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Live from Via Francigena VF practical info

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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)
In addition to my trail posting, thought I'd include some practical info (as a currently-walking full VF'er) based on the queries/concerns people seem to have prior to setting out or when considering if the VF is a possible option.

Day 52
approx 1300km
Mortara, Italy

Footwear - Salomon XA Lite Trail Running. Bought size 1 & 1/3 larger than normal street footwear.
Tread wearing under ball of foot which is to be expected after nearly 1300km but still some on edges & plenty on heels. Not a stitch has given way, nothing has come unglued & original laces still going strong...no doubt at all about them going the whole distance.

*No personal safety concerns throughout...I'm talking as a solo, female walker here. I've never felt in the least bit threatened. Gangs of youths in hoodies etc hanging around eateries (especially the ubiquitous kebab shops..) in towns/cities somewhat intimidating but no trouble.

*No issues with dogs except one occasion in early days of France. 99% of dogs have been fenced or leashed & the one's that weren't would lick you to death
*First & only mozzie bite today.
*First snake encounter yesterday (rice paddies) sure to be more with summer conditions
*Some roads have been a bit nervewracking walking along but so far I'm unscathed...
*First hayfever this week but easily managed with over-the-counter medication. I'd be concerned for asthmatics in northern Italy; the amount of pollens, seeds, etc floating in the air is extraordinary...at times it looks like snow falling.
*Accommodation (booked in advance but cancellable) has met or exceeded expectations. Rates have been fair for standard/area & some have been an absolute bargain. Booking ahead gives much better rate than last minute. Italy cheaper & higher standard than France & usually includes excellent breakfast.
*English more widely spoken/understood than I was lead to believe through France, Switzerland & Italy (so far). As a rule I never ask if someone speaks English, I always start by trying to speak their language. That effort is appreciated & English then ensues straight away (for which I'm eternally thankful)...often before I've finished my sentence!
*Other VF walkers; very rare but sure to change as I near the more popular regions. No through walkers but a few short haulers or week-a-year types including some 'reversies'.

Sempre Avanti
πŸ‘£ 🌏
 
Last edited:

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
In addition to my trail posting, thought I'd include some practical info (as a currently-walking full VF'er) based on the queries/concerns people seem to have prior to setting out or when considering if the VF is a possible option.

Day 52
approx 1300km
Mortara, Italy

Footwear - Salomon XA Lite Trail shoes.
Tread wearing under ball of foot which is to be expected after nearly 1300km but still some on edges & plenty on heels. Not a stitch has given way, nothing has come unglued & original laces still going strong...no doubt at all about them going the whole distance.

*No personal safety concerns throughout...I'm talking as a solo, female walker here. I've never felt in the least bit threatened. Gangs of youths in hoodies etc hanging around eateries (especially the ubiquitous kebab shops..) in towns/cities somewhat intimidating but no trouble.

*No issues with dogs except one occasion in early days of France. 99% of dogs have been fenced or leashed & the one's that weren't would lick you to death
*First & only mozzie bite today.
*First snake encounter yesterday (rice paddies) sure to be more with summer conditions
*Some roads have been a bit nervewracking walking along but so far I'm unscathed!
*First hayfever this week but easily managed with medication. I'd be concerned for asthmatics in northern Italy; the amount of pollens, seeds, etc floating in the air is extraordinary...at times it looks like snow falling.
*Accommodation (booked in advance but cancellable) has met or exceeded expectations. Rates have been fair for standard/area & some have been an absolute bargain. Booking ahead gives much better rate than last minute. Italy cheaper & higher standard than France & usually includes excellent breakfast.
*English more widely spoken/understood than I was lead to believe through France, Switzerland & Italy (so far). As a rule I never ask if someone speaks English, I always start by trying to speak their language. That effort is appreciated & English then ensues straight away (for which I'm eternally thankful)...often before I've finished my sentence!
*Other VF walkers; very rare but sure to change as I near the more popular regions. No through walkers but a few short haulers or week-a-year types including some 'reversies'.

Sempre Avanti
πŸ‘£ 🌏
thank you for the info, kazrobbo. you seem to be marching well on the rice paddies now. let the mozzies sleep a little longer... :)
 

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)
thank you for the info, kazrobbo. you seem to be marching well on the rice paddies now. let the mozzies sleep a little longer... :)
πŸ˜‰ yes please...although I'd prefer mozzies to any further slithery 🐍 encounters...it was big 😯...& that's saying something coming from an Aussie! πŸ˜„ πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί
 

Parksville

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Tui to Santiago (2011), SJPP to Najera (2016) Najera to Finisterre (2017), Lucca to Rome (June 2019)
In addition to my trail posting, thought I'd include some practical info (as a currently-walking full VF'er) based on the queries/concerns people seem to have prior to setting out or when considering if the VF is a possible option.

Day 52
approx 1300km
Mortara, Italy

Footwear - Salomon XA Lite Trail Running. Bought size 1 & 1/3 larger than normal street footwear.
Tread wearing under ball of foot which is to be expected after nearly 1300km but still some on edges & plenty on heels. Not a stitch has given way, nothing has come unglued & original laces still going strong...no doubt at all about them going the whole distance.

*No personal safety concerns throughout...I'm talking as a solo, female walker here. I've never felt in the least bit threatened. Gangs of youths in hoodies etc hanging around eateries (especially the ubiquitous kebab shops..) in towns/cities somewhat intimidating but no trouble.

*No issues with dogs except one occasion in early days of France. 99% of dogs have been fenced or leashed & the one's that weren't would lick you to death
*First & only mozzie bite today.
*First snake encounter yesterday (rice paddies) sure to be more with summer conditions
*Some roads have been a bit nervewracking walking along but so far I'm unscathed!
*First hayfever this week but easily managed with medication. I'd be concerned for asthmatics in northern Italy; the amount of pollens, seeds, etc floating in the air is extraordinary...at times it looks like snow falling.
*Accommodation (booked in advance but cancellable) has met or exceeded expectations. Rates have been fair for standard/area & some have been an absolute bargain. Booking ahead gives much better rate than last minute. Italy cheaper & higher standard than France & usually includes excellent breakfast.
*English more widely spoken/understood than I was lead to believe through France, Switzerland & Italy (so far). As a rule I never ask if someone speaks English, I always start by trying to speak their language. That effort is appreciated & English then ensues straight away (for which I'm eternally thankful)...often before I've finished my sentence!
*Other VF walkers; very rare but sure to change as I near the more popular regions. No through walkers but a few short haulers or week-a-year types including some 'reversies'.

Sempre Avanti
πŸ‘£ 🌏
Hi, Karen - This is awesome information! I've been thinking of you. Congratulations on your journey so far. We have less than two weeks to go. The information above has been very helpful in answering my questions.
 

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)
Hi, Karen - This is awesome information! I've been thinking of you. Congratulations on your journey so far. We have less than two weeks to go. The information above has been very helpful in answering my questions.
Thanks Parksville (D!). I decided to add this posting with you in mind knowing your particular queries/reservations as your adventure approaches & hope others may find it reassuring as well.
Enjoy the Countdown 😊
πŸ‘£πŸŒ
 
Last edited:

Parksville

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Tui to Santiago (2011), SJPP to Najera (2016) Najera to Finisterre (2017), Lucca to Rome (June 2019)
Thanks Parksville (D!). I decided to add this posting with you in mind particularly, knowing your queries/reservations as your adventure approaches & hope others may find it reassuring as well.
Enjoy the Countdown 😊
πŸ‘£πŸŒ
Thanks for thinking of me! This has addressed all of my questions (and more). I'm sad that we'll miss each other on the trail. I would have LOVED that!
 

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)
Thanks for thinking of me! This has addressed all of my questions (and more). I'm sad that we'll miss each other on the trail. I would have LOVED that!
Me too...but there's still a chance...I expect to be in Lucca June 3rd. As I have a tighter time frame to Rome than you, I should overtake you! Lets keep each other posted (by PM or email) on our whereabouts & maybe the planets will align 😊
πŸ‘£ 🌏
 

Stroller123

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Italy to Finisterre and back (20xx)
Day 52
approx 1300km
Mortara, Italy

*First & only mozzie bite today.
*First snake encounter yesterday (rice paddies) sure to be more with summer conditions
Don't worry too much on snakes in rice fields, they are probably "bisce" (non venomous snakes). We have only 4 venomous snakes in Italy and they are mainly found on the mountains. They are easily recognizable from the truncated body and the vertical pupil. They are rarely deadly for an healthy adult. They are: Vipera aspis (vipera comune). Not found in Sardinia, likes open spaces and rocks, just 80 cm long and very very shy, with triangular head and with a geometrical pattern on the body. Vipera berus (Marasso) very common all over Europe, up to 60 cm long with very light venom and very very shy. This can be found in wet regions as well as in the mountain. Vipera ursinii only found in high quote on the Appennini, mostly harmless almost impossible to see as it flees at the minimum noise. Vipera ammodytes (Vipera dal corno) up to 90 cm easily recognizable from the small horn it has on the head. It's the most venomous of the 4, but it's not aggressive just leave it alone and you'll be fine. It's found all over the places, mostly on open land.
Those vipers are not very common at all and they are all protected, in my whole life I just saw only one aspis in the mountains, but many non venomous ones, which are bigger.

Today it's raining (and probably tomorrow as well), so from next week mosquitoes will be all over. I'm sorry.πŸ™
 

Parksville

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Tui to Santiago (2011), SJPP to Najera (2016) Najera to Finisterre (2017), Lucca to Rome (June 2019)
Me too...but there's still a chance...I expect to be in Lucca June 3rd. As I have a tighter time frame to Rome than you, I should overtake you! Lets keep each other posted (by PM or email) on our whereabouts & maybe the planets will align 😊
πŸ‘£ 🌏
Great! I'll email our expected itinerary right now!
 

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)
Don't worry too much on snakes in rice fields, they are probably "bisce" (non venomous snakes). We have only 4 venomous snakes in Italy and they are mainly found on the mountains. They are easily recognizable from the truncated body and the vertical pupil. They are rarely deadly for an healthy adult. They are: Vipera aspis (vipera comune). Not found in Sardinia, likes open spaces and rocks, just 80 cm long and very very shy, with triangular head and with a geometrical pattern on the body. Vipera berus (Marasso) very common all over Europe, up to 60 cm long with very light venom and very very shy. This can be found in wet regions as well as in the mountain. Vipera ursinii only found in high quote on the Appennini, mostly harmless almost impossible to see as it flees at the minimum noise. Vipera ammodytes (Vipera dal corno) up to 90 cm easily recognizable from the small horn it has on the head. It's the most venomous of the 4, but it's not aggressive just leave it alone and you'll be fine. It's found all over the places, mostly on open land.
Those vipers are not very common at all and they are all protected, in my whole life I just saw only one aspis in the mountains, but many non venomous ones, which are bigger.

Today it's raining (and probably tomorrow as well), so from next week mosquitoes will be all over. I'm sorry.πŸ™
Thank you for this very helpful information Stroller. As an Aussie, I tend to assume all snakes are venomous and give them a wide berth if possible. As for mozzies...well, what can you do? During the day I don't mind but buzzing around your ears while trying to sleep is a different story! We have Aerogard so hope that does the trick...although in Norway, they seemed to love it...! πŸ€” πŸ˜–
πŸ‘£ 🌏
 

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)
sad to report that the net doesn't go over the straw hat. no fancy stationery then. :(
You could just put the net over your head then top it off with your hat & pretty ribbon...although that look may cause young kids to run off in fright... πŸ˜† πŸ‘’
Luckily the pesky little blighters are yet to make their presence felt here πŸ˜‰
πŸ‘£ 🌏
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
You could just put the net over your head then top it off with your hat & pretty ribbon...although that look may cause young kids to run off in fright... πŸ˜† πŸ‘’
Luckily the pesky little blighters are yet to make their presence felt here πŸ˜‰
πŸ‘£ 🌏
:D I could, couldn't I. I'll think about it.
for now, I found an old baseball-like cap from my college days with a straight peak so the net at least doesn't get tangled into my eyelashes when I want to look sideways. it's an improvement.
lucky you!
 

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