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France to Italy

Jennifer Partika

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
October 2018
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Jennifer Partika,

What a great idea you have for a long distance walk. To find some Forum posts/threads that might be helpful type France Italy into the space of the blue search box above. Several possibilities should pop up. For example there is a route via France to Venice.

Good luck with your research. Do let us know which route you choose.
Whenever you go , wherever you walk, Buen camino
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?
Hello @Jennifer Partika
...after reaching Arles I followed a trail via Sisteron, Gap then Montgenèvre over Les Hautes Alps du France to Cesana Torinese. I followed the GR 653D. Here is a resource I put together (login to download) : GR 653D Via Domitia: Arles to Montgenèvre

From Cesano Torinese I continued along the Via Francigena to Lucca then beyond. Here's another resource with accommodation and stages taken: Italy: Shelter

There are other routes one can take from Arles which pass along the coast.

Happy planning,
Lovingkindness
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hello @Jennifer Partika
...after reaching Arles I followed a trail via Sisteron, Gap then Montgenèvre over Les Hautes Alps du France to Cesana Torinese. I followed the GR 653D. Here is a resource I put together (login to download) : GR 653D Via Domitia: Arles to Montgenèvre

From Cesano Torinese I continued along the Via Francigena to Lucca and beyond. Here's another resource with accommodation and stages taakern: Italy: Shelter

There are other routes one can take from Arles which pass along the coast.

Happy planning,
Lovingkindness
Lovingkindness,
Your Arles to Montgenèvre resource is great! Reading all those mountain place names is exhilerating and brings back happy memories. ...
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Lovingkindness,
Your Arles to Montgenèvre resource is great! Reading all those mountain place names is exhilerating and brings back happy memories. ...
Hi there @mspath! It was an exhilerating experience, Yes. Each day I walked as far as able, made music in the streets, then set about finding a place to sleep. It was quite a social experience and a big learning curve - I wasn't used to busking or asking others for help day after day. (I set off from Le Lot-et-Garonne aiming for Jerusalem. I had nothing in my pocket so earnt my way. The journey lasted 18 months. After Jersualem I made my way back from Italy to Amsterdam.)

Cheers
Lovingkindness
 
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Viggen

Vigo
Year of past OR future Camino
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?
This site may be of some help:
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Never walked it but Lucca is a wonderful city. Just beautiful and there was a great Blues Festival when I was there. If the walk takes you by Parma make sure you stop for lunch or dinner there too! :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?
Hi, Jennifer. I walked the Via Francigena from Aosta, near the French-Italian border, down to Rome in 2019. You will find Italy beautiful, but not as accommodating as Spain for Pilgrims. The ostellos are fewer and farther in between. It will depend on what time of year you start your journey. During Winter most of the ostellos are closed and if they are open, they will be more expensive than Spanish albergues. They averaged about 20 euros per night, without any food. Don't depend on Franciscans taking you in, either. I had bad experiences with them. You will also find yourself walking alone for most of the time. I spent 6 weeks walking with about 7 days of that walking with another pilgrim. The path is not as well marked as The Camino de Santiago so get the Via Francigena app on your phone. It will guide you down through Italy, keeping you on the right trail. I did not walk France, but some friends of mine did and said it was worse than Italy as far as being PIlgrim friendly, but that is second hand info! Bene Camino! Hope that helps!!!
 
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Joe.Iozzi

Member since 2016
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portuguese 2016, Camino del Norte 2017,
The book Where the Roads Lead by Demar Southard is a day by day account of his walk from Spain to Rome; you may find it helpful. It's available from Amazon.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
France and Italy are not less friendly towards pilgrims in my experience, they just dont get as many so its a different experience - you need to expect less of the supporting infrastructure that you get along the CF for example and be more independent, resourceful, and plan ahead to make sure you can get food at an overnight stop, or take some with you - esp in france where many small villages hhave no bars or shops.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
They most certainly don't.

French-pilgrimage-pilgrim-map.jpg


The way on from Arles is the Provençal Way, and for Lucca, the better option would be the coastal variant -- also known as the Via Aurelia and the Coastal Francigena, it's one of the routes of the Via Romea.

Some of the information on lodging on this route has become a little bit secret on the French side, after a series of abuses of hospitality etc some years ago, but some information can be found here, including downloadable maps and public versions of the guides : http://www.compostelle-paca-corse.info/guides-chemins-paca-gr-653a-gr-653d-leurs-variantes

Look at the info about the GR 653A.





The worst part of this whole path is getting past the Antibes to Nice section. Either a lengthy detour 'round Nice, or a trudge through urban landscapes (albeit with all the mod cons).

Information on the more mountainous variant (Via Domitia, GR635D) is at the same website.

On the Italian side, you'd need to look up information on the Via della Costa, though unfortunately it seems to be a little bit sparse online.


 
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Stroller

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
You could take the euro route E7 from Aix en Provence into italy and then join the Francegena to Rome. It's a recognised walking route with only shortish distances to join up between Arle and Aix. It will take you from Portugal to Slovenia if you wish.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?
Research information on the Via Francigena which goes from England to Rome. There is a lot of information on connecting to it from le puy and Arles.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
The Mont Blanc chair lift would be the most scenic way to pass from France into Italy. I don't know if it is near any Camino.


-Paul
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The Mont Blanc chair lift would be the most scenic way to pass from France into Italy. I don't know if it is near any Camino.
The Via Alpina passes nearby, following which you could get to any relatively close Camino path.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Note that scenic = Expensive!

The cable car over Mont Blanc from Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Italy will cost at least 100 Euros. I can't think of a more spectacular boarder crossing so it is worth doing once in a lifetime.

Currently it is closed due to COVID.


-Paul
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Note that scenic = Expensive!

The cable car over Mont Blanc from Chamonix, France to Courmayeur, Italy will cost at least 100 Euros. I can't think of a more spectacular boarder crossing so it is worth doing once in a lifetime.

Currently it is closed due to COVID.


-Paul
Re: chair lifts and cable cars. Spectacular, yes. But will you still be able to say that you walked the whole way, carrying your backpack every inch? We need to keep our priorities in mind.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
If you prefer to walk, then you can walk part of the TMB from Chamonix to Courmayeur.


-Paul
 

Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented
That is an ambitious project! I can’t help you with information. I could talk, from personal experience, about my walking tour around the Mont Blanc and even my walking across the glacier, with an Alpine guide, from the Aguille du Midi cable car station in France to the Helbronner cable station in Italy, a fantastic 5 km walk on snow and ice, instead of travelling high above the glacier in a fancy cable car cabin like the tourists do, but none of this would be useful for you because the Mont Blanc area is over 200 km / 130 miles to the north of your likely route through the South of France. :cool:

So my only advice is that you could edit the thread title from France to Italy to something more focused like Arles (France) to Lucca (Italy)? or similar to get further useful information for your future walk. Bon chemin!
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Some of the links provided above lead to older threads that refer to Peter Robin’s excellent and comprehensive interactive database of pilgrimage ways in Europe. Unfortunately, the database has been moved to a different website and it is no longer maintained. You may still find it useful for general planning and overviews. The new address is https://pilgrimdb.github.io/maps.html?routes=
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
Hello fellow pilgrims-
I am thinking of taking a few months to hike from Portugal to Italy (Lucca) I can follow the route from Lisbon to Santiago, then Santiago to SJPDP but then the way though France from there seems fragmented. As far as I can tell, all southern French routes end at Arles.
Does anyone know or have experience walking through France to Italy?

How about walking from StJPP to Le Puy-en-Velay on the GR65 Via Podiensis [in reverse] then on to Geneva via the GR65 extension [also known as the Via Genennensis] and from there to the Via Francigena ...

there’s a lot more pilgrim-hiker infrastructure on the Voie du Puy [accommodation et al] and a particular system of pilgrim accommodation [in private homes] on the Gebennensis known as «accueil jacquaire» ...

there’s also an alternative route via Lyon to Geneva ... France is not so disjointed as it may at first appear ...
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Altitude when crossing from France to Italy:
  • Menton/Ventimiglia: 50 m
  • Montgenèvre pass: 1800 m
  • St Bernard pass (after having crossed from FR to CH at lower altitude): 2500 m
  • Aiguille du Midi ("Mont Blanc"): 3800 m
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
That is an ambitious project! I can’t help you with information. I could talk, from personal experience, about my walking tour around the Mont Blanc and even my walking across the glacier, with an Alpine guide, from the Aguille du Midi cable car station in France to the Helbronner cable station in Italy, a fantastic 5 km walk on snow and ice, instead of travelling high above the glacier in a fancy cable car cabin like the tourists do, but none of this would be useful for you because the Mont Blanc area is over 200 km / 130 miles to the north of your likely route through the South of France. :cool:

So my only advice is that you could edit the thread title from France to Italy to something more focused like Arles (France) to Lucca (Italy)? or similar to get further useful information for your future walk. Bon chemin!
Why Lucca? why not down to Rome? St. Francis made the journey down to Rome
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Why Lucca? why not down to Rome? St. Francis made the journey down to Rome
Why Lucca? Why Portugal? Why Lisbon? Why Santiago? Why walk for a few months?

I haven't the slightest idea, and I can live with not knowing.

Maybe @Jennifer Partika intends to end in Lucca. Maybe she intends to end in Rome. Or maybe in Bari. Maybe she doesn't ask about how to get from Lucca to Rome because there's enough information available for that section, and it is the section Arles-Lucca that is the focus for her right now.

:cool:
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Be aware that some of the routes through the Alps are also used by illegal immigrants moving from Italy into northern Europe. I would not want to get caught up in that mess.


-Paul
 

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