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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

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

7 Days£720GBP

Overview

Trip Code: FR4

Trip highlights


  • Stage 4 of the Via Francigena in Italy
  • Admiring the Cathedral of Fidenza
  • Walking through the woods and valleys of the Apennine range
  • Rambling through well preserved medieval villages
  • Sampling the excellent local food and wine
  • Climbing to the top of Mount Valoria on the border between Emilia and Tuscany

This section of the historic Via Francigena journeys through the Apennines and the Parma hills before entering Tuscany. Starting in Fidenza, where you can admire the Cathedral and its portals that narrate the life of Saint Domninus, the walk soon enters the Parma hills, which are a foretaste of the Tuscan mountains to come. The climb to the top of Mount Valoria and over the Cisa Pass will sometimes be long and demanding, but the priceless views over the Lombardy and Lunigiana plains will reward your efforts. Descending towards your final destination, you'll continue along the ancient walking path, surrounded by the beauty of the natural landscape. Walking over the medieval Groppodalosio bridge will feel as though you're stepping back in time. You'll finally arrive in the charming town of Pontremoli where you can relax among the alleyways of the old town centre. En route stay in atmospheric farm houses and small family run hotels, soaking up the fine hospitality that has characterised the route for centuries.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Fidenza

Finishing Point:

Pontremoli


Make your own way to Fidenza and your hotel. Fidenza is a town rich in art and culture. Here you can admire the Cathedral and its portals that narrate the life of Saint Domninus. In the evening you can walk along the paved streets in the old town, and celebrate the start of your trip with an aperitivo in the Piazza del Municipio.

Meals:  Nil

Begin your walk with a section that takes you up and over the Parma Hills and will show you many monuments of historical importance, including the Pieve di Cabriolo. The Pieve is dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, and has a mysterious history that links it to the knights of the Templar. The walk continues leading you alongside the ruins of Costamezzana Castle, dominated by its circular tower which still climbs among the trees. In the afternoon you'll arrive at Medesano, then transfer to your hotel in Sant'Andrea Bagni.

Meals:  B

The day starts with a short transfer that will take you back to Medesano; from there, continuing among the Parma hills, you will cross the river Taro to arrive at Fornovo, where we recommend a visit of the cathedral, to admire the alarming bas-reliefs of its facade. Continue to Bardone, where you will sleep in a characteristic B&B Note: Accommodation options on the Apennines section of the via Francigena are limited and at times we may need to organise transfers off the trail to stay in alternative towns. It is possible to shorten the day by starting the walk in Fornovo di Taro (4hrs, 11km/6.8mi)

Meals:  B,D

Today's walk is demanding but the beautiful views and villages you pass will reward your efforts. You will tackle a climb that brings you to Casola Castle, before continuing up and down through conifer woods en route to Cassio. From Cassio you will follow a stone path which has been used by pilgrims for hundreds of years. You will then follow a country road to Berceto, a little 'stone jewel' where you can restore yourself with local mushrooms and pattona, a regional cake made from chestnut flour.

Meals:  B

Another climb awaits you this morning as you head towards the Cisa Pass. At first you'll walk along mule tracks, then country roads and finally along asphalted roads. The last part of today's walk has stunning panoramic views over the Lunigiana to Mount Valdoria. Finally you'll climb up again towards the Pass before descending to Previde, a beautiful hamlet surrounded by natural beauty. In the afternoon there is a transfer to Pontremoli and your accommodation, your base for 2 nights. In Pontremoli you can enjoy a relaxing evening stroll among the alleyways of the old town centre.

Meals:  B

This morning there is a transfer back to Previde to continue your walk. Today's walk is short with some surprises in store. Leaving Previde you will walk along long sections of path surrounded by nature, through characteristic villages such as Groppadalosio with its medieval bridge, and Casalina which is a charming town full of small, stone houses. The walk ends with a descent to Pontremoli, a town known for its bridges and stele statues.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in Pontremoli after breakfast. If you want to stay an extra night, please ask for our rates, or you can continue along the Francigena Way to Lucca.

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

  • 6 breakfasts, 1 dinner. Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will be a set menu of a couple of courses.
  • 6 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece, max weight 20kg and max size 60 x 50 x 40 cm per person). Supplement applies for excess
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Digital information pack including smartphone app and maps plus Guidebook (1 per booking)
  • Transfer Medesano-Sant'Andrea Bagni on afternoon of day 2 and return morning transfer on day 3. Transfer Previde-Pontremoli on afternoon of day 5 and return morning transfer on day 6
  • Credenziale - the pilgrim's passport

  • Travel to Fidenza and from Pontremoli
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Tourist Tax - allow €2 per day - payable directly to the hotel
  • Excess luggage
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked and sometimes paved. You should be an experienced walker and be able to walk for up to 7 hours a day in hot sun on dusty and stony tracks. There are some steep hills, and the terrain is mountainous at times. The whole itinerary is well-marked by the official signs of the Via Francigena. A reasonable 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.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Priceper person from

£720GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplementGBP£120
  • Solo traveller supplementGBP£340
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Walking Fidenza to Tuscany | Italy's Via Francigena | UTracks