Considering the VF in 2017

Waka

New Member
Having just completed the CF (last Saturday) and now comfortably at home I've started researching the VF for 2017, any advice on how to get started will be very much appreciated.

Ivar, thanks for all the help the CF forum gave me, I'm sure this will also be as informative.

Waka
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Having just completed the CF (last Saturday) and now comfortably at home I've started researching the VF for 2017, any advice on how to get started will be very much appreciated.

Ivar, thanks for all the help the CF forum gave me, I'm sure this will also be as informative.

Waka
Welcome Waka! :)
 

MichaelSG

Member
My wife and I are currently planning to walk a portion of the VF from Vercelli to Rome in April / May next year. I started the planning, planning, planning then decided to stop, stop, stop (the planning, that is)! Instead, I am learning a bit of Italian. With that and the latest Lightfoot guide, we'll set off without too much further preparation but with an open mind to what we find. That is the reason I think I enjoyed our Camino Frances and Camino Ignaciano a little more than our Caminho Portuguese, ie, the one I planned out in most detail.

I have read a few VF blogs that have been helpful and motivating. I'm pretty sure I'll do a blog as well but that's not as certain. I like to keep my family up to speed on what we are doing but it's hard work too.

Happy planning!

ps. & btw, we chose to start in Vercelli because a) it's about 800km from Rome, a distance we know so well; b) the Lightfoot guides are divided into three (or was it two?) with the last volume starting in Vercelli; and c) someday, we plan to connect our walks from the VF to Manresa - the eastern end of the Camino Ignaciano. There are guides for that which start in Vercelli. After we connect our walks from Lisbon to Brindisi, we'll figure out something else to do. I heard wild rumors that there are trails in other parts of Europe too and even elsewhere in the world.
 

Waka

New Member
MichaelSG

Thanks for the response. I guess my planning will revolve around reading the guide books, checking on places to stay (which I understand are nothing like the CF) and trying to make some sense of stages. At the moment there only part I'm comfortable with is Canterbury to Dover.
I did view a video of a couple that have completed the VF and they camped most of the nights, at my age I don't think camping is for me. Therefore I expect the journey will be way more expensive, that's the reason for not doing it until 2017, gives me time to save.
 

Charl Durand

New Member
i've also started planning a VF pilgrimage in 2017. So far we'll be doing Aosta to Rome starting in April. Would have liked to start in Lausanne but the St Barnard Pass is still closed at that time. We were fortunate that someone here in SOuth Africa were able to organise us pilgrim passports so we already have those! Some things that seem a reality so far include -
- many pilgrims camp at least some of the way
- there is a good number of pilgrim accommodations along the way but the places are small and tricky to book
- lots of money have been spent on formalising the route so it's well-marked and established.
- seems the distances and difficulty is similar to the Frances although of course the environment is dramatically different

Having carried 12-14kg on the Frances I'm a little wary about adding a tent and sleeping bag on top of that, will have to re-do the packing list...

Re Planning, the trick is to get the balance between preparedness, and space for adventure right. For example, I like to know where I'm sleeping beforehand so I don't have to hunt around for that, but like to take detours and alternative routes (we got lost three times on the Frances and it was never a bad thing).
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Michael - If you have the time I would recommend and earlier start from Aosta, Martigny or even Lausanne (catching the bus through the tunnel to avoid the pass if it is not open when you walk). Starting in Vercelli means the first week or more walking across the Po river flatlands which are the VF equivalent of the meseta.
 

MichaelSG

Member
Thanks much William, I will look at it again. One other thing I didn't mention about the choice of Vercelli is that it is south of the Alps. My wife and I will have about one week between a month-long boat trip and the day that we leave for Italy. We figured the Po Valley would give us a chance to get some walking muscles back before hills further south. I'd like to trek the Great St. Bernard Pass someday so if we don't do it now, it will likely be the first part of the walk from the VF toward Manresa.
 

NavyBlue

New Member
Hello Michael,

I second that. The Po valley is not that bad, and the rice fields have their charm... Probably more when not harvested, and when the wading birds are there rather than in Africa. Be ready for mosquitoes and on/off VF signage. Starting directly at the foot of the Apennines would be quite strenuous IMO (probably more than StJPdP to Roncesvalles, due to rougher terrain).
 
Top