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Via Francigena Affordability?

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
I’ve walked Porto to Santiago (May/June 2017) and SJPP to Burgos (May/June 2018) and am itching to complete my walk, Burgos to Santiago (or Muxia)....but now Via Francigena has caught my eye...

I would likely walk only the Tuscany to Rome section but want to ask: is lodging affordable? Is it set up in the way of CF to accommodate smaller budgets?
 
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omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
The accommodation in France was quite expensive due to less pilgrim friendly places but I do like my own room so did opt for hotels/hostals. I would add that the section through France is often skipped but it was sobering to walk through the WW1 battlefields. Some of the cemeteries were in quite out of the way places but I always made sure I visited them. But once in Italy it was much easier to find pilgrim friendly accommodation..and hotels and hostals were more affordable. Switzerland was beautiful but expensive..I stayed in a 2 bunk hostel for 50 euros! The Italian section was much more popular and extremely well signposted..do it before it becomes inundated!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Only the more touristy parts of Tuscany and central Rome itself are about as expensive as France.

Elsewhere, including in such places as Milan, as long as you can avoid being fleeced, then cheaper prices are often possible to find in Italy -- and pilgrim accommodation can be found too in a few places on that Way.
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
The accommodation in France was quite expensive due to less pilgrim friendly places but I do like my own room so did opt for hotels/hostals. I would add that the section through France is often skipped but it was sobering to walk through the WW1 battlefields. Some of the cemeteries were in quite out of the way places but I always made sure I visited them. But once in Italy it was much easier to find pilgrim friendly accommodation..and hotels and hostals were more affordable. Switzerland was beautiful but expensive..I stayed in a 2 bunk hostel for 50 euros! The Italian section was much more popular and extremely well signposted..do it before it becomes inundated!
Thank you for this information! The passages through WW1 battlefields would be poignant and haunting. I will likely walk 150 miles of Italy only, given time restraints, but your route sounds marvelous!
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Only the more touristy parts of Tuscany and central Rome itself are about as expensive as France.

Elsewhere, including in such places as Milan, as long as you can avoid being fleeced, then cheaper prices are often possible to find in Italy -- and pilgrim accommodation can be found too in a few places on that Way.
I hope I can savvily avoid being fleeced. Better learn some Italian! I’ll look for a list of pilgrim accommodation in Tuscany online. Will likely walk Siena to Roma.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
There is low-cost pilgrim accommodation in that final section: parish or monastic ostellos in a number of towns. Overall a little more expensive than you might expect on the Camino Frances. Food and drink is also more expensive and there are few equivalents of the Spanish menu peregrino.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I’ve walked Porto to Santiago (May/June 2017) and SJPP to Burgos (May/June 2018) and am itching to complete by walk, Burgos to Santiago (or Muxia)....but now Via Francigena has caught my eye...

I would likely walk only the Tuscany to Rome section but want to ask: is lodging affordable? Is it set up in the way of CF to accommodate smaller budgets?
Plenty of pilgrim accommodation on this stretch of the VF. Pilgrim ostelli, religious houses, affordable bnbs. Check out the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome website (pilgrimstorome.org.uk) and the EAVF website for lists.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
We walked Florence to Assisi to Rome last year and found the daily costs for food and lodging to be 3X the amounts we spent in Spain or Portugal. In some sections, there are few options and the locals know it. Even the monasteries and convents were twice/three times cost in Spain.
I can't recall ever seeing a 'pilgrim's menu' per se, so eating out was costly...we mostly took advantage of markets.
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
We walked Florence to Assisi to Rome last year and found the daily costs for food and lodging to be 3X the amounts we spent in Spain or Portugal. In some sections, there are few options and the locals know it. Even the monasteries and convents were twice/three times cost in Spain.
I can't recall ever seeing a 'pilgrim's menu' per se, so eating out was costly...we mostly took advantage of markets.
3x! Wow!
 

mike g

New Member
Responses to threads like this are emblematic of the problem with news groups in general. When the question arises"how much" the answers should reflect "how much". When questions concerning availability arise answers should reflect availability. I know that the personalities that populate these news groups like to comment on everything. I wish they would take into account the ligitimacy of the question and temper their responses to actually answering the question with experience and facts. I did not take the Francengena because I could not establish the availability of accommodation based on responses given to this news group. The long and short if it is, reading and not commenting is ok to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Responses to threads like this are emblematic of the problem with news groups in general. When the question arises"how much" the answers should reflect "how much". When questions concerning availability arise answers should reflect availability. I know that the personalities that populate these news groups like to comment on everything. I wish they would take into account the ligitimacy of the question and temper their responses to actually answering the question with experience and facts. I did not take the Francengena because I could not establish the availability of accommodation based on responses given to this news group. The long and short if it is, reading and not commenting is ok to.
Huh!!!!!
Happy new year to you too!!
 

Gretel Schuck

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francigena
I’ve walked Porto to Santiago (May/June 2017) and SJPP to Burgos (May/June 2018) and am itching to complete by walk, Burgos to Santiago (or Muxia)....but now Via Francigena has caught my eye...

I would likely walk only the Tuscany to Rome section but want to ask: is lodging affordable? Is it set up in the way of CF to accommodate smaller budgets?
Tuscany to Rome has monasteries all the way- check the Via Francigena app for daily monastery directions. Daily room rates are 10-15 E. It is best to call or contact each stop
Ahead of time and again the “via f” app has all of the info
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I would likely walk only the Tuscany to Rome section but want to ask: is lodging affordable? Is it set up in the way of CF to accommodate smaller budgets?
@EmoJohnson , I note you are most likely to only walk from Tuscany. My response will most likely confirm your choice.

Earlier this year I walked Canterbury to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne.
My research suggested limited backpacker / pilgrim type accomodation along this route. I encountered three where English was enough to gain entry, the first being at Canterbury. I passed two others during the day with a local number to ring posted on he door.

Forewarned I took my tent and used that about six times and stayed in a chalet at a camp site at a reduced pilgrim rate.

For my rest days at Arras and Reims I stayed in the cheapest central city hotels I could find (total four nights).

That accounted for 14 of my 22 days en route.

The other eight days I stayed at hotels: typical cost about € 70 per night. This usually includes breakfast. But some times this was too late for a typical start about sunrise and no alternative was offered.

In short, on that section, at least, no the infrastructure is not like that from Le Puy to Compostella.

Va bene.
 

MarkWoods

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Canterbury to Rome 2017)
I agree with Gretal. I walked the VF from Canterbury to Rome in 2017 (Aug 2 - Oct 27).
In Italy, pilgrim stays were usually 10 euro. A few we're 15. One was 5.
Eating can be cheap if you buy at a grocery and cook your meals. Or simply eat local salami, cheese, fresh breads, yorgurt, etc.
The entire VF is an incredible experience.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
I've just updated my italian part of the accommodation for vf and will post it when I get to a computer where I can convert it to a pdf. it lists all pilgrim-specific and pilgrim-friendly options I could find for pilgrims on a budget. budget for me is €25 per night tops so I usually don't list more expensive options. in some hotels you can get a €5 or 5% discount or a free breakfast, but sometimes you need to be a bit persuasive.

in italy pilgrim-specific accommodation in parishes, monasteries and dedicated ostellos is often donativo or in the range of €10-15. there are a few places that offer a pilgrim menu for €10-15, the info is often found in ostellos themselves, or ask locals.
pilgrim-friendly accommodation in b&b, hotels, farms etc. is usually about €25-30 per person, less if you are two people.

btw, I haven't (yet) walked the vf, this is compiled from the official vf site (https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/piedi/, which usually lists the newly acquired opstions (new parish in sarzana and new parish about 3km after sarzana), but curiously doesn't list some 'staples' (like abbazia san caprasio in aulla)), confraternity to rome's site (https://pilgrimstorome.org.uk/the-journey/accommodation/, years when comments were made would be really helpful) and all the blogs and vlogs for the last three years that I could find.
 

Viola_Fav

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino portugués (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Hi everybody,
My boyfriend and I are planning to walk the via Francigena from Canterbury from August this year. I have read some information but I am a little worried about the costs. Can anyone give information about how much the whole thing could cost? We wouldn't mind camping or even wild camping. Thanks!
Viola
 

MarkWoods

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Canterbury to Rome 2017)
Hi. I walked from Canterbury to Rome during August, September, and October, 2017. A little shy of 90 days.

Average daily cost was about $44 USD. That covered everything (food, shelter, repair, fees, etc).

France was the cheapest, Switzerland the most expensive.
I camped about 50%, pilgrim stay (monestary, church, etc) about 45%, and hotel or B&B about 5%.

About 70% of the camping was wild camps. I strictly followed the leave no trace philosophy. Lots of wild camping in France.

Most meals were self prepared. To keep cost down, I did not eat out much.

Most of the pilgrim stays were in Italy.

Cheers,
Mark
 

Viola_Fav

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino portugués (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Hi Mark, thanks, that was really helpful. So many people advise against camping but I do feel better about it after reading your post! I guess a low-budget Camino will be possible after all. Thank you!
Viola
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@Viola_Fav I walked from Canterbury-Rome April-June 2018 and I didn't camp at all, but I was in regular virtual contact on Facebook with a couple, and two single walkers, in front of me and behind me and they all camped a lot in France and Switzerland. We were all quite separate, and never met! I don't think any of them are on this forum.
They often wild camped. I don't think any of them camped very much in Italy. It is less easy and less necessary there, but they had no problems in France and Switzerland. Well no significant ones anyway ;). Odd bits of flooding and animal encounters which I suppose go with the territory.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Like the Facebook friends @timr mentions I wild-camped most nights in France, a couple of nights in Switzerland, but not at all in Italy where cheap options were available and camping was far less practical
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
I have walked Camino Mozarabe from Almeria to Merida and Via Francigena from Gran San Bernardo to Massa (Northern Tuscany). Eating and accomodation on the VF is more expensive than on the Camino. There are many ostello's, generally 10 euros per night, sometimes 15 or 20. When there is no place in an ostello (it sometimes happens) finding a room is between 30 and 50 euros. Eating is more expensive as well, as the cheap pilgrim menu is not always available, and if any the price is around 12 euros (versus 8 euros in Andalusia). Most ostellos have kitchen or microwave to prepare your own meal.
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019), CPVS (2020)
For a comprehensive list of accommodations look at the Via Francigena Forums posts for this week. Efren Gonzales has a pdf of each day of his 85 day trip from Canterbury to Rome including distances between stages and all of the places where he stayed. He also has 85 one minute YouTube videos posted of his whole trip. His day in minute and it only takes a minute of your day to watch. Good luck. We're going in July, see you then.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I’ve walked Porto to Santiago (May/June 2017) and SJPP to Burgos (May/June 2018) and am itching to complete by walk, Burgos to Santiago (or Muxia)....but now Via Francigena has caught my eye...

I would likely walk only the Tuscany to Rome section but want to ask: is lodging affordable? Is it set up in the way of CF to accommodate smaller budgets?
A friend has recently completed the VF from Canterbury to Rome. He offers daily one minute vlogs including pricing where he can. I warn you two things:

1) His vlogs are addicting.

2) There are 85 one minute vlogs.

Here is a link to his first Installment;


Enjoy!!!
 

Ell

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese
Part of the Camino Via De La Plata
Camino Frances
We walked Florence to Assisi to Rome last year and found the daily costs for food and lodging to be 3X the amounts we spent in Spain or Portugal. In some sections, there are few options and the locals know it. Even the monasteries and convents were twice/three times cost in Spain.
I can't recall ever seeing a 'pilgrim's menu' per se, so eating out was costly...we mostly took advantage of markets.
Hi
Thinking of doing the Via Francigena but except for the expense it sounds quite lonely. Do you think a woman can do it alone end of April beginning of May? I loved the social aspect of the Frances and I have cycled Porto to Muxia so not sure what to do next..... Any advise will be appreciated. Thanks!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
The Via Francingena and the Via San Franciso ( Florence to Assisi to Rome ) are not the same, though they intersect and merge at points. The year I walked was May/June of 2017 and it was not at all easy to navigate despite two guidebooks and a GPS ( my walking companion was an air force pilot ) Trails and any trail markers were washed out from mudslides and uprooted trees...paths were non-existent , small run offs were raging rapids...The few people we met all gave up ( and they were seasoned hikers ) I've heard of a few people going the following year and they reported better conditions, but still required GPS. It does not at all have the infrastructure seen on any of the Spanish/Portuguese routes and The Way of St James. I , personally, would not recommend anyone do this trek alone, man or woman. I do hope it is better developed in years to come as it was beautiful country and the Italian people were lovely.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hi
Thinking of doing the Via Francigena but except for the expense it sounds quite lonely. Do you think a woman can do it alone end of April beginning of May? I loved the social aspect of the Frances and I have cycled Porto to Muxia so not sure what to do next..... Any advise will be appreciated. Thanks!
Hello @Ell welcome. You will find a fair bit of discussion on your questions in this subforum if you search. You may also get more response if you start a new thread - the header here is not really indicating your question.
I am assuming you are inquiring about the Via Francigena. First question would be where do you hope to start and finish? I started April 1st last year from Canterbury and (as I had anticipated) was not able to walk across Great St Bernard Pass in early May. (But nearly!....see my guide to the GSB on the forum) Aim to arrive at GSB after about 10th June if you want to be sure it will be open.
It is hard for a more than middle-aged man to advise on whether a woman can walk alone. I would say yes from the safety point of view and I think you'll find that is the consensus here.
The social aspect you will need to consider. From Canterbury to GSB is 1000km and I met a couple one night and a group of 13 walking together for a few days. Otherwise no other pilgrim in 6 weeks. That was fine for me and what I expected. I had plenty of interaction with local people. From GSB to Rome is another 1000km and in May June there were others walking especially in Tuscany and beyond but still not many. But still had accommodation to myself many nights. Very very different from the popular busy stages in Spain and Portugal. If the social aspect is very important you'd need to consider this.
Not everyone agrees with me but I think for companionship and someone to talk to, (ie locals) as much French and Italian that you can pick up will pay dividends. Without a doubt you can get all the way with only English - but more often than you might imagine you may spend a night with no English speaker nearby.
 
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Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
The Via San Francesco and the Via Francigena are completely different routes, as far as I know, but apparently there is some confusion as both caminos have Franc in their name. See the map: https://caminoist.org/past-caminos/via-san-francesco-2014/

The Via Francigena is very well signposted and there are excellent Apps. With Apps and signposting it is almost impossible to get lost. Last September I walked alone from Gran San Bernardo to Massa, and every day I met a few other pilgrims, on the way, at the bars in the many towns along the way, or at ostellos. Of course there is not the crowd as on the Camino Frances, but over all my walk was a very social experience.

Personally I see no danger in walking alone. In April/May, when temperatures in Italy are still moderate, you surely will find fellow pilgrims along the way through Tuscany towards Rome. The French part of the Via Francigena is a very different story. I heard from fellow pilgrims who went all the way that they met only a few people.
 

Saikiki

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2019
For a comprehensive list of accommodations look at the Via Francigena Forums posts for this week. Efren Gonzales has a pdf of each day of his 85 day trip from Canterbury to Rome including distances between stages and all of the places where he stayed. He also has 85 one minute YouTube videos posted of his whole trip. His day in minute and it only takes a minute of your day to watch. Good luck. We're going in July, see you then.
[/QUOTE
A friend has recently completed the VF from Canterbury to Rome. He offers daily one minute vlogs including pricing where he can. I warn you two things:

1) His vlogs are addicting.

2) There are 85 one minute vlogs.

Here is a link to his first Installment;


Enjoy!!!
I started watching these - they were soooo great and he is very funny. I spent have my day watching his videos LOL. I only found the one of Camino de Santiago, I did not find the one where he traveled to Rome. I'm going to start watching these. I've been looking all over the internet for my walk for the Via Francigena.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2012), Camino Norte (Fall 2015)
Plenty of pilgrim accommodation on this stretch of the VF. Pilgrim ostelli, religious houses, affordable bnbs. Check out the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome website (pilgrimstorome.org.uk) and the EAVF website for lists.
The pigrimstorome.org accommodations list is terribly out of date even though it says last updated in December 2018. I tried to use this last April and May there were numerous places i phoned where the phone number was incorrect, and a few where they had been closed for years. I liked the format of the list because it had addresses, and comments but overall it was more frustrating than it it was worth.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
The pigrimstorome.org accommodations list is terribly out of date even though it says last updated in December 2018. I tried to use this last April and May there were numerous places i phoned where the phone number was incorrect, and a few where they had been closed for years. I liked the format of the list because it had addresses, and comments but overall it was more frustrating than it it was worth.
It is in the process of overhauling and updating. The person working on it has got as far as Switzerland. It's a mammoth task.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
Responses to threads like this are emblematic of the problem with news groups in general. When the question arises"how much" the answers should reflect "how much". When questions concerning availability arise answers should reflect availability. I know that the personalities that populate these news groups like to comment on everything. I wish they would take into account the ligitimacy of the question and temper their responses to actually answering the question with experience and facts. I did not take the Francengena because I could not establish the availability of accommodation based on responses given to this news group. The long and short if it is, reading and not commenting is ok to.
Gosh. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2012), Camino Norte (Fall 2015)
Kia ora to you both.

I return to may last stop in two months.

Would welcome any trip notes or other information you each might have.

PM if you prefer.
Here’s an update I sent to my friends in an email. Hope it helps.



We have a myriad of questions that we would like to pose to you as our “advance guard” in Italy. We hope not to overwhelm you but here goes….



  1. What guide book did you use? And how useful was it? Were the maps solid and easy to read? We have ordered Via Francigena, A Tuscan Pilgrimage, Lucca to Rome.
We used a guidebook from Cicerone that was terrible compared to the Brierly books. The one you have ordered looks better at least based on the ratings, but the one I would suggest is put out by the European Association of the Vie Francigene (EAVF). There website is www.viefrancigene.org (yes, “e” instead of an “a” at the end). We walked with a fellow from Germany and he had a guidebook with a lot of useful information but I don’t know if its available in English – I have attached a picture of the cover. Because our guidebook directions were confusing we found that we did not use it, we had mapping software on our smartphone that was priceless, and separate lists of accommodations from different sources. Unfortunately, the list of accommodations that I liked was way out of date. The reason I liked it was because it had addresses, phone numbers and comments about each facility.



  1. Is the Via Francigena from Lucca to Rome reasonably well marked? Did you ever get lost, wander off the path….lol?
We never got close to being lost. There was always way markings especially out of towns and cities. In cities they were there but more scarce. The little red and white signage is only on public buildings/posts, never on private buildings so you may go awhile in towns with nothing but just when you think you may have gone too far, another sign will show up. This is where the mapping software comes in. I highly suggest you download the Sloways App as well as the Via Francigena App. If we were in the middle of nowhere and there is a fork in the road and no way markings, I pulled up the app, expanded the map and we were able to stay on route every time. The paper based maps in the guidebooks are a page long and not expandable versus the smartphone apps. I used the Sloways app the most because it was quick to open, and I liked the “altimetric profile”. Just touch the profile and it tells you where you are and how many more hills you still have to climb 😊. The Via Francigena app had a few extra alternate routes which were handy, and it also has some accommodation and restaurant information listed. As soon as you download these free apps, go into each stage starting in Lucca and download the maps, then you don’t need a network connection.



  1. Where did you pick up your credencials? We would like to have the Italian version, if possible.
We picked up our credencial in Rome. We spent 4 days there before heading to Lucca so we had time to get it. The vieFrancigene.org site has a list of places in Italy to pick up your credential, here’s the link - https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/credenziali/ There are 3 places listed in Lucca, one of them being the Tourist Information Centre located just outside the train station before you go into the walled city.



  1. Did you have any trouble acquiring your Testimonium (the Italian Compostela) in Rome? And where did you get them?
The Testimoniums are easy to get, and virtually no lineup. I attached a couple pages from our book that tells you were you can get them. We got ours from the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi office in St. Peter’s Square but we wanted to get it from the Uffici della Canonica di San Pietro just because of the process described in the book. We talked to the Swiss Guard but the office was closed and was not going to open for another 2 hours so we went to the other office. There is no fan fare when you get you Testimonium in Rome, in fact at the office we went to, you have to write your own name on it, can you imagine! (I asked if they would write it for me in Latin but they looked at me like was insane 😊). The last city before Rome is La Storta and the route into Rome is almost all sidewalk or busy road except a part that goes through a park and we skipped that piece because it added extra distance. We walked into Rome but we met a number of people who were going to catch the bus or train that morning because it was not very scenic and somewhat dangerous – and they all had intentions of getting their Testimonium.



  1. Did you use any apps to stay on course and to point out all places of interest?
I detailed the apps we used above but there is minimal information in them about places of interest. I think the guidebook you ordered or the one I recommended will give you more information.



  1. I know that you called ahead to reserve your beds. Was this in alberques and were those numbers in your guide book?
Accommodations was worst part of our trip (worst being relative – we were in Italy!). First off, the list I used was way out of date and half the numbers we called were out of order, and some of the others were not in the business anymore. The apps and guidebook we used had limited accommodation information. Secondly, it was a busy time of year in Italy and most of the country took two weeks off – part for Easter, Liberty Day and Independence Day all around the same time, so it was busy especially in touristy cities like Lucca, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Siena.

I have three lists for you that I am told are regularly updated:

- www.viafrancigenatoscana.org The first place we stayed in Lucca is part of the Tuscany Pilgrim Association and this is their website but unfortunately, it only lists accommodations in Tuscany. We stayed at a few of their places and recommend them all – but note, they only list pilgrim style accommodations. Also note – there are not many albergues like the ones in Spain and Portugal. Most have separate rooms with double beds and therefore the price is a little more.

- The viefrancigene.org site also has accommodations at https://www.viefrancigene.org/static/uploads/03-accoglienza-lucca-radicofani-eng.pdf and https://www.viefrancigene.org/static/uploads/04-accoglienza-radicofani-roma-eng.pdf. It includes both low cost pilgrim accommodations and tourist style hotel information.

- “Via Francigena in Italy” pdf is attached. It also lists both low cost pilgrim accommodations and tourist style hotel information



Note: A couple of the above lists include an email address. I sent emails a couple of times with great success and got an English response. The times I called we had very little English which added to our difficulties.



7) How many days did you walk?

There are 18 staged routes from Lucca to Rome and we planned for 3 rest days, making it 21 days on the road. It had rained just before the San Quirico to Radicofani stage and in the app it said that if it rains, the three fords can be very demanding so we decided to take a transport from San Quirico to Acquapendente, skipping over two stages. We had rested a day in Siena so now we had 4 spare days. To make a long story short, we didn’t take any more rest days (mainly because the distance each day was shorter the last half) and used the 4 extra days in Amalfi.



In the first half of the walk, there are a couple days over 30 kms and some 24-28km days – we looked at trying to make them shorter but there are many days where there are no services except maybe a bar, so we pretty well stuck to the planned stages.



Additional Comments:



  • Get a SIM card. You probably already do this when you go to Europe but this is the first time we did and it paid off not only for making calls but also the wifi in both ostellos and albergos (hotels) is spotty. We used TIM but had poor coverage a couple days so I plan to use Vodafone next time.
  • Take an extension cord that has room to plug in 3-4 appliances – some of the accommodations have limited plugs and we had two smartphones, a camera and a powerpack. With the extension cord, you only need one European adapter at the wall and then all your appliances connect as at home
  • Learn some Italian. I know Sally is pretty good with Spanish, so you may be okay.
  • If you plan to take a bus, you need a ticket. Tickets can be purchase at Tobacco shops, but if you don’t see one, ask at any shop, they may just sell them.
  • The first few days we walked, we saw maybe 2 or 4 other pilgrims walking in the same direction as us, but also saw as many or more walking in reverse. Some of the people we chatted with were going to Santiago but most were Italians who took a week off or even just a weekend to walk – they love the via Francigena.
  • There is a Camino Forum run by a guy called Ivar. I subscribe to it and get a weekly email with people asking the same questions over and over - what shoes should I were, what equipment do I need, is it safe to walk solo, etc. Anyway, after we got back, I put up a posting about how busy it was and how hard it was getting accommodations given the holidays plus my outdated lists. I found out that the list I was using was indeed in a sad state and was being updated. The person doing the updates was only as far as Switzerland. Also, someone posted a “Via Francigena: Quickie Guide/Reference” which I have attached. It answers almost all your questions ☹. Also, someone posted their blog which is rather detailed and they stayed in some of the same places as we did – here’s the link (but don’t look at their pictures, mine our nicer 😊) https://therandoneurds.wordpress.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
@Bill from Canada
Super info here Bill. Your input will keep me busy for a while
Thankyou so much for sharing

Annie
 

LeonieGJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
Here’s an update I sent to my friends in an email. Hope it helps.



We have a myriad of questions that we would like to pose to you as our “advance guard” in Italy. We hope not to overwhelm you but here goes….



  1. What guide book did you use? And how useful was it? Were the maps solid and easy to read? We have ordered Via Francigena, A Tuscan Pilgrimage, Lucca to Rome.
We used a guidebook from Cicerone that was terrible compared to the Brierly books. The one you have ordered looks better at least based on the ratings, but the one I would suggest is put out by the European Association of the Vie Francigene (EAVF). There website is www.viefrancigene.org (yes, “e” instead of an “a” at the end). We walked with a fellow from Germany and he had a guidebook with a lot of useful information but I don’t know if its available in English – I have attached a picture of the cover. Because our guidebook directions were confusing we found that we did not use it, we had mapping software on our smartphone that was priceless, and separate lists of accommodations from different sources. Unfortunately, the list of accommodations that I liked was way out of date. The reason I liked it was because it had addresses, phone numbers and comments about each facility.



  1. Is the Via Francigena from Lucca to Rome reasonably well marked? Did you ever get lost, wander off the path….lol?
We never got close to being lost. There was always way markings especially out of towns and cities. In cities they were there but more scarce. The little red and white signage is only on public buildings/posts, never on private buildings so you may go awhile in towns with nothing but just when you think you may have gone too far, another sign will show up. This is where the mapping software comes in. I highly suggest you download the Sloways App as well as the Via Francigena App. If we were in the middle of nowhere and there is a fork in the road and no way markings, I pulled up the app, expanded the map and we were able to stay on route every time. The paper based maps in the guidebooks are a page long and not expandable versus the smartphone apps. I used the Sloways app the most because it was quick to open, and I liked the “altimetric profile”. Just touch the profile and it tells you where you are and how many more hills you still have to climb 😊. The Via Francigena app had a few extra alternate routes which were handy, and it also has some accommodation and restaurant information listed. As soon as you download these free apps, go into each stage starting in Lucca and download the maps, then you don’t need a network connection.



  1. Where did you pick up your credencials? We would like to have the Italian version, if possible.
We picked up our credencial in Rome. We spent 4 days there before heading to Lucca so we had time to get it. The vieFrancigene.org site has a list of places in Italy to pick up your credential, here’s the link - https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/credenziali/ There are 3 places listed in Lucca, one of them being the Tourist Information Centre located just outside the train station before you go into the walled city.



  1. Did you have any trouble acquiring your Testimonium (the Italian Compostela) in Rome? And where did you get them?
The Testimoniums are easy to get, and virtually no lineup. I attached a couple pages from our book that tells you were you can get them. We got ours from the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi office in St. Peter’s Square but we wanted to get it from the Uffici della Canonica di San Pietro just because of the process described in the book. We talked to the Swiss Guard but the office was closed and was not going to open for another 2 hours so we went to the other office. There is no fan fare when you get you Testimonium in Rome, in fact at the office we went to, you have to write your own name on it, can you imagine! (I asked if they would write it for me in Latin but they looked at me like was insane 😊). The last city before Rome is La Storta and the route into Rome is almost all sidewalk or busy road except a part that goes through a park and we skipped that piece because it added extra distance. We walked into Rome but we met a number of people who were going to catch the bus or train that morning because it was not very scenic and somewhat dangerous – and they all had intentions of getting their Testimonium.



  1. Did you use any apps to stay on course and to point out all places of interest?
I detailed the apps we used above but there is minimal information in them about places of interest. I think the guidebook you ordered or the one I recommended will give you more information.



  1. I know that you called ahead to reserve your beds. Was this in alberques and were those numbers in your guide book?
Accommodations was worst part of our trip (worst being relative – we were in Italy!). First off, the list I used was way out of date and half the numbers we called were out of order, and some of the others were not in the business anymore. The apps and guidebook we used had limited accommodation information. Secondly, it was a busy time of year in Italy and most of the country took two weeks off – part for Easter, Liberty Day and Independence Day all around the same time, so it was busy especially in touristy cities like Lucca, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Siena.

I have three lists for you that I am told are regularly updated:

- www.viafrancigenatoscana.org The first place we stayed in Lucca is part of the Tuscany Pilgrim Association and this is their website but unfortunately, it only lists accommodations in Tuscany. We stayed at a few of their places and recommend them all – but note, they only list pilgrim style accommodations. Also note – there are not many albergues like the ones in Spain and Portugal. Most have separate rooms with double beds and therefore the price is a little more.

- The viefrancigene.org site also has accommodations at https://www.viefrancigene.org/static/uploads/03-accoglienza-lucca-radicofani-eng.pdf and https://www.viefrancigene.org/static/uploads/04-accoglienza-radicofani-roma-eng.pdf. It includes both low cost pilgrim accommodations and tourist style hotel information.

- “Via Francigena in Italy” pdf is attached. It also lists both low cost pilgrim accommodations and tourist style hotel information



Note: A couple of the above lists include an email address. I sent emails a couple of times with great success and got an English response. The times I called we had very little English which added to our difficulties.



7) How many days did you walk?

There are 18 staged routes from Lucca to Rome and we planned for 3 rest days, making it 21 days on the road. It had rained just before the San Quirico to Radicofani stage and in the app it said that if it rains, the three fords can be very demanding so we decided to take a transport from San Quirico to Acquapendente, skipping over two stages. We had rested a day in Siena so now we had 4 spare days. To make a long story short, we didn’t take any more rest days (mainly because the distance each day was shorter the last half) and used the 4 extra days in Amalfi.



In the first half of the walk, there are a couple days over 30 kms and some 24-28km days – we looked at trying to make them shorter but there are many days where there are no services except maybe a bar, so we pretty well stuck to the planned stages.



Additional Comments:



  • Get a SIM card. You probably already do this when you go to Europe but this is the first time we did and it paid off not only for making calls but also the wifi in both ostellos and albergos (hotels) is spotty. We used TIM but had poor coverage a couple days so I plan to use Vodafone next time.
  • Take an extension cord that has room to plug in 3-4 appliances – some of the accommodations have limited plugs and we had two smartphones, a camera and a powerpack. With the extension cord, you only need one European adapter at the wall and then all your appliances connect as at home
  • Learn some Italian. I know Sally is pretty good with Spanish, so you may be okay.
  • If you plan to take a bus, you need a ticket. Tickets can be purchase at Tobacco shops, but if you don’t see one, ask at any shop, they may just sell them.
  • The first few days we walked, we saw maybe 2 or 4 other pilgrims walking in the same direction as us, but also saw as many or more walking in reverse. Some of the people we chatted with were going to Santiago but most were Italians who took a week off or even just a weekend to walk – they love the via Francigena.
  • There is a Camino Forum run by a guy called Ivar. I subscribe to it and get a weekly email with people asking the same questions over and over - what shoes should I were, what equipment do I need, is it safe to walk solo, etc. Anyway, after we got back, I put up a posting about how busy it was and how hard it was getting accommodations given the holidays plus my outdated lists. I found out that the list I was using was indeed in a sad state and was being updated. The person doing the updates was only as far as Switzerland. Also, someone posted a “Via Francigena: Quickie Guide/Reference” which I have attached. It answers almost all your questions ☹. Also, someone posted their blog which is rather detailed and they stayed in some of the same places as we did – here’s the link (but don’t look at their pictures, mine our nicer 😊) https://therandoneurds.wordpress.
This is fantastic information Bill! I am looking at the Via Francigena(GSBP to Rome stage), as an alternative to my cancelled Camino. My early reasearch has been 'aided' by the Cicerone guide, and to say the least, I haven't found it particularly encouraging!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2012), Camino Norte (Fall 2015)
This is fantastic information Bill! I am looking at the Via Francigena(GSBP to Rome stage), as an alternative to my cancelled Camino. My early reasearch has been 'aided' by the Cicerone guide, and to say the least, I haven't found it particularly encouraging!!!
Hope it helps. BTW the via Francigena is a beautiful walk!

enjoy it.
 

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