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Three Camino's done. The next one feels like the first.

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Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019)
I've done two different Camino's Portuguese and the Norte but in two weeks I will do the Way of Saint Francis in Italy, from Florence to Rome. Because of the reported lack of pilgrim infrastructure I feel all of the trepidation of my first Camino and also the excitement of the journey's discoveries that I know will be there, but that I don't know about yet.
I have my pilgrims Credenziale - where do I get it stamped in Florence? There is a rather official circle on the credential that looks like it is reserved for that purpose as well as one for arrival in Rome.
I've heard that Italy is hardly the bargain that is Portugal and Spain. Any tips on saving money?
Is there an essential Italian food that I should be sure to try?
Any advice is appreciated. I'm 63, in good shape though over weight, I've got two new knees that were broken in on the CP last September and I'm determined to keep walking. Being from the Seattle area I'm looking forward to the warm weather but with temps currently in the mid nineties I may regret it.
Accomodations - any advice?
Thanks for all of your advice
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
I've done two different Camino's Portuguese and the Norte but in two weeks I will do the Way of Saint Francis in Italy, from Florence to Rome. Because of the reported lack of pilgrim infrastructure I feel all of the trepidation of my first Camino and also the excitement of the journey's discoveries that I know will be there, but that I don't know about yet.
I have my pilgrims Credenziale - where do I get it stamped in Florence? There is a rather official circle on the credential that looks like it is reserved for that purpose as well as one for arrival in Rome.
I've heard that Italy is hardly the bargain that is Portugal and Spain. Any tips on saving money?
Is there an essential Italian food that I should be sure to try?
Any advice is appreciated. I'm 63, in good shape though over weight, I've got two new knees that were broken in on the CP last September and I'm determined to keep walking. Being from the Seattle area I'm looking forward to the warm weather but with temps currently in the mid nineties I may regret it.
Accomodations - any advice?
Thanks for all of your advice
your best bet to your questions is to search this forum for the way of st francis. I know there were posts about it. there is also a cicerone guide about this route, from florence to rome. I would expect you could get most of your answers in there. I think the author may even be a forum member.

the only direct answer I can give you is to the money question.
I don't know the costs of the accommodation on the WSF, only the VF (for which I am leaving tomorrow!).
I found out that the easiest way to save money is to cook. or eat a cold dinner if the weather is hot enough. if you are not a coffee or a beer addict, that may also help. ;)

well, pasta and pizza are the obvious answers. :p wine, also. if you search the local tourist office or municipal internet sites, you will find their local specialities.

I've read that there are different associations on the WSF that cater for their own accommodation structure. if you are a 'free-lancer', you can stay in some, but you can't stay in others. you can join an association and they make a plan for you which includes reservations. the cicerone guide avoids such 'vip' accommodations, I think.

the place for the stamp in rome may be for the vatican stamp or it may be for the stamp from the pilgrim office to the east of the square in front of st peters'?

in any case, have good time!
 

Mobilemejen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 7, 2017
I've done two different Camino's Portuguese and the Norte but in two weeks I will do the Way of Saint Francis in Italy, from Florence to Rome. Because of the reported lack of pilgrim infrastructure I feel all of the trepidation of my first Camino and also the excitement of the journey's discoveries that I know will be there, but that I don't know about yet.
I have my pilgrims Credenziale - where do I get it stamped in Florence? There is a rather official circle on the credential that looks like it is reserved for that purpose as well as one for arrival in Rome.
I've heard that Italy is hardly the bargain that is Portugal and Spain. Any tips on saving money?
Is there an essential Italian food that I should be sure to try?
Any advice is appreciated. I'm 63, in good shape though over weight, I've got two new knees that were broken in on the CP last September and I'm determined to keep walking. Being from the Seattle area I'm looking forward to the warm weather but with temps currently in the mid nineties I may regret it.
Accomodations - any advice?
Thanks for all of your advice
Just a little tip —-when grabbing a meal, look for students—they are usually eating on the cheap, and if there is a walk-up window, order and get your food there vs inside. You will save a ton avoiding the service fees.
I do hope you post about your adventure, that may be my next one—-Oregon signing out😊
 

DMSyracuse

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March/April 2015 - SJPdP to Santiago
Cam. Finisterre/Muxia August 2016
Cam. Fatima - Oct 2017
I will be walking the WSF in September this year. I have the Sandy Browns guide it is very good with much of the information your looking for. Also the Facebook page "The Way of St Francis official group - American Pilgrims to Italy is also a good resource of info:

I have also done CF and Camino de Fatima (Porto to Fatima) and both we're very different as I suspect this will be but all were very special in their own right and I am expecting the same of this. Cost wise yes it looks like the accommodations are not as low cost as CF but Sandy lays out several options at different costs range in his guide. There is also a document of lodging options you can download from the FB page.. I feel like it is definitely an up and coming pilgrimage whose infrastructure is continuing to improve based on people I've been following who have recently been on WSF or are currently on it...
Buon Cammino!

oh and you can get your first stamp in Florence in the basilica in Santa Croce in the bookshop (got this info from Sandy's book:)!)
 
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kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
Sandy Brown's guide, available in paperback or Kindle, really is great. He updates it very regularly on line. He also has very up to date GPS tracks if you use GPS. The book can be ordered at Cicerone Press, Amazon, or Sandy's website, which is at www.caminoist.org.

The Way of St. Francis will be more expensive than the Spanish Caminos as there is much less infrastructure devoted to pilgrims, and there are not very many pilgrims. For me, the experience of arriving in Rome as a Pilgrim was worth the higher cost.
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
Just walked in May. hate the Cicerone guide. It needs so many updates and the latest update is wrong. The route is open,around stage 26. yes there is a gate, just back up 30 meters and go over a chain fence on the right and through a field that takes you around the gate. It is a well worn path and one that a couple of Dutch men who are updating a guide informed us about. And if you can't cross the river on the day to La Verna, go up the road a couple of kilometers and take a bridge and follow the path and it will intersect with the route after a long uphill. You need more let us know. Once you make it to La Verna use the Italian web site..it's in English. You get your first stamp in Florence at the Santa Croce Basilica.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
It's odd how the Italian routes are so poorly marked with little infrastructure. We found every time we set off walking Roman Roads we ended up being directed onto motoways. Not so odd when you think about it, the shortest distance between towns is often paved and sadly most of the ancient roads are just that, roads.

Never mind, the country side is glorious and while Italy is expensive, you can usually get by with a picnic of great local produce and wine. In the cities, we took to following local nuns at lunchtime, they would scurry down the back allies to canteens with great cheap food, follow a priest and you'll tend to end up with beer and pizza.

Oh and don't sit down to drink your coffee, stand up like a local and it costs less.
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
The Way of Saint Francis and the Via Francigena are different routes. Maybe it is a good idea to create separate forums for them.
 

Dan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
Chemin Le Puy 2014
Pennine Way, UK 2015
Camino Del Norte 2016
Arles Route 2018
The Way of St Francis is tough - harder than any of the walks which may be listed here under my avatar. We did it (Florence to Rome) from March 2019, and I think we were among the earliest on the route; did not see others on the track for days on end.
Sandy Brown's GPS files are a must. I used them in conjunction with vector maps on my iPhone. Visit The Way of St Frances Facebook page for details. And get Sandy's guide from Cicerone.
Waymarks are nothing like the Camino to Santiago. It gets the lowest rating for waymarks of all the walks we've done.
However - it was probably the most awe inspiring and beautiful. Being on the tops of those mountains. Wow. Trouble was, you had to get up there, and down again! I posted on The Way of St Francis facebook page from places on the route, describing the terrain, accomodation etc., and there are photos. Join the Page and go back to March/April 2019 or search for my posts if you want to.
all the best
Dan
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019)
The Way of St Francis is tough - harder than any of the walks which may be listed here under my avatar. We did it (Florence to Rome) from March 2019, and I think we were among the earliest on the route; did not see others on the track for days on end.
Sandy Brown's GPS files are a must. I used them in conjunction with vector maps on my iPhone. Visit The Way of St Frances Facebook page for details. And get Sandy's guide from Cicerone.
Waymarks are nothing like the Camino to Santiago. It gets the lowest rating for waymarks of all the walks we've done.
However - it was probably the most awe inspiring and beautiful. Being on the tops of those mountains. Wow. Trouble was, you had to get up there, and down again! I posted on The Way of St Francis facebook page from places on the route, describing the terrain, accomodation etc., and there are photos. Join the Page and go back to March/April 2019 or search for my posts if you want to.
all the best
Dan
Hi Dan. We got back 3 weeks ago and I couldn't agree more with you assessment. For extra fun on our journey the high temps ranged from 82°f to 96°f and many of the accommodations were closed because their owners had gone to the beach for the month. Still, an awesome trip that I will only repeat in my mind.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Isn't it funny that when you rewalk a route in your mind the heat and the pain melt away and you have time to enjoy the view. Glad these you made it home safe, bet you are already planning your next trip.
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019)
[QUOTE+&scott, post: 777439, member: 3503"]
Isn't it funny that when you rewalk a route in your mind the heat and the pain melt away and you have time to enjoy the view. Glad these you made it home safe, bet you are already planning your next trip.
[/QUOTE]
Melt away indeed. As I work on this years video the sights and sounds linger in the mind.
Next years trip is already planned. A redo for me but new for my wife, CP Senda Litoral from Porto to Baiona and on to SdC.
 

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