When I walked this stage, there was some chatter about a rather creepy man running the ostello in Medesano so that turned me off staying there. From memory, it is pretty much dead flat walking from Medesano right through to Fornovo especially if you ignore the map - which wants to add more hills - and just stick to the roads. I know road walking is not ideal, but it makes sense at the end of a day when you just want to get there!
Good to know. Will try to call a bit in advance.Checking back on my GPS track, you have a 900ft climb over 9 miles. Stiff but not difficult if you are fit - which you should be by then. After that it is a long gradual downhill from the top to Fornovo.
As I recall, it was the start of the beautiful rolling countryside that extends into Tuscany where the climbs are even steeper. So doing the whole section, as @Stripey Socks says is possible.
Wasn't enamoured by Fornovo mainly because I couldn't find accommodation there are there was some sort of local event when I passed through.
After Fidenza We stopped in costamezzano in the albergue, gave ourselves a shorter day which sometimes you have to on the VF because of scarcer accomodation stops. theres a great trattoria in the village where we ate well and had early breakfast the hext day. We didnt stay in fornovo but at a b and b just off the road up the hill above fornovo. It was a nice place and she cooked a lovely dinner for us. It gave us a bit of a head start up the hill for the next days walk too, we stopped in Berceto the next night. Casa Marty in Berceto was a great stay, very nice people and a lovely small town.
Thanks so much. I will consider that option for sure.After Fidenza We stopped in costamezzano in the albergue, gave ourselves a shorter day which sometimes you have to on the VF because of scarcer accomodation stops. theres a great trattoria in the village where we ate well and had early breakfast the hext day. We didnt stay in fornovo but at a b and b just off the road up the hill above fornovo. It was a nice place and she cooked a lovely dinner for us. It gave us a bit of a head start up the hill for the next days walk too, we stopped in Berceto the next night. Casa Marty in Berceto was a great stay, very nice people and a lovely small town.
Hello @caminka! so nice to see you here. Cheers, Lovingkindness.you can divide the stages across the appenines in more managable distances (provided that accommodation options are all functioning). this is from my accommodation list.
To avoid the long climb from Fornovo to Cassio, it's possible to divide the stages like this:
Fidenza – Cella (18km),
Cella – Sivizzano (25km),
Sivizzano – Cassio (15km).
This gives a gentle and shorter introduction into the hills, makes do with the asphalt part into Sivizzano in the early afternoon, and gives plenty of time for the (sometimes very steep) climb to Cassio.
I stayed in Cella's monastery, a very nice experience - had my own room because so few pilgrims stay there and the food was good, also very quiet and contemplative. You do not in fact need to go to the bottom of the valley in the village of Cella to then climb up to the monastery. Look up on google maps where you can detour from VF on the road down a ridge and save yourself a descent and a climb.
I remember being told that you couldn't get into the ostello in Medesano if you didn't make a reservation. Also, there were some hour restrictions concerning leaving early?
Fornovo's ostello is tiny and fills quickly. Sivizzano's ostello has been enlarged since 2012 (when it had only four beds) and the hospitalera was very nice. It's an old monastery with arcaded patio.
It's also possible to extend these stages to cut the long stage between Pontremoli and Aulla further on:
Sivizzano – Bercetto (25km),
Bercetto – Previdè or Toplecca di Sopra (22km or 26km),
Previdè or Toplecca di Sopra – Filattiera (21km or 25km)
and back to sleep in Pontremoli by train then train to Filattiera in the morning (first run about 5.45),
Filattiera – Aulla (23km).
This makes stages in perfectly managable distances throughout.
It's what I did in 2019 and worked very well. It also gave me time to explore the fine towns and villages on this stage.
Bercetto is a very pretty town with a fine church and shops. This time I slept in the monastery at the end of the town (there were lots of children and teenagers but pilgrim rooms are in a side wing up on the second or third floor so it was quiet).
You need to reserve the B&B in Previde because it only has two rooms.
In fine Pontremoli I recommend you sleep in the ostello up in the castle. There is no more kitchen but how many times can you go and sleep in an actual castle??
Before Filatierra you have the time to stop and admire the romanesque church of pieve di Sorano. The tourist info office on the premises is very nice, too, with water and stamps for pilgrims.