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Po Valley in April?

2020 Camino Guides

AvaE

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Portugese ( 2017), Via del la Plata (2019), Le Puy (2017)
I'm planning on starting the VF from Aosta in April. I've read MANY posts regarding the annoying mosquitoes in the area. I'm wondering if anyone knows if April would be too early for them or are they a year around issue? Thanks, Ava
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I'm planning on starting the VF from Aosta in April. I've read MANY posts regarding the annoying mosquitoes in the area. I'm wondering if anyone knows if April would be too early for them or are they a year around issue? Thanks, Ava
I have read the same thing about that area several times. If I walk the Via I will plan to avoid those areas and rice fields at all costs...I hate heat and I hate bugs!
 

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'm planning on starting the VF from Aosta in April. I've read MANY posts regarding the annoying mosquitoes in the area. I'm wondering if anyone knows if April would be too early for them or are they a year around issue? Thanks, Ava
I walked the VF from London to Rome this year. I made my way through Aosta early to mid May so was walking the region, including the Po, much later than you intend.
I encountered not a single mozzie...nil, zip, nada...therefore no bites either!
Assuming no weather 'anomalies' I'll think you'll be fine...they are not a year-round issue.
Incidentally, the Aosta Valley was my favourite section of the whole VF so it's a great place for you to start...enjoy 😊
Happy trails!
👣 🌏
 
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NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
Hello,

If I walk the Via I will plan to avoid those areas and rice fields at all costs...I hate heat and I hate bugs!
Against the bugs, you can use the Irish secret anti-midges weapon (I did) :

ss04_1-moustiquaire-de-visage-non-traitee-sea-to-summit.jpg

IMHO the Po Valley is not unpleasant :

iP1050752_DxO.jpg

and the mosquitoes are not the only flying creatures in the area :

iP1050782_DxO.jpg

And what about a free tour to Asia ? ;)

iP1050731_DxO.jpg

From a more general standpoint, as another personal opinion : the main difference between tourism and long distance walk/pilgrimage could be called "continuity". Walking the VF along the least desirable parts, as waste management areas, sewage treatment plants, shopping malls, busy roads... makes sense if this is included in something greater. For tourism only, few areas beat Tuscany, but there are many greater places in the Alps than the Aosta valley VF section.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I loved Tuscany as a tourist before I discovered the caminos. I think maybe walking the Way of St. Francis could possibly be a better option for me in Italy.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I'm planning on starting the VF from Aosta in April. I've read MANY posts regarding the annoying mosquitoes in the area. I'm wondering if anyone knows if April would be too early for them or are they a year around issue? Thanks, Ava
I guess it may depend on the temperature in April. I walked during a very warm September and - yes - there were mosquitoes, but it is bearable. I recommend a midge net to be worm over the face. you look like a monster but it works. Outdoor stores sell them in the Uk and I guess elsewhere.
 

Steven B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 31 Aug (2016), Le Puy 24 Jun (2018)
I will be walking from Canterbury in Apr 20 to Rome. My worst experience ever with mozzies was on the Le Puy Route in late june through a muddy marsh area. I counted 20 - 30 on each leg and on my face and neck. talk about dancing along the Camino I was slap dance hiking through the mud as fast as I could. All part of the experience!!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I will be walking from Canterbury in Apr 20 to Rome. My worst experience ever with mozzies was on the Le Puy Route in late june through a muddy marsh area. I counted 20 - 30 on each leg and on my face and neck. talk about dancing along the Camino I was slap dance hiking through the mud as fast as I could. All part of the experience!!
Wow, I walked the Le Puy all of June 2018 as far as Auvillar and didn't encounter even one mosquito! Possibly you were in the marshes after that village?
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi Ava -

I walked from Aosta to Aulla in Lunigiana in late September/early October 2017 with my friend Sally. We didn’t encounter any mozzies anywhere along that part of the VF. It was still warm at that time of year so we had expected mozzies, flies etc but no - nothing.

The Po Valley was so very beautiful - the walking was glorious and the flat plain brought with it a magical tranquility. The small ferry crossing from Senna Lodigiana to Calendasco across the Po River was a wonderful experience. The boatman gives you a gorgeous sello for your credentiale at an old table in his lovely garden once you’ve crossed the river. I loved the Po Valley and when I think back to my time on the VF it’s the Po Valley that I think of first.

Here’s a photo of a dinghy (not the ferry!) at the ferry stop at Senna Lodigiana on the Po River - so peaceful ...

AEF40309-3ECE-46B5-B585-E265F685C319.jpeg

Wishing you joy in every step on the VF -
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I was eaten alive by mozzies in one area in france but there were none by the time i reached the po area.....which was summer 2016
 

teaccam

New Member
As far as I see from trying to plan walking from Aosta the main problem is how to get to Aosta from Milan.
Hoping to start in late April so plenty of time to sort it out I hope
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), VFnS (2020)
@NavyBlue What are those black headed birds in post #5. Couldn't get close enough to identify them but there were a lot around.

No mozzies for me either in late May, but it was raining all the time.
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
Hi all,

Galloglaigh, I think the birds are sacred ibis - Threskiomis aethiopicus

Ibis.jpg

Kazrobo, sorry, I must have been spoilt by other hikes... Your pics are nice. Looks like you took them around Aoste or downstream ?
 

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)
Kazrobo, sorry, I must have been spoilt by other hikes... Your pics are nice. Looks like you took them around Aoste or downstream ?
😁 No worries @NavyBlue 👍 I was just a bit surprised by your comment 🤔 I've done the Tour du Mont Blanc so I can guess at the type of scenery you are comparing it to but believe me, after weeks of walking the VF through the vast, flat expanses of France, you have a whole new appreciation of more dramatic landscapes! And yes, you are correct...the pics are taken in the Aosta to Pont St Martin section of the Valle d'Aosta. 😊
👣 🌏
 
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Steven B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 31 Aug (2016), Le Puy 24 Jun (2018)
Wow, I walked the Le Puy all of June 2018 as far as Auvillar and didn't encounter even one mosquito! Possibly you were in the marshes after that village?
It was 18 July near Gers river MarsolanThere were also yabbies (freshwater crayfish) all over the track as well. I left Le Puy on the 24 June 18. <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https://www.facebook.com/steven.bennett.332345/posts/10216960990083640&width=500" width="500" height="770" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> 1573612084405.png
 

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)

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
I'm planning on starting the VF from Aosta in April. I've read MANY posts regarding the annoying mosquitoes in the area. I'm wondering if anyone knows if April would be too early for them or are they a year around issue? Thanks, Ava
it's been said that the worst month is august. I was crossing the po plain in july this year and there were some mosquitoes but they usually didn't bother me when I was walking, only when stopping. peeing was a very windmilling affair. don't go into the corn fields, it's their territory. I had a mosquito net with me but never used it.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
As far as I see from trying to plan walking from Aosta the main problem is how to get to Aosta from Milan.
Hoping to start in late April so plenty of time to sort it out I hope
there are direct train and bus routes from milan to aosta.
 

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)
it's been said that the worst month is august. I was crossing the po plain in july this year and there were some mosquitoes but they usually didn't bother me when I was walking, only when stopping. peeing was a very windmilling affair. don't go into the corn fields, it's their territory. I had a mosquito net with me but never used it.
Very descriptive as always @caminka ...I can just picture it...! 🌽 🦟 🤸‍♀️ 🙈 🤭
👣 🌏
 

AvaE

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Portugese ( 2017), Via del la Plata (2019), Le Puy (2017)
I guess it may depend on the temperature in April. I walked during a very warm September and - yes - there were mosquitoes, but it is bearable. I recommend a midge net to be worm over the face. you look like a monster but it works. Outdoor stores sell them in the Uk and I guess elsewhere.
You all are wonderful!! Thanks for all the feedback on my question regarding the Po Valley and mosquitoes. I agree that when we walk the Caminos we want the “real” experience, not just a look at the nicest sections. When I walk the Caminos I feel like I’m in a myth. All good myths have their challenges such as the challenges Odysseus faced Homer’s Odyssey. Glad to hear that the mosquitoes aren’t a year-round issue. Thanks again, Ava
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
In 2018 I crossed the Po Valley in the second half of September. I had no real issues with mosquito's or heat. The Po Valley was much better than I expected. Quiet lanes, tracks and country lanes, crossing a lot of small towns. I think April will be fine as well, as the real hot and mozzie months are June, July and August. Apart from this, a camino is a walk from A to B (Rome), not a bus hopping tour. Some suburbs, busy highways, and/or industrial estates are part of it. If you walk the whole Via , you will discover that those not so nice parts are only a tiny bit of the whole footpath.

Regarding the scenic part thru the Alps. I started from Gran San Bernardo and it was a great experience with beautiful views. However, if you really want rugged mountain scenery in France or Italy, don't walk the VF, but try Tour du Mont Blanc, Tour du Queyras or Valle Varaita Trekking. The VF association succeeded to create a very nice walking path from A to B, but you cannot compare it with scenic long distance trails thru wild nature.
 

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