Via Francigena – Classic Walks Itinerary

Via Francigena – Itinerary:

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Orbe's medieval town square

The Via Francigena was an ancient route once used by medieval pilgrims and other travellers on their way from Canterbury to Rome. Throughout the ages, merchants, armies and members of the clergy traveled back and forth between Northern Europe and Rome carrying goods, money and information. The route is now once again being recognized as an essential part of Europe’s history and reminders of its past are still to be found along its course.

The Via Francigena route is around 2000 km long and for those contemplating this trail for their walking holiday in Europe, careful planning is required. Apart from the duration of the walk, the weather and the terrain can present unexpected challenges.

Europe’s Via Francigena walk is a 2000 km route that takes walkers across farmlands, through the idyllic, French countryside, over the Swiss Alps and down the Italian Peninsula to Rome. A wonderful walking holiday.

The walk can be done in about 3 months, but we recommend shorter sections, as they are easier to fit in to people’s travel itineraries.  In planning an itinerary, some of the considerations in determining the distance for each day should include the type of terrain, the accommodation, weather, time of year and how fit one is.

The following is an outline of the full 3 month walking itinerary.

Begin at: Canterbury, England.
How to get there: Take a train from London.

Walking itinerary: (in sections rather than days)
Canterbury to Dover (33 km)
Calais to Therouanne (51 km)
Therouanne to Arras (68 km)
Arras to Peronne (45 km)
Peronne to Laon (88 km)
Laon to Reims (70 km)
Reims to Chalons-sur-Marne (54 km)
Chalons-sur-Marne to Bar-sur-Aube (95 km)
Bar-sur-Aube to Langres (67 km)
Langres to Besançon (99 km)
Besançon to St. Maurice (180 km)
St. Maurice to Gr. St. Bernard (61 km)
Gr. St. Bernard to Ivrea (104 km)
Ivrea to Vercelli (51 km)
Vercelli to Pavia (66 km)
Pavia to Piacenza (57 km)
Piacenza to Fornovo (75 km)
Fornovo to Pontremoli (60 km)
Pontremoli to Lucca (110 km)
Lucca to S. Gimignano (76 km)
S. Gimignano to Siena (41 km)
Siena to Acquapendente (96 km)
Acquapendente to Rome (130 km)  – your destination!

How to get back: Fly out of Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

The following is an outline of a shorter walk itinerary.

We decided on this itinerary because of the time we had, the reasonable distances and the available accommodation.

Begin at: Canterbury, England.
How to get there: Take a train from London.

Walking itinerary: (in sections rather than days)
England: Canterbury to Dover (33 km)
Good, simple English walking.
Flight from Heathrow to Geneva, train to St. Croix.

Switzerland: St Croix to Grand St. Bernard Pass (150 km)
Walking in Switzerland is magic.
Bus from St. Bernard Pass to Aosta, train and bus to Acquapendente.

Italy: Acquapendente to Sutri (85 km)
Stay at the Italian villages, Bolsena, Montefiascone, Viterbo.
Bus to Rome.

Rome: Spend a week here at least. Affordable accommodation is available.

Our Take:

This walking journey takes you across historic Europe, in the footsteps of all those who had to cross the alps to find their way to Rome. Truly, a contemporary walk through European history – even better than a history course!

See the Via Francigena information for walkers here

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