Search 62305 Camino Questions

Advertisement

LIVE from the Camino Via Francigena- Lucca to Rome

Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I am excited to be leaving tomorrow from Chicago with my son to walk a nearly 300 mile portion of Italy's "Via Francigena" pilgrimage trail, beginning in Lucca. We will be gone for three and a half weeks, including a few days in Rome before going back home.

I have never walked in the fall season before, as I've normally gone in spring on my past five walking treks in Spain, France, and Portugal, but am excited to experience this new season through the regions of Tuscany and Lazio. We will be staying mostly in pre-booked private accomodations as everything has been planned ahead to avoid stress in finding available lodging on a day to day basis.

I plan to disconnect from my phone much of the time while I am away, so am not sure how often I will give updates with a few photos included.
In the past I had only shared a brief condensed version of my Camino/s on the forum after I returned home, but I have had some requests to post on this "Live from the Camino" thread.

I'm looking forward to lacing up a pair of hiking shoes once again and head out walking! 👟👟
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Buon cammino! After glorious weather last week, it’s suddenly quite wet in Italy for all of this week, at least where I’ve been (Rome/Naples/Amalfi). Hopefully it’ll be drier for you further north!

P.S. Such a shame that Wendy, Elle, Rich and I will miss you by one day in Rome this week!
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
@jungleboy (Nick), yes it's a shame to not be able to meet you all in person..."so close, yet so far".
I hope you all will have a great experience on "The Way of St. Francis". If it had been a less difficult route I would have probably selected it, but because of more climbing and less signage, I ruled it out. I know you write your experiences in wonderful detail, so I will look forward to reading your posts.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I am excited to be leaving tomorrow from Chicago with my son to walk a nearly 300 mile portion of Italy's "Via Francigena" pilgrimage trail, beginning in Lucca. We will be gone for three and a half weeks, including a few days in Rome before going back home.

I have never walked in the fall season before, as I've normally gone in spring on my past five walking treks in Spain, France, and Portugal, but am excited to experience this new season through the regions of Tuscany and Lazio. We will be staying mostly in pre-booked private accomodations as everything has been planned ahead to avoid stress in finding available lodging on a day to day basis.

I plan to disconnect from my phone much of the time while I am away, so am not sure how often I will give updates with a few photos included.
In the past I had only shared a brief condensed version of my Camino/s on the forum after I returned home, but I have had some requests to post on this "Live from the Camino" thread.

I'm looking forward to lacing up a pair of hiking shoes once again and head out walking! 👟👟
Lucca is such a wonderful city! Love it. Buen camino and have lots of fun, reflection and never skimp on that Italian food. Desserts 3 times a day is a must!
 

JulieJH

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
W Highland WayVia Francigena
Offa's Dyke
Portugues
I walked with my sister and a friend from Lucca to Viterbo in October 2016. We had one day of heavy rain. It was a beautiful time to walk - the season for truffles, porcinis, chestnuts, olive harvests, and young wine. We visited three very different hot springs along the way. Buon Camino!
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Time of past OR future Camino
CF whole & part 12-19, VF 17, VDLP+ptSbres22
Lucca is such a wonderful city! Love it. Buen camino and have lots of fun, reflection and never skimp on that Italian food. Desserts 3 times a day is a must!
You bet @lt56ny! Tiramisu, gelato … that’ll keep @Camino Chrissy and her son very happy!
And Chrissy - have a wonderful VF camino - those gorgeous landscapes with their own beautiful vibe … have joy in every step, every moment and every day.
Hugs from Oz -
Jenny
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
I am excited to be leaving tomorrow from Chicago with my son to walk a nearly 300 mile portion of Italy's "Via Francigena" pilgrimage trail, beginning in Lucca. We will be gone for three and a half weeks, including a few days in Rome before going back home.

I have never walked in the fall season before, as I've normally gone in spring on my past five walking treks in Spain, France, and Portugal, but am excited to experience this new season through the regions of Tuscany and Lazio. We will be staying mostly in pre-booked private accomodations as everything has been planned ahead to avoid stress in finding available lodging on a day to day basis.

I plan to disconnect from my phone much of the time while I am away, so am not sure how often I will give updates with a few photos included.
In the past I had only shared a brief condensed version of my Camino/s on the forum after I returned home, but I have had some requests to post on this "Live from the Camino" thread.

I'm looking forward to lacing up a pair of hiking shoes once again and head out walking! 👟👟
Buon Cammino Chrissy. I will be very interested in any feedback you have to offer. My BFF and I are planning to do some sections of the VF in 2023. The section from Lucca to Rome is one of the sections we will be doing in September . Like you and your son we will be pre-booking accommodation. Enjoy🥾⛰.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Thanks everyone for the well wishes!
We arrived in beautiful Lucca today and spent the time exploring. First walking along the impressive ancient aqueduct; then climbing the 50 meters of the Torre delle Ore, a 13th century military clock tower. It's impressive views take in sweeping views of tile rooftops and the hills beyond. We also visited the outstanding St. Martin's cathedral, the largest in Lucca. We rounded out the day in the main piazza where we had dinner before ending our day sipping on lemonchello in our guesthouse's garden.
Tomorrow we plan to walk the 2.5 mile path on the ancient walls that surround the old section of the city before our train ride.
IMG_20220928_135519185.jpg
IMG_20220928_171400274.jpg
IMG_20220928_171507082_HDR.jpg

IMG_20220928_143408035_HDR.jpg
Tomorrow we take a train to San Miniato where we finally will begin walking on the Via Francigena.👣
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
If you get the chance in San Miniato, see if you can get into the Town Hall and see the (relatively modern) frescos there. Attended a wedding there and very impressive for a Town Hall.
 

Attachments

  • San_Miniato.png
    San_Miniato.png
    6.6 MB · Views: 100
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Thanks everyone for the well wishes!
We arrived in beautiful Lucca today and spent the time exploring. First walking along the impressive ancient aqueduct; then climbing the 50 meters of the Torre delle Ore, a 13th century military clock tower. It's impressive views take in sweeping views of tile rooftops and the hills beyond. We also visited the outstanding St. Martin's cathedral, the largest in Lucca. We rounded out the day in the main piazza where we had dinner before ending our day sipping on lemonchello in our guesthouse's garden.
Tomorrow we plan to walk the 2.5 mile path on the ancient walls that surround the old section of the city before our train ride.
View attachment 133767
View attachment 133768
View attachment 133770

View attachment 133771
Tomorrow we take a train to San Miniato where we finally will begin walking on the Via Francigena.👣
We are currently on the Camino Frances and we are loving it. We’ve been talking about our next Camino being the VF! Looking forward to seeing your pictures! Buen Camino!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
We loved walking the 2.5 mile walk around the ancient city walls in Lucca this morning in perfect weather. (A few pics.)
IMG_20220929_092949235_HDR.jpg
IMG_20220929_094031846_HDR.jpg
IMG_20220929_095703586_HDR.jpg

Getting off the train in San Miniato later was uneventful until my son pointed upward that we had to climb this giant hill to the old town where we are staying, nearly two miles straight uphill. I thought it was a joke...but I made it...let the walking begin!
Looking back from where we came, and later sitting on our balcony in our room...a bit of Tuscany beyond in the distance.
IMG_20220929_154555324_HDR.jpg
IMG_20220929_182325139_HDR.jpg
We met three gals from Toronto staying in the same place we are and they are also walking the Via F. We will probably see them here and there along the way.
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Getting off the train in San Miniato later was uneventful until my son pointed upward that we had to climb this giant hill to the old town where we are staying, nearly two miles straight uphill. I thought it was a joke...but I made it...let the walking begin!

Did they not tell you about the two buses. The first is a standard one. The second a minibus to do the final sections through the narrow streets. Too late now though.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Today was our first "real" walking day, going from San Miniato to Gambassi Termi, a 25k walk to our lodging, which unfortunately had quite a few uphills at the end of the day. Tuscany is beautiful with its hills, vineyards, cypress and olive trees, picturesque towns in the distance, and the wealthier properties dotted amongst those hills. I took many pictures before the rain started in the afternoon. There was no wind which helped, but I was so glad we had our cheapie umbrellas and I barely used my rain jacket.
We had not brought hiking poles as we do not check baggage, and had not spent time looking for them yet. Anyway, we happened to walk past a huge pile of perfect walking sticks and decided to each take one right before rain turned the tractor paths we were walking on into clay mud for miles. Our "new" hiking staffs were a godsend and it seemed the Camino provided at the right moment as it kept us from falling down as we slipped and "skated" in clay mud.
Overall it was an interesting day in spite of the rain, as I opened a first aid kit provided on the trail, did a self "tour" of an abandoned house, and took pictures of colorful flowers. By end of day my son wondered why I was walking so slow and couldn't speed up my pace at the end. There were no towns, cafes, or bars all day long, but we had planned ahead with food so we managed. We saw no animals except for one deer.
IMG_20220930_085816548_HDR.jpg IMG_20220930_085332505.jpg
IMG_20220930_144950945.jpg IMG_20220930_162543396.jpg IMG_20220930_135042673.jpg IMG_20220930_141247938.jpg IMG_20220930_112705669_HDR.jpg IMG_20220930_095145970.jpg IMG_20220930_112629171_HDR.jpg
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Are you stopping in San Gimignano to see the towers? Tourist hot spot but the view from a tower is worth it.
We just arrived and settled in at our lodging. The tower closes at 5:00 for tours. I think I will have to settle for the one we climbed in Lucca. We will be walking by it in the morning, but have a really long day walking, but may try to check it out.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
We woke up this morning to glorius sunshine; it never got hot and we had perfect temperatures all day. Although it was not a long day, there were a lot of ups and downs and naturally the day ended with another hilltop town; the lovely tourist own of San Gimignano.
We met two guys that were walking together; one from Italy and his friend from Slovakia; interestingly they met on the Del Norte in Spain last year. I would guess we came in contact with approx. a dozen walkers today, but over half of them seemed to be weekend walkers with small daypacks.
Tuscany is definitely eye candy with its beautiful views everywhere you look. At the end of the day our room with its two large windows looked out at twin bell towers and tiled rooftops.
IMG_20221001_112114427_HDR.jpg IMG_20221001_112715666_HDR.jpg IMG_20221001_110438625.jpg
IMG_20221001_130757195_HDR.jpg IMG_20221001_091731539_HDR.jpg
IMG_20221001_152303470_HDR.jpg
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Yesterday was a difficult day for me; lots of ups and downs continually and they seemed to kick my butt relentlessy for the 16 miles/26k, which doesn't sound like it was much, but it was for me. My guidebook rated its difficulty as "moderate/hard".
We met Juliette who was on a bike tour who helped us with directions toward the end of the day. She is from Arizona, but now lives in Italy and gave me a pep talk to continue on.
We still had lovely scenery much of the way, even though I finished at a snail's pace to our ostello(hostel) lodging at 6:45pm.

Today we ended a beautiful weather day with nearly the same mileage, ending in Siena where we will have our first rest day...yay! Thankfully it was listed as "moderate", I managed a bit better.
We happened to see the Italian guy we'd met a few days ago who is walking the whole Via F from Canterbury to Rome and is journaling his trip in hopes to create an app about the route with a bit of a different twist. We ended up walking together the whole day. Stephan was very entertaining and we enjoyed his company. Tomorrow he moves on, where as we stay on another day in Siena, so doubt our paths will cross again. I gave him the forum's website info in case he wants to join up as his English is quite good.
Morning nearly sunrise on the red clay earth as we started our day.
IMG_20221003_072055722.jpg

IMG_20221002_165829955.jpg
Juliette on her bike.

IMG_20221003_094530080.jpg
Stephan, from Italy
.
IMG_20221003_145710055_HDR.jpg IMG_20221002_082831085_HDR.jpg
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20221002_094726768.jpg
    IMG_20221002_094726768.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 23
  • IMG_20221003_110305247_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221003_110305247_HDR.jpg
    3.3 MB · Views: 19
  • IMG_20221003_114038411_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221003_114038411_HDR.jpg
    3 MB · Views: 17
  • IMG_20221003_145710055_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221003_145710055_HDR.jpg
    3.1 MB · Views: 15
  • IMG_20221003_113154768.jpg
    IMG_20221003_113154768.jpg
    2.4 MB · Views: 18
Last edited:

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
If you go to the top of the tower in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena and look down at the square, you'll see it is shaped in the form of a scallop shell. You'll see shells on the walls of the roads out of Siena if you look up.

This is one of the fountains in the square.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1228.JPG
    IMG_1228.JPG
    1.2 MB · Views: 23
  • IMG_1234.JPG
    IMG_1234.JPG
    1.5 MB · Views: 31
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
If you go to the top of the tower in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena and look down at the square, you'll see it is shaped in the form of a scallop shell. You'll see shells on the walls of the roads out of Siena if you look up.

This is one of the fountains in the square.
Thanks for the tips. We have this as our first rest day, so will be sure to climb that tower!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Siena rest day, Oct. 4th.
The day was beautiful and after a quick breakfast of yummy pastries and cappuccino, we headed to the tower and climbed the 400 steps up. The views were spectacular from all angles and I could see the Camino shell down below in the piazza as @Corned Beef mentioned. They only allow a few people up at a time so you basically have the narrow stairwell to yourself with only about 8-10 people at the top enjoying the views. You can stay for about 20 minutes. We spent the rest of the day mulling around enjoying the surrounding architecture, and of course eating.
IMG_20221004_101551056_HDR.jpg IMG_20221004_101650582_HDR.jpg IMG_20221004_105231088_HDR.jpg IMG_20221004_142536153_HDR.jpg
*Gnocchi w/pistachio pesto and dried tomatoes; dessert Tiramisu; all yum!
IMG_20221004_132859734.jpg IMG_20221004_134252249.jpg
*People have said Gelato ice cream in Italy is the best ever and it is; its silky texture alone is scrumptious. Our Italian friend's favorite is pistachio, so that's what we had and loved it; I didn't care that the color was the same as canned peas(top right).

IMG_20221004_090140422.jpg
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Oct. 5th.
A day of perfect weather again, although uneventful and a bit warm in the afternoon so we took our bandanas, drenched them with water and tied them around our necks. The stage was from Siena to Ponte de' Arbia. The rest day did our bodies well. A forum friend had suggested taking a bus out of Siena to shave several kilometers off another long day since I'd struggled, so we did and it was very helpful in leaving Siena; I felt back to my old walking self when we arrived end of the day.
As an aside, almost every church and chapel so far on the Via F are open, so no disappointments when taking the time to walk up extra steps or a bit off trail; always finding the doors unlocked.
Today was rather uneventful, although we did meet two friends from Ireland and England who were walking together.
We are staying at a Catholic pilgrim donativo tonight as the location is good, and brought back memories of many of Spain's albergues we have stayed at over the years.
I love spiderwebs in the morning dew.
IMG_20221005_110155338.jpg
This dog never barked. He was laying down and when I spoke to him when we walked by, he got up and pressed his body against the fence so he could be rubbed. It was so cute.
IMG_20221005_122603902_HDR.jpg

Cute donkey; they are so adorable.
IMG_20221005_151852314.jpg

Monestery on the way.
IMG_20221005_133159299.jpg IMG_20221005_132216741.jpg
Nature's stained glass.

IMG_20221005_183921941.jpg
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

Canche

Volcano Climber
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
I am excited to be leaving tomorrow from Chicago with my son to walk a nearly 300 mile portion of Italy's "Via Francigena" pilgrimage trail, beginning in Lucca. We will be gone for three and a half weeks, including a few days in Rome before going back home.

I have never walked in the fall season before, as I've normally gone in spring on my past five walking treks in Spain, France, and Portugal, but am excited to experience this new season through the regions of Tuscany and Lazio. We will be staying mostly in pre-booked private accomodations as everything has been planned ahead to avoid stress in finding available lodging on a day to day basis.

I plan to disconnect from my phone much of the time while I am away, so am not sure how often I will give updates with a few photos included.
In the past I had only shared a brief condensed version of my Camino/s on the forum after I returned home, but I have had some requests to post on this "Live from the Camino" thread.

I'm looking forward to lacing up a pair of hiking shoes once again and head out walking! 👟👟
Buen Camino. Next on my list
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Don't remember that bridge. Where is it?

You'll be passing this point today so I've marked it on the map. Hope you get a pic.
The bridge goes through the town of Ponte d'Arbia near the ostello here we stayed.
We left town very early as it was a long day ahead and it stayed foggy for quite awhile so I never noticed that group of cypress unfortunately. I didn't get your message until much later as my phone was in airplane mode.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
It was a memorable stay! There was a donkey and her foal in a fenced off area of the ostello garden. Apparently their field had been flooded and they were given a temporary home there. A very hospitable place! :)
It was hospitable to the donkeys, too, as the family has apparently grown!
"Pin the tail on the donkey."😅
IMG_20221005_184141767.jpg
IMG_20221005_185152951.jpg
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 6th-
We arrived in San Quirico d'Orcia on a beautiful day. It was a long day, but I think I am finally adapting quite well. This morning I noticed I did not do "the Camino shuffle" on my way to the bathroom, and I managed the hills better overall.
There were quite a few biking groups today on the quiet roads as they were mostly what we walked on, ending our last big hill climb on a gravel path into town.
A lovely Tuscany day and every church, big and little were open.
Screenshot_20221006-161344~2.png Screenshot_20221006-162148~2.png Screenshot_20221006-161425~2.png
Screenshot_20221006-164622~2.png
Screenshot_20221006-164545~2.png
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Third picture down. Is it this place?

I am not sure; when we walked by it had no plaque or info on the Name so I can not verify. However, you are very observant as it certainly looks very similar.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 7th-
Today we went from San Quirico d'Orcia; a very attractive tourist town, to Radifocani, a touristy medieval village high on a hill, with a castle on top. The stage is a 32 kilometer walk rated as moderate/hard. We had made all of our reservations using a Via Francigena guidebook ahead of time, but this one was too long with the huge, steep 14k climb at the end and it was suggested to cut it into two shorter stages, which we had not done. The owner of the tiny apartment we rented in Radificoni arranged for a taxi to bring us that final massive hill climb at the end of the day. I walk Caminos to enjoy the beauty of nature, a country's culture, its architecture, and ancient villages...not to suffer needlessly. We still walked from 7:45 to 2:15pm; a long enough day including a picnic lunch.

We had gorgeous weather with continual views of the Tuscan countryside along the way. A highlight was the small, lovely medieval village of Bagno Vignoni, which is a step way back in time; Cypress trees; Radifociani; strange fungi; our little balcony at sunset.
Screenshot_20221007-220356~2.png
IMG_20221007_092938680.jpg IMG_20221007_172349572.jpg
IMG_20221007_102212075.jpg IMG_20221007_184304060.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 8th-
We left Radifocani, which is situated high on a commanding hill around 7:45am and walked a fairly long day of 24k to Acquapendente on another perfect weather day. The first half of the day was especially nice with some impressive views and it was mostly downhill, which made it easier for me since I prefer walking down, even though sections were quite rocky.
Soon afterward we left Tuscany behind and entered the region of Lazio, where wispy pine trees and a dryer landscape took over.
It wasn't long before we met three men out hunting with their dogs for wild boar. We've seen many of their two hooved feet impressions in dried dirt and what looks to be rooting/digging around for things to eat; possibly even truffles.
We passed by a very interesting little chapel that had twelve intriguing, hand-made, colorful clay glazed stations of the cross on its walls which I found fascinating.
We finally arrived at our amazing guest house at 3:00pm where we relaxed and enjoyed views out the lovely rooftop terrace.
IMG_20221008_084842132.jpg IMG_20221008_092820060.jpg IMG_20221008_121747000.jpg IMG_20221008_100345365_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg IMG_20221008_100052398.jpg IMG_20221008_095808467.jpg IMG_20221008_095825830.jpg IMG_20221008_154912371.jpg
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Now to successfully prepare to avoid failure
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 3rd Edition

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Thanks for the photos. I arrived in Radicofani on the weekend of their local palio. A much smaller business than the ones in Siena. :) The streets full of entertainers and people in medieval costume. I was invited to eat with one of the local clubs in their pop-up dining room in the evening. An excellent night!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I walk Caminos to enjoy the beauty of nature, a country's culture, its architecture, and ancient villages...not to suffer needlessly.
I’m with you! I have friends who still think we allI must suffer on Camino. And I suppose from the outside it might look like we do - communal liodging, a different bed every night, carrying your pack from place to place. I do my best to describe how peaceful and simple it actually is, with only a few hard moments.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Chris, your commentary is interesting alright but I'm wondering why we forum members haven't seen more of your photos that you've taken on your other walks. You've been giving us some gems.
Thanks, Rick. In the past I have only sent out a daily Email update to family and friends. This time a few have requested me to share on the forum, so I now do both. I am not at all techy, so have not even tried to figure out true blogging apps such as Findpenguins, although I read they are easy to use.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 9th-
Last evening after we arrived and cleaned up from a long day of walking to Acquapendente, we tried to visit the Basilica San Sepolcro, but it was closed on a Saturday evening. They did have a fall festival in the main piazza though with a humongous fire pit going manned by locals, which was nice as the evening darkened. They were planning to use the hot coals to grill meat to sell later.

As we mulled around I happened to notice a tourist office where some English was spoken, so I popped in and found out the guest house where we were staying the night was only a hop, skip, and a jump from the bus stop that could knock off a portion of today's long walk, so I was "all in" and no regrets because today's end stage was Bolsena, a beautiful tourist town on a huge volcanic lake. By arriving earlier it gave us more time to enjoy a yummy lasagna w/asparagus for a late lunch.

The walk today was beautiful through a forest and was often carpeted with these delicate, tiny pinkish lavendar flowers; interesting was that they shot straight out of the ground on a straight skinny stem with no leaves whatsoever. We also saw many other unusual wildflowers and mushrooms. We also saw quite a few groups of bicyclists out on Sunday morning as we got closer to Bolsena.

We have planned an additional day here, so tomorrow we will do a little more digging and delving into what this town has to offer. We did already do a quick €2 tour of the castle top with some great views of the lake, hills and town below. It was recommended we visit the cathedral St. Cristina with its catacombs, so I hope we find it open tomorrow (Monday).

Our room is so awesome with views of the lake that we chose to order a carryout pizza to bring to our room for dinner. Unfortunately we ordered it with "wurtzel" thinking it was a German sausage, but instead it was plain old American hot dogs.😛
IMG_20221008_193520952.jpg
IMG_20221009_071335276.jpg
IMG_20221009_072910361.jpg
IMG_20221009_073537887.jpg

IMG_20221009_164248373.jpg
IMG_20221009_164757244.jpg
IMG_20221009_164430164.jpg
IMG_20221009_191253742.jpg
Our room's view at dusk.
 
Last edited:
Now to successfully prepare to avoid failure
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 3rd Edition
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Pilgrim 122

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino frances 2012
Le puy route 2013
London to Santiago via Camino Norte 2014 , 2015, arriving 2016 (God willing!)
Hello Camino Chrissy, thank you for this live update. I'm walking in the opposite direction towards Santiago de Compostella so finding it very interesting . Im having a rest day in Viterbo today which is a lovely old city to visit. I'm glad I did my sightseeing this morning as there is a terrible thunder storm going on this afternoon. I can see you are having a day off in Bolsena so hopefully out of the rain too. I am walking to Montefiascone tomorrow and I presume you are too so maybe we will bumb into each other.!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Hello Camino Chrissy, thank you for this live update. I'm walking in the opposite direction towards Santiago de Compostella so finding it very interesting . Im having a rest day in Viterbo today which is a lovely old city to visit. I'm glad I did my sightseeing this morning as there is a terrible thunder storm going on this afternoon. I can see you are having a day off in Bolsena so hopefully out of the rain too. I am walking to Montefiascone tomorrow and I presume you are too so maybe we will bumb into each other.!
We will be in Viterbo in a couple of days. We didn't get any rain today, but it was cloudy for awhile. Thankfully now the sun is shining.🤞
Thanks for the PM, hopefully we will see each other!
 
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
This :
61c+Oopj2+L._AC_SX342_.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 10th-
Rest day in Bolsena.
This morning we headed out after a breakfast of an egg scramble with mushrooms, sauteed greens and cheese, before touring the Basilica of Saint Christine. The brochure said she was martyred at age 14; how tragic. We were then taken underground into a maze of catecombs; a Christian cemetery from as far back as the tenth century. It was huge and very interesting, but it felt like I was walking in a dark cave.

Lunch was a plate of fried calamari/chiperones and fizzy white wine at a nice restaurant on the lake.
We later made our own dinner of pasta with marinated mushrooms, olives and cheese in a marinara sauce...all quite good. I enjoyed eating in as our place is very attractive.

The weather today was patchy with clouds, but the sun ocassionally peeked out and the temps were perfect. We spent a little time poking around the shops and looking at boats in the small harbour; finally ending the day watching the sunset from our window.
IMG_20221010_105444932.jpg IMG_20221010_123440718.jpg IMG_20221010_130953041.jpg IMG_20221010_144241923.jpg IMG_20221010_110950209~2.jpg IMG_20221010_183636795.jpg IMG_20221010_104411601.jpg
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
So lovely to meet you @ Camino Chrissy, I look forward to reading the rest of your posts and I hope the last week of your pilgrimage goes well.
It was great meeting you, too, Patricia, this evening. I really enjoy meeting forum members and we had a nice chat together.🙂
I hope your remainder of the Via F. goes well for you too...heading in the opposite direction as us.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 11th-
Bolsena to Montefiascone.
Today was a little shorter at 20 kilometers, which has always been my "sweet spot". There were a lot of the usual ups and downs, but the sunny day with no heat was pleasant. The path went through some forest areas and views of the lake below, but no villages between the two stages all day.
As soon as we arrived into town (another final climb up on a hill as usual) we picked up provisions for dinner and breakfast tomorrow at a Co-op on the way, as our guest house was on the other side of town and we didn't want to backtrack after cleaning up. We have beautiful views of the lake, so enjoyed our time on the balcony, including the Est! Est! Est! bottle of white wine recommended by @JabbaPapa. It was excellent, smooth tasting and not expensive.
A highlight was meeting a forum member, Patricia, for a chat; we had loosely planned the visit ahead of time as she was walking in the opposite direction.
Now to choose a few photos...a quirky wooden couple; mushrooms that remind me of "something"; a beautiful thick cement fence; a lonely guard dog behind bars; and lunch break on the go.
IMG_20221011_085306801.jpg IMG_20221011_112518805.jpg IMG_20221011_095719809.jpg IMG_20221011_094243682.jpg IMG_20221011_120603878.jpg
 
Last edited:

DaveJ

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021, 2022
Today was our first "real" walking day, going from San Miniato to Gambassi Termi, a 25k walk to our lodging, which unfortunately had quite a few uphills at the end of the day. Tuscany is beautiful with its hills, vineyards, cypress and olive trees, picturesque towns in the distance, and the wealthier properties dotted amongst those hills. I took many pictures before the rain started in the afternoon. There was no wind which helped, but I was so glad we had our cheapie umbrellas and I barely used my rain jacket.
We had not brought hiking poles as we do not check baggage, and had not spent time looking for them yet. Anyway, we happened to walk past a huge pile of perfect walking sticks and decided to each take one right before rain turned the tractor paths we were walking on into clay mud for miles. Our "new" hiking staffs were a godsend and it seemed the Camino provided at the right moment as it kept us from falling down as we slipped and "skated" in clay mud.
Overall it was an interesting day in spite of the rain, as I opened a first aid kit provided on the trail, did a self "tour" of an abandoned house, and took pictures of colorful flowers. By end of day my son wondered why I was walking so slow and couldn't speed up my pace at the end. There were no towns, cafes, or bars all day long, but we had planned ahead with food so we managed. We saw no animals except for one deer.
View attachment 133903 View attachment 133904
View attachment 133906 View attachment 133907 View attachment 133910 View attachment 133911 View attachment 133914 View attachment 133915 View attachment 133917
I’m planning on hiking the Lucca to Siena section in October 2023. I see that some people train from Lucca to San Miniato. Presumably because it’s more urban oriented. Do you know what the Altopascio to San Miniato section is like? Worth hiking or bypass on the train? I have a limited amount of time and would prefer to avoid the industrial parts. So I’m trying to determine to hike everything from Lucca or to skip to San Miniato and then start the hike.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I’m planning on hiking the Lucca to Siena section in October 2023. I see that some people train from Lucca to San Miniato. Presumably because it’s more urban oriented. Do you know what the Altopascio to San Miniato section is like? Worth hiking or bypass on the train? I have a limited amount of time and would prefer to avoid the industrial parts. So I’m trying to determine to hike everything from Lucca or to skip to San Miniato and then start the hike.
I skipped both of the first two stages out of Lucca at the recommendation of a couple of forum members. I have no regrets as my mama used to say "You don't miss what you don't know", and I have a few time restraints on this walk so it seemed wise for me to skip these two stages.
I have heard from three women I met early on that that second stage out of Lucca is not bad.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
This is only based on research so hopefully someone can confirm. Altopascio to S Miniato is supposed to be a nice but long 29 km day. My plan is to split it in half;

Day 1. Bus Lucca to Altopascio then walk to Ponte e Cappiano that morning,

Day 2. Walk to S Miniato

I like starting slow and working up to those 30 km days.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 12th-
We left Bolsena this morning at 9:40am as we had a shorter day of only 12 MILES...(not kilometers like I'd posted earlier) and mostly downs and flat. We had great weather once again, and it still took about six hours of walking for me to arrive in Viterbo, including the outskirt industrial areas and busy traffic the last two kilometers. We have a rest day here tomorrow and I am hoping we find a few things to do. Good news is that neither of us has any foot, ankle, knee, hip nor back pain, but I do feel fatigued most days at the end.
Pics today...the old Roman road with huge slabs of bluestone rocks; a fascinating cemetery: a junk pile of rubbish turned into a car; berries galore; defunct home; lots of green and black olives, but all are smll and taste foul. They are either still unripe or must be marinated before fit for human consumption.
IMG_20221012_103610203.jpg
IMG_20221012_145302361.jpg IMG_20221012_120815583.jpg
IMG_20221012_141631169.jpg
IMG_20221012_122044843.jpg
IMG_20221012_122144256.jpg
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
They are either still unripe or must be marinated before fit for human consumption.
Olives are usually soaked in brine for a few weeks or months before eating. Even when fully ripe they are very bitter.

 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I’m planning on hiking the Lucca to Siena section in October 2023. I see that some people train from Lucca to San Miniato. Presumably because it’s more urban oriented. Do you know what the Altopascio to San Miniato section is like? Worth hiking or bypass on the train? I have a limited amount of time and would prefer to avoid the industrial parts. So I’m trying to determine to hike everything from Lucca or to skip to San Miniato and then start the hike.
I walked there in 2000, long before there were any waymarkers or anything, but I don't remember any industrial areas. True, my Cammino was DIY all the way, plus I avoided Siena completely, so not that section specifically, but it is a flattish area mostly, so various options are going to be available. What I found was some mostly boring suburbia until I got about 10K out of town, and even that had its nicer spots.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 13th-
We took an extra day in Viterbo to walk around sightseeing on the charming, narrow medieval streets. The day had drizzle on and off so we had our umbrellas handy and I watched my steps carefully on all of the wet, slick, meandering cobbled streets; I was remembering my experience on a rainy day in Lisbon a few years ago.
We visited a variety of churches; from modestly simple to the ornate; eventually walking to the 12th century Cathedral of San Lorenzo and its adjoining Papal Palace. Security guards kept us away from certain areas in the complex as a movie was being filmed there. I asked a guard and was told it was a Disney horror movie, "Omen, the omen".😳 I googled about it and the movie was in process with 500 extras hired. We saw many of them file out of the cathedral as they walked on by...I've gone off piste and hijacked my own thread.

We enjoyed a really nice meal at a restaurant recommended by a friend who recently walked the VF. My chosen pasta had unusual mushrooms in a wonderful white sauce, bread, fizzy white wine, and Tiramisu for dessert. I doubt I am losing any of the five pounds I'd hoped to shed. It is often difficult interpreting the menus so we use a translating app, but it doesn't always work very well, however we've not had a bad meal yet.
IMG_20221013_110756700.jpg IMG_20221013_111713059.jpg IMG_20221013_112824810.jpg IMG_20221013_114119976.jpg IMG_20221013_092810877.jpg IMG_20221013_101101643.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 14th-
After yesterday's drizzle, we left Viterbo today in full sun and perfect temperatures. The stage was considered "easy" with negligent hills and less than 20 kilometers long before arriving at our destination in Vetralla in good time.
The walk started out with over a mile walking on a narrow road with huge cliffs on both sides. It was very unusual and completely different than anything I've experienced before.
After that we walked on tractor paths along stone walls covered in white lichen, past lovely olive groves, a few vineyards, and fields of what seemed to be something similar to cabbage leaves for much of the day.
BTW, we'd only met two other walkers all day.
The highlight, however, was a lovely clear spring, set up for pilgrims to have a soak for their weary feet. It was an absolutely heavenly experience. I'd picked a lovely smelling rose earlier and decided to release its petals in the water, and watched them bob around and float away.
We made it to Vetralla in good time; we'd rented a very interesting, quirky apartment and decided to stay put and make our own dinner of fresh salmon, Ceasar salad, a bottle of cold fizzy white wine, and a pint of Magnum ice cream with chocolate chunks; all purchased at a nearby grocery.
There was a stereo in the main room and when we flipped the switch to check it out, motivating dance music was playing, so after eating, my son and I danced, being our silly selves that normally never gets stirred up back home...it was a fun ending to the day!
IMG_20221014_090934513.jpg IMG_20221014_092109157.jpg
IMG_20221014_111129868.jpg
IMG_20221014_141053891.jpg
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
October 15th-
We left Vetralla this morning after making our own breakfast of eggs, toast, meat, and cappuccino. It was another day of ideal weather and we only had to go about 18 kilometers to reach Capranica, with minimal ups and downs.
We stopped in at a monestery on our way out of town, just in time to see a tall, stately bishop or archbishop (he wore a red beanie and had red buttons adorning his black cloak) step out of a car smoking a cigar. He looked like a movie star. 🙂 I asked to take his photo and he obliged. I included a gardiner standing nearby and hoped he didn't mind. It was a highlight of the day.
We had a lot of shade throughout the day provided by forests and unending fields of hazelnut trees which replaced all of the olive and chestnut trees of recent days. At first I liked the change, but by day's end I was tired of the monotony of them and was definitely missing the wide open spaces and vistas of Tuscany.
This grub walking along the VF was the largest I'd ever seen at nearly 5" long. He wore the same colors as the bishop.
I love the umbrella trees Italy is known for and was a nice ending before entering the town of Capranica.
Today was our final day of walking as tomorrow afternoon we take a train back to Rome for a few days of sightseeing before going home.
This is my final post documenting my walk on a portion of the Via Francigena.
I will give a little recap about my thoughts on the VF in the next day or so.
Thanks to those of you who have followed along on my little journey in Italy!
IMG_20221015_103250462.jpg
IMG_20221015_135338480.jpg
IMG_20221015_135714993.jpg
IMG_20221015_123923048.jpg
IMG_20221015_143013149.jpg
 
Last edited:
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Today was our final day of walking as tomorrow afternoon we take a train back to Rome for a few days of sightseeing before going home.
This is my final post documenting my walk on a portion of the Via Francigena.
I will give a little recap about my thoughts on the VF in the next day or so.
Thanks to those of you who have followed along on my little journey in Italy!
Congratulations on completing your pilgrimage! If you need any tips on Rome, let me know 😉
 

Pilgrim 122

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino frances 2012
Le puy route 2013
London to Santiago via Camino Norte 2014 , 2015, arriving 2016 (God willing!)
Thank you very much @Camino Chrissy for your live update, I've really enjoyed it. I hope you have a great time visiting Rome.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
What? It can’t be over already! I loved following your walk. I’m looking forward to your final thoughts.
Thank you, Michael.
I'm glad you enjoyed my daily write-ups.

And on a side note: some of those Italian clerics and prelates can make a person swoon. If one were so inclined.
😅
I tried to google the garments and colors he wore (the red buttons were very impressive), but the descriptions I found were not not conclusive to know the title he holds in the Church.
I was definitely not swooning over the grub though.😛
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Today was our final day of walking as tomorrow afternoon we take a train back to Rome for a few days of sightseeing before going home.

Is the choice of stopping before Rome a timing issue or an issue with the last part of the route?

I know some people have commented on the section through the park which can spook you if you are travelling alone. And the last section in the suburbs is not pleasant in high summer due to the amount of rubbish at the roadside.

You have brought back a lot of great memories of the route and I might be tempted to try it again - but not the last section into Rome.

Safe journey back.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Is the choice of stopping before Rome a timing issue or an issue with the last part of the route?

I know some people have commented on the section through the park which can spook you if you are travelling alone. And the last section in the suburbs is not pleasant in high summer due to the amount of rubbish at the roadside.

You have brought back a lot of great memories of the route and I might be tempted to try it again - but not the last section into Rome.

Safe journey back.
Thank you, @Corned Beef. You have given me some good tips, and I'm glad I triggered some good memories for you. Choosing to stop before Rome was two-fold; it was mentioned by a few who have walked it that the last days become too busy on roads. Also I only allowed 3.5 weeks to be away from home, and wanted time to spend a few additional days to enjoy Rome.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
I tried to google the garments and colors he wore (the red buttons were very impressive), but the descriptions I found were not not conclusive to know the title he holds in the Church.
I asked two Rome / Catholic friends today and they both said the red buttons indicate he is a cardinal.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
to losing weight on any Italian section of any Via Romea, give up all hope ye who enter here ...
Not so sure about that. On the Via Francigena I lost 33 pounds in 66 days between Canterbury and Rome. Half a pound per day! Though I couldn't swear what part of that was lost in France or Switzerland.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Not so sure about that. On the Via Francigena I lost 33 pounds in 66 days between Canterbury and Rome. Half a pound per day! Though I couldn't swear what part of that was lost in France or Switzerland.
I said "Italian section" ... to be fair, putting on muscle weight through long distance hiking whilst eating Italian food isn't a zero sum game.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
He's a Cardinal.
I think not. Red cassock buttons but a purple zucchetto. I think the gentleman is Lino Fumagalli. Recently retired as Bishop of Viterbo but acting as apostolic administrator until his successor is appointed. The purple zucchetto is normal for a bishop. The red cassock buttons are a sign of his being an Honorary Prelate - a personal papal honour.


 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Last edited:
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Violet zucchettos are for bishops, red ones are for cardinals, white for the pope.

The cassock is worn by prelates, i.e., a high-ranking member of the clergy, such as a cardinal, abbot, or bishop, who has authority over lesser clergy.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Final thoughts on the Via Francigena-
I really enjoyed the Via Francigena, beginning in Lucca, Italy. I have loved walking Caminos in Spain, Portugal, France and now Italy. They all hold their special characteristics, charms and vibes, so I do not have an absolute favorite.
My Italian is nearly nil, but it was not a big hindrance as many do speak at least a little English.

The most obvious difference on the VF compared to other well-known Camino routes is that it is nearly non-existent to walk past any town or village between each stage listed on the Via Francigena App or guidebook, so I pre-planned and followed every stage. It was important to find a grocery store before leaving the following morning to purchase lunch items as there is nowhere to stop along the way. I saw no cafes with chairs outside beckoning you to sit, rest and have a cold drink before carrying on.
Siesta is daily from about 12:30-4:30 and most businesses comply.

Thankfully there is at least one or two spots with potable water to refill; definitely a necessity even in October as we had pleasant, but not hot, summer temperatures the whole way. We were "christened" with only one rainy afternoon, and one drizzly morning the whole way.

The vast majority of our walk was on a variety of tractor paths of gravel, often mixed with small pieces of broken colorful tile work from castoffs; a great way to recycle and put to good use. There was also plenty of paved backroads with almost no traffic, and a few two-lane roads usually with wide shoulders, so I very rarely felt in danger of passing cars and my feet do not struggle on pavement.

Many of the more famous tourist towns we stayed in were immaculate and beautiful; other less known ones still had small, unique and charming medieval historic centers. Coming from the midwestern US, I love all the quaint old stonework used in European architecture.
Stepping inside the many cathedrals and churches is always a treat and the doors were mostly unlocked.

The restaurants serve excellent food, but I saw no combination plates offered on a menu for a set price; instead each course is a separate price and when you add everything together, including your drink, it becomes a rather expensive meal, even at a less expensive restaurant and no tap water is ever served. It is €2-3 per bottle and bread is €3-6 and automatically brought to the table. A pizza slice becomes a good filler in between to spend less and are they are often excellent.

Italy has some beautiful landscapes and the sweeping views of Tuscany with its vineyards and cypress "soldiers" on hillside lanes made for some great contrast in Tuscany; my favorite region.

Once entering the Lazio region of the country, we encountered countless fields of olive trees on rolling hills, many chestnut trees with their hairy pods and nuts, kiwis, and finally field upon field of hazelnut trees. I do find all of these landscapes interesting.

Well, this about wraps up my observations on the VF. I've either rambled on too much, or possibly left out some important facts, but let it be said that I loved this walk!
 
Last edited:
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
I also appreciate the excellent summary. Thanks Chris!

The most obvious difference on the VF compared to other well-known Camino routes is that it is nearly non-existent to walk past any town or village between each stage listed on the Via Francigena App or guidebook, so I pre-planned and followed every stage.
This is also generally true on the Via di Francesco too. The other side of the coin is that there seem to more major towns in close proximity at various stages. Gubbio, Assisi and Spoleto are within five days’ walk and it seems that the major Iberian routes wouldn’t normally have three historic cities that close together.

I am just spitballing here, but perhaps the existence of the Italian city-states in the Middle Ages, as opposed to the wider regional rule of (say) Castile and León, has lent itself to this ongoing dynamic of fewer but larger population centres (i.e. more major towns, fewer villages).
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Thanks, Nick!
You definitely have some good thoughts on a possible reason "why" there are few villages on both of these routes.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I'm looking forward to your accommodation list. I've bookmarked places for most of the route, and am tempted to do like you and just book ahead. I'm wondering if you ever felt locked-in by doing that. In France I booked one or two days ahead, and in Spain I did a mix of booking and not booking. I like both styles, but there's a peace of mind in booking ahead - and in a tourist area like Tuscany I think it might be easier.
 
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Any recommendations on accommodation for the route?
I'm looking forward to your accommodation list.
Here is my itinerary with my favorite recommendations shown with a black dot I marked, but all lodgings were entirely adequate and clean. I only used "booking.com" except for one donativo.
We mainly factored in location, ambiance, good reviews, nice views for sitting to share a bottle of wine at a window or balcony as I traveled with my son, and moderate pricing. If a person is traveling alone, possibly nice views, balconies or terraces may not be as important.
IMG_20221021_081338114.jpg
I've bookmarked places for most of the route, and am tempted to do like you and just book ahead. I'm wondering if you ever felt locked-in by doing that. In France I booked one or two days ahead, and in Spain I did a mix of booking and not booking. I like both styles, but there's a peace of mind in booking ahead - and in a tourist area like Tuscany I think it might be easier.
I have done all of these types of securing lodgings over the years, and have appreciated each of them. I think every route is different and has its own set of potential snags; some more than others.
I think I will now always be planning ahead and booking the majority ahead of time. I do miss the flexibility of "winging" most nights, although it sometimes comes with its own stress anyway if you have to walk further or taxi onward, so it's always a trade-off on which method is most desirable.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature
I'm looking forward to your accommodation list. I've bookmarked places for most of the route, and am tempted to do like you and just book ahead. I'm wondering if you ever felt locked-in by doing that. In France I booked one or two days ahead, and in Spain I did a mix of booking and not booking. I like both styles, but there's a peace of mind in booking ahead - and in a tourist area like Tuscany I think it might be easier.
Michael: I also put together an accommodation list for the Lucca to Rome section, which I walked last year (started further back, in Aosta, however). The list also includes suggestions on alternatives, places to eat, and some "cheats" -- specific details to avoid ugly road-walking, or shorten longer stages. Like Camino Chrissie, I struggled with the question of winging it or reserving in advance. However, I did find that reserving only a day or two in advance was sufficient. Somewhat paradoxically, the only times I had problems were in the bigger cities of the Po Valley, like Piacenza, Pavia, Fidenza. (Don't know why). Note that when we walked most of the public and church-run hostels in Tuscany and Lazio were closed because of covid, which is not generally the case now.
 

Attachments

  • Via Francigena itinerary.pdf
    258.3 KB · Views: 11
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I have done all of these types of securing lodgings over the years, and have appreciated each of them. I think every route is different and has its own set of potential snags; some more than others.
I think I will now always be planning ahead and booking the majority ahead of time.
“Every route is different” can’t be repeated enough.

And thank you and Andycohn so much!

I plan to book ahead most of the route up until Radicofani, leaving room for the convents and monasteries that don’t take reservations. My main motivation (beyond general excitement) is that stopping mid-tappa requires using bed-and-breakfasts or agriturismos. That alone will be a change! And a luxe one.

My planned extra stops are Fucecchio (Tre Gemme Rubino; Atopascio-San Miniato), Castelfiorentino (Villa Nicolli; San Miniato-Gambassi Terme); Colle Val d’Elsa (Convento di San Francisco; San Gimignano—Monteriggioni), and Passalacqua (hopefully! San Quirico-Radicofani). Plus two splurges in Monteriggioni and Siena.

After that I’ll move back to day-to-day planning.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
“Every route is different” can’t be repeated enough.

And thank you and Andycohn so much!

I plan to book ahead most of the route up until Radicofani, leaving room for the convents and monasteries that don’t take reservations. My main motivation (beyond general excitement) is that stopping mid-tappa requires using bed-and-breakfasts or agriturismos. That alone will be a change! And a luxe one.

My planned extra stops are Fucecchio (Tre Gemme Rubino; Atopascio-San Miniato), Castelfiorentino (Villa Nicolli; San Miniato-Gambassi Terme); Colle Val d’Elsa (Convento di San Francisco; San Gimignano—Monteriggioni), and Passalacqua (hopefully! San Quirico-Radicofani). Plus two splurges in Monteriggioni and Siena.

After that I’ll move back to day-to-day planning.
I really llike your enthusiasm Michael! I didn't put enough thought into options beyond the normal stages of the route and assumed wrongly that I wouldn't have many options to cut stages up to my own liking; I guess that's what fast planning does. I didn't even know that as soon as you leave Colle di Val d'Elsa there is an amazing blue water creek, the "Sentierelsa Trail" with many waterfalls along the that path and it's very unusual. It's a bit obscure to find, yet still simple. It does add a bit of time, but totally worth it, so be sure to plan to walk along that creek right after you leave the town as it is beautiful with many waterfalls and a few fun rope bridges to walk over from side to side if you want. Many walkers miss this gem and continue on the road because for some reason it didn't seem to be listed in Sandy Brown's guidebook, but my son noticed it was mentioned on the Via Francigena app. Here is that side route shown on the app. You can see how the red line follows the tiny blue creek. There is nothing else like it on the whole route from Lucca.
Screenshot_20221022-042653~2.png
P.S. If you google the name you will see many gorgeous images that are far better than my own photos.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Most read last week in this forum

Over the last few months I have been diligently moving forward with my Via Francigena plans in hopes of starting in Canterbury in early May 2023. As of June 2022 all signs indicated the P&O...

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2022 Camino Guides
Top