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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

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

6 Days£685GBP

Overview

Trip Code: FR3

Trip highlights


  • Stage 3 of the Via Francigena in Italy
  • 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.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Pavia

Finishing Point:

Fidenza


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. Return to Pavia by train for overnight (trip is approx 25 minutes, EUR2.20 payable locally).

Meals:  B

At 9am this morning you'll transfer to Orio Litta (included) to start walking. You'll soon arrive at the Transitum Padi (Porto Di Corte Sant'Andrea), also known as the ford of Sigerico. As for pilgrims before you, an expert boatman will ferry you across the Po River, where you will arrive in the region of Emilia Romagna, renowned for its food, wine and hospitality. Following provincial roads and paths you will arrive at today's destination, Piacenza. Here you can sample Piacenza's famous Salame Piacentino, coppa and pancetta, perhaps with a glass of the local Gutturnio wine. The town's splendid basilica is well worth a visit, with its 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
  • Transfer on day 3 Pavia to Orio Litta
  • Information pack including smartphone app with maps and guidebook (per room booked)
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece, max weight 20kg and max size 60 x 50 x 40 cm per person). Supplement applies for excess
  • Credenziale - the pilgrims passport
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert

  • Travel to Pavia and from Fidenza
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Excess luggage
  • Tourist Tax - allow EUR5 total - payable directly to the hotel
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Train on day 2 Belgioioso to Pavia (allow EUR2.20 subject to change)
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

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

Priceper person from

£685GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplementGBP£170
  • 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 Italy's Via Francigena | Italian Camino | UTracks