Walk to Camaiore 15 miles / 24 km Day 29 Camaiore to Lucca 15 miles / 24 km Day 30 Lucca to Altopascio 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 31 Altopascio to San Miniato 18.5 miles / 30 km Day 32 San Miniato to Gambassi Terme 15 miles / 24 km Day 33 Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano 9 miles / 14 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 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 40 Rocca d’Orcia to Radicofani 17 miles / 27 km Day 41 Radicofani to Proceno 16.5 miles / 26.5 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 / 19.5 km Day 45 Viterbo to Caprarola 11 miles / 18 km Day 46 Caprarola to Sutri 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 47 Sutri to Campagnano di Roma 18 miles / 28.5 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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