La Via Francigena - the Roads to Rome
22-day accompanied walk from Lucca to Rome
22-day accompanied walk from Lucca to Rome. (± 400 km)
2017 Groups are full 2018 4 May to 25 May
Cost: €1490 in shared rooms - €385 single supplement
(approx. - based on 2016 prices)
9 September - 29 September 2017
We have chosen to start this walk in Lucca because there are 17 stages between here and Rome. Two of the stages are over 30km so we will spilt them into two, making 19 stages altogether.
One day in Lucca, 19 days walking and 2 days in Rome
[Luggage transfers optional - about €6 per item per stage]
9 September: Meet in Lucca
10 - 28 September: Walk to Rome
29 September: In Rome
Lucca is connected by bus to Florence, Pisa and the Pisa airport. The bus companies operating in the area are called Lazzi and Clap.
There is a bus that travels directly from Pisa Airport to Pazzale Verdi in Lucca (€4 +)
You can also reach Lucca from Rome.
Provisional walking schedule - to be confirmed
Day 1: 9 Meet in Lucca
Day 2: 10 Altopascio 18.5 km
Day 3: 11 San Miniato Alto 29km (or 25km by taking the shuttle
bus from San Miniato Basso)
Day 4: 12 Gambassi Terme 24km
Day 5: 13 San Gimignano 13.4 km
Day 6: 14 Strove 24.7km (or 22)
2.7km shorter via Colle Val d’Elsa
Day 7: 15 Siena 26.3km (or 22.3)
Taxis to city ± 4km to avoid busy road
Day 8: 16 Lucignano d’Arbia 20 km
Day 9: 17 Torrenieri 23.3 km
Day 10 18 Passalacqua 21.5 km
Day 11: 19 Bagno San Filipo 10.5 km
Day 12: 20 Agri. s Apolinaire 13 km
Day 13: 21 Acquapendente 24 km
Day 14: 22 Bolsena 22 km
Day 15: 23 Montefiascone 18 km
Day 16: 24 Viterbo 18.3 km
Day 17: 25 Vetralla 18.5 km
Day 18: 26 Sutri 23.7 km
Day 19: 27 Campagnano di Roma 24.5 km
Day 20: 28 La Storta 22.8 km
Day 21: 29 Rome 19.1 km
Day 22: 30 Free day in Rome
What is included?
You will be given a Credenziale (Pilgrim's Passport), amaWalkers guide booklet, key-ring and luggage labels. Cost of the bus to Sam Miniato Alto, and the taxi into Siena city are paid for by amaWalkers.
Accommodation is provided in small hotels, inns, agriturismos rural houses and includes one or two nights in Rome. We do not stay in pilgrim dormitories, nor do we stay in 5 star hotels. A few single rooms can be booked but if the group is large, we might have to split the group and book rooms in a different establishment. In Italy many places have ensuite bathrooms in double rooms while single rooms share a bathroom so if you want a single room with ensuite bathroom every night you will have to pay for single occupancy in a double room. In a couple of villages we might stay in an apartment or Agriturismos where bathrooms are shared by the group.
The walk starts with welcome and orientation get together. An amaWalkers group leader will accompany you for the duration of your trip.
The price does not include flights to Italy, transport to the start, meals or drinks. Luggage transfers are optional
In the Middle Ages multitudes of pilgrims, soldiers, merchants and travellers used a system of roads known as the “Via Francigena” – or roads of the Franks - to travel from England and other northern countries to Rome. The archbishops of Canterbury used the road to travel to Rome to receive their pallium or stole of office from the Pope. In 994 AD Archbishop Sigeric’s clerks kept a diary of his return journey entitled 'From Rome to the Channel'. In the 1990s the diary was rediscovered by Italian researchers and is now in the British Museum. The Archbishop's descriptions of places along the route proved to be very accurate and the discovery generated academic research, tourism promotion and restoration of the actual route for modern walkers. In 1994 the Council of Europe designated the Via Francigena as a 'European Cultural Itinerary.' As religious and cultural tourism grows in popularity, modern day pilgrims once again walk the old pilgrim roads to Santiago in Spain, Jerusalem and to Rome.” Quote from ‘La Via Francigena, Five Pilgrims to Rome’
Complete and return the Registration Form below or send us an email for more information
NB: PLEASE READ THIS INFO BEFORE JOINING
Travel writers always talk about the 'rolling hills' of Tuscany. 'Hills' is the operative word! Many villages are on top of hills and the Via Francigena is a roller-coaster trail going up and down steep hills. If there are no hills for you to train on, use the stairs in your local shopping mall, public buildings, underground or at the gym on treadmill or StairMaster. You need to train on hills!
The difficulty ratings for the stages are taken from the latest Italian Guide book published by the AEVF. There are only 5 'Easy' days, the rest being 'Medium' to 'Challenging and a couple are 'Medium-Challenging'.
In our experience, the Medium-Challenging stages are long distance days so we have tried to reduce the distance of these stages to lower the difficulty to medium.
Although there is no technical hiking involved, you will need to be reasonably fit and able to walk at least 3km - 4 km per hour on some difficult terrain to cover the average of 20km per day in 5 - 7 hours. Sunrise is around 6h45 - 7h00 which means you should arrive at your destination between 2pm and 3pm each day. The trail is on often on mountain tracks, stones, gravel, riverine trails and asphalt paths, which although not technically difficult require a moderate to high level of fitness.
With this in mind, we have had many people between the ages of 60 and 75 walking to Rome in our groups. Its not an age thing! Its up to you to do the training.
Do not compare this walk with the Camino de Santiago!
If you have walked the Camino de Santiago you shouldn't have any trouble walking the Via Francigena. However, the Via Francigena today is probably like the Camino was 20 years ago. There are often no villages between start and destination, not many places to get water or stop for a coffee or food, very few pilgrims and churches are rarely open. Buses are few and far between and many places don't have taxis so there is no escape if you want to stop walking.
This is a beautiful but challenging walk through stunning countryside on a 1000 year-old trail to Rome and the fitter and more prepared you are, the more you will enjoy it.
The Group Leaders have walked this route. 2006 VF Five Pilgrims to Rome - Kindle
3 places available - complete the Registration Form to secure your place in the Group.
Lightfoot Guide Vol.3 Vercelli to St Peter's Square: http://pilgrimagepublications.com/pp_2014/via-francigena/
Via Francigena Pilgrim Trail - The Great St Bernard Pass to Rome, Alison Raju, Cicerone 2014
La Via Francigena 1000km a Piedi dal Gran San Bernardo a Roma : 2016