I have the Lightfoot guides ready for next year. They seem very comprehensive with details for accommodation,banks,supermarkets etc. They come in 3 volumes, are rather heavy and all 3 cost me about AUD$150
If you're asking me I can only say I only once took a tent. That was on the the Le Puy to SDC route and I never took it out of my backpack. I met someone using a tent and he paid almost as much to camp as in the albergues..which in France were good.
France,as you know, is more expensive than France but I'm at an age where I want someone comfortable to sleep at the end of the day. I'm also unsure about security of belongings leaving them in a tent in the evening whilst looking for somewhere to eat.
I tried to order credential from a church in Assisi that I found on the internet, but it never arrived to me here in Canada. I made one on my iPad when I was bored at work a couple days ago; here's the PDF file for it if anybody wants to use it. I will still try to pick one up in Milan when I get to Italy next month
The Credential (or Pilgrim Passport or Pilgrim Record) is a certificate of proof of bona fide pilgrim status and may be required for access to the parish accommodation, refugios/monasteries. It is issued by pilgrim associations.
It is stamped at the beginning, and daily at churches, town halls, tourist offices etc along the way. When you reach Rome and present your credential you may be given a certificate - the Testimonium.
Credentials are made available only to walkers, cyclists, and pilgrims on horseback.
William. Is the Credential you can pickup from Canterbury Uk CPR ? Is it still ok to use in Italy if you are beginning your walk in say Lucca? I can't think of a reason why not, but I would hate to get there and find it no use and have to try and get another CPR one there in Lucca.
Chiming in with some very fresh personal experience: I, too, couldn't order the credentials to my country (Russia), so decided to buy it when I arrive to Italy - I was flying to Milan anyway, although my destination was Turin, and there's a seller in Milan.
However, when I wrote to them and asked if I could buy the credential, they replied that they've run out of them. I looked through the list and found another seller in Chivasso, near Turin. I contacted this seller, who happened to have the credentials for sale. Since all trains going from Milan to Turin call at Chivasso, it was easy enough to visit this seller - the tricky part was to find the right house on the outskirts of the town, but the seller, Giorgio, was superbly nice and provided my companion and me not only with the credentials, but also with several maps!
So, if you cannot order the credential to your home address, you can buy them in Italy, but I'd advise to contact the seller in advance - just in case. Luckily, almost all of them have email addresses!