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carol0454

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
I'd like to spend 3 weeks next fall on the Via Francigena in Italy. I don't have a goal of reaching Rome or not. I've thought of starting at St. Bernard's Pass but it looks like I'd be going through a lot of rice fields etc. Any suggestions for the most scenic parts of the trail?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I'd like to spend 3 weeks next fall on the Via Francigena in Italy. I don't have a goal of reaching Rome or not. I've thought of starting at St. Bernard's Pass but it looks like I'd be going through a lot of rice fields etc. Any suggestions for the most scenic parts of the trail?
The most scenic part is probably the descent from GSB but as you say you will soon find yourself in the Po valley rice swamps. I would suggest starting from Fidenza. You then have the climb up to the Cisa Pass, the descent into Tuscany, a short section of coast and the glorious inland country around San Miniato and Siena to experience.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I'd like to spend 3 weeks next fall on the Via Francigena in Italy. I don't have a goal of reaching Rome or not. I've thought of starting at St. Bernard's Pass but it looks like I'd be going through a lot of rice fields etc. Any suggestions for the most scenic parts of the trail?
The Valle d'Aosta was my favourite section of the whole VF; pity it leads to Rice Paddy Land which was almost a week (a few days either side of Vercelli) I definitely could have done without!
I took a rest day in Fidenza & agree with @Bradypus it would be a good place to start...plus there are several places in town you can pick up a pilgrim passport (credenziali del pellegrino) if you want one.
The itinerary as suggested by @Bradypus is a sound one. Approx 3 weeks walking from Fidenza saw me in Viterbo...some 4 or so days from Rome.
Happy planning!
👣 🌏
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
The Valle d'Aosta was my favourite section of the whole VF; pity it leads to Rice Paddy Land which was almost a week (a few days either side of Vercelli) I definitely could have done without!
I took a rest day in Fidenza & agree with @Bradypus it would be a good place to start...plus there are several places in town you can pick up a pilgrim passport (credenziali del pellegrino) if you want one.
The itinerary as suggested by @Bradypus is a sound one. Approx 3 weeks walking from Fidenza saw me in Viterbo...some 4 or so days from Rome.
Happy planning!
👣 🌏
Why does everyone take against the "rice paddy lands"? They were beautiful and misty and mysterious, and - after 1000km from Canterbury - beautifully easy walking. The "plum" sections in Tuscany are getting crowded.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Why does everyone take against the "rice paddy lands"? They were beautiful and misty and mysterious, and - after 1000km from Canterbury - beautifully easy walking. The "plum" sections in Tuscany are getting crowded.
We're all different & 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Opinions can also be impacted by a variety of factors as experienced by an individual at the time (I saw no mist or mystery! 😄 ).
I agree with your opinion that Tuscan sections can be crowded but that is also subjective. For those of us who walked the whole VF, seeing a handful of people could be considered a crowd but someone just off the CF for example, may not find it that way.
We (incl @Bradypus ) just presented our thoughts to assist the OP...& were the only two who did. I note you didn't proffer an alternative...what would you suggest to @carol0454 for the 3 weeks?
Happy trails...& each to their own Way. 😊
👣 🌏
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I agree with your opinion that Tuscan sections can be crowded but that is also subjective. For those of us who walked the whole VF, seeing a handful of people could be considered a crowd but someone just off the CF for example, may not find it that way.
"Crowded" is incredibly subjective. In one of the Facebook groups I follow someone posted a photograph earlier today of a conga line of pilgrims on the final 100km of the Camino Frances. In that single snapshot I counted more walkers than I encountered in the entire 800km of my own first Camino Frances. And many of the comments were along the lines of "So what?" and "That's just the way it is". Astonishing.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I had my share of flat on the French canals :cool: And I am an insect magnet. Think Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen".....
And don't forget the endless expanses of agricultural northern France...which I actually really enjoyed due to all the possibilities & opportunities to navigate My Own Way. 🤗
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
And don't forget the endless expanses of agricultural northern France...which I actually really enjoyed due to all the possibilities & opportunities to navigate My Own Way. 🤗
I chose my own route between Calais and Besancon. Mostly on canal towpaths. The "official" signposted routes seemed very contrived and counter-intuitive - I think because of an over-enthusiastic attempt to avoid roads at all costs. So quite often my view of the endless expanses was restricted by hedges lining the canal or by being a few metres below the average ground level!
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I chose my own route between Calais and Besancon. Mostly on canal towpaths. The "official" signposted routes seemed very contrived and counter-intuitive - I think because of an over-enthusiastic attempt to avoid roads at all costs. So quite often my view of the endless expanses was restricted by hedges lining the canal or by being a few metres below the average ground level!
I was inspired by you & sought out a few canal paths myself...easy & enjoyable walking (a good way to clock up km's on longer days) & a wonderful scenery contrast.
I particularly enjoyed Chalons-eC to Vitry-le-Francois (off trail) 😊
Apologies @carol0454 ...we digress! 🤭
👣 🌏
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
It was not so long ago there were no signposted routes in France and even in Italy, Switzerland was always different, and I remember waymarking the route in England with Joe Patterson back in 2005. Before the waymarking in France, and I suspect Italy, the route was more direct and road based for much of the way. The canals in France have always been a sensible alternative.
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
I had to abandon plans this summer so I haven't yet reached Italy. There are train lines through the "rice paddies" which could allow a day or two walking there to see their beauty before jumping ahead. But when on Camino Frances I loved the mesata and did enjoy the agricultural northern France (with my own routing at times) so don't presume the rice paddies will not be interesting to you. But then again on the camino Frances a significant number bus the mesata section
 

Helen O'Shaughnessy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via dela plata, via Francigena
I chose my own route between Calais and Besancon. Mostly on canal towpaths. The "official" signposted routes seemed very contrived and counter-intuitive - I think because of an over-enthusiastic attempt to avoid roads at all costs. So quite often my view of the endless expanses was restricted by hedges lining the canal or by being a few metres below the average ground level!
I did the same a few years ago...tried following the signposted route..in France, but it was nuts ! Vaguely directing you across a tilled field, with a long search for the next sign. Walking routes like spaghetti, felt like I was walking in circles...finally decided to follow the small roads village to village, and used the canals...which was fun. Got to Besanscon great ! And just making my mind up what part to do next!
 
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J Via Francigena to Rome 8
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3 weeks to Rome

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