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Duration
6 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 5 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 5 Breakfasts

Price

$850USD

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Overview

Trip Code: FR3

Trip highlights


  • Visiting Fidenza and its architectural gems
  • Sampling the excellent local food and wine
  • Walking along the Via Francigena through the Emilia Romagna region
  • Pavia with its red brick historical centre
  • Taking a small boat across the River Po

From Canterbury in England to Rome in Italy, the 1900km "Francigena Way" dates back to the 11th century when pilgrims travelled across Europe on foot to visit the site of Martyrdom of St Peter and St Paul in Rome. With the modernisation of Europe and the shifting of borders the route became obsolete, until a recent revival of the pilgrimage, making it one of the most exciting pilgrimage trails in Europe today. Starting in Pavia, a hidden beauty of the Via Francigena, discover the history and cultural gems of this town. You then start walking across the agricultural plains dominated by the Po River. As the walk continues you will enter the Emilia Romagna region, an area renowned for its food and wine. The highlights continue as you pass the Cistercian Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba and the cathedral of Fidenza.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Make your own way to the first hotel in Pavia. This medieval town has many artistic treasures for you to discover including the sculpted altar of the Basilica di San Pietro and walking beneath the medieval towers. If you arrive early in the day we recommend taking a train to visit the magnificent monastery of Certosa di Pavia (8km north of Pavia). Tonight you can enjoy an aperitivo in the main square and enjoy the lively buzz of this university town.

Meals:  Nil

The first walk will take you across the flood plains of the basso Pavese, with its typical flood terraces which reach as far as Santa Cristina. Sigeric stopped here on his way to Rome, at an abbey which is now unfortunately destroyed. Further along you'll come to the little church of San Giacomo, with its beautiful facade. If you are lucky and find it open, don't miss the lovely frescoes inside. Continue through the countryside to Belgioioso, where you stay overnight.

Meals:  B

This morning you take the train to Orio Litta (payable locally, approx EUR2.50, takes about 30 minutes) and then a short walk will bring you to the Transitum Padi (Porto Di Corte Sant'Andrea), also known as the ford of Sigerico. As for pilgrim's before you, an expert boatman will ferry you across the Po River, where you will arrive in Emilia Romagna, renowned for its food, wine and hospitality. Following provincial roads and cycle paths you will arrive at today's destination, Piacenza. Here you can sample the famous Piacenza charcuterie and wash it down with a glass of Gutturnio wine. The town's splendid basilica is well worth a visit, with its the Romanesque interiors and 17th century frescoes.

Meals:  B

Today's walk is a long one so it is best to head off early. You will start along the Via Emilia and follow a series of country roads towards Fiorenzuola, a town rich in history, with churches and buildings that are worth a visit. You can admire the facade of the San Fiorenzo church as well as the oratory of Caravaggio. It is possible to shorten the walking by taking brief stretches by public transport (payable locally).

Meals:  B,D

Today's quiet and mostly flat stage will take you to Fidenza, where the walk will end in the beautiful Piazza del Duomo. Along the way don't miss a chance to visit the Cistercian Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba near Alseno, where you can stand in the silence of the cloisters or admire the carved wooded interiors of the church. In May and June it is famous for the "Flower Festival of Corpus Domini", when beautiful flowers carpet the centre aisle of the basilica. Continue to Fidenza. The town's Roman origins can be seen near the Piazza Garibaldi and its cathedral is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes in Fidenza this morning, after breakfast. Please ask for our rates if you want to stay an extra night, or you can continue along the Francigena Way to Pontremoli.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts, 1 dinner: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad or pasta dish, followed by either a chicken, red meat or fish dish with seasonal vegetables & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes
  • 5 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10)
  • Information pack including smartphone app with maps plus a route book per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece per person)
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Credenziale - the pilgrims passport

  • Travel to Pavia and from Fidenza
  • Lunches and dinners (except 4). Allow EUR15-20 for each dinner and EUR5 for a picnic lunch
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax - allow EUR1.50 per day - payable directly to the hotel
  • Transfers except where noted as included

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined across the Po river's agricultural plain. The route is quite easy due to low differences in altitude. The walking is mostly on paths and gravel roads, with some sections on asphalt road. You should be able to walk for up to 9 hours a day in hot sun (at times), although on some days the walking can be shortened by public transport. The trail is well-marked with official signs of the Via Francigena. A good level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure. Note: the walking time and distance are calculated from city centre to city centre and may vary depending on the accommodations booked, to a maximum of 2km.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

DN4
Prices valid to 31 December 2021

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$850USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$170
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$380
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Walking Italy's Via Francigena | Italian Camino | UTracks

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