Sleeping Pad needed?

Paul G

New Member
#1
I am planning on walking the Via from Montreux to Rome starting this August. I am planning on staying in hostels, convents, and monasteries whenever possible, but not to camp. Is it advisable to bring a sleeping pad? When on pilgrimage in Spain I did not need one, but am wondering if one is needed in Italy.
 

Piero Frustascarpe

Moderator
Staff member
#2
August is the most crowded month on Via Francigena. It's not my direct experience, because I walked on it in "low season", but I have acquaintances who had to sleep a few times on the ground, because the hostels were too full, and they did not want or could not afford to spend money for B&Bs.
 
#3
Hi Paul.

I walked from Canterbury to Rome from August - October, 2017.
I hit Montreux the first week of September. I guess that is off-season a bit.
I did not have any problems finding a pilgrim hostel with a vacancy.

Cheers,
Mark
 
#4
I walked in July/August and had no trouble finding a bed every night. It was not crowded (maybe because of the heat! ;)).
For the French part, a few years ago (Canterbury to Besançon), I did carry a tent as accommodation is scarce (or was then) in France in the Summer.
 
#5
Thanks everyone. Is it recommended to take a sleeping bag? I start walking on 8 August. I know it will be hot during the day, but am thinking it may cool down at night. I hope to stay mostly in the convents/ostellos. Mel
 
#6
Hi Mel,
Yes, you really do need a sleeping bag OR a sleeping bag liner, you can't sleep on bare mattresses.
Last year it never really cooled down at night but then there was a heatwave (called Lucifer!). We sometimes booked in private accommodation just to get air conditioning.... (But that was last Summer!).
 
#7
Thanks Domigee. I will take both to be on the safe side, although I am a very warm sleeper and doubt that I will need a bag. I guess I could always buy one over there if there is a cold snap....all I can imagine is the heat....Bye, Mel
 
#8
Thanks Domigee. I will take both to be on the safe side, although I am a very warm sleeper and doubt that I will need a bag. I guess I could always buy one over there if there is a cold snap....all I can imagine is the heat....Bye, Mel
In which case you could save yourself some weight and just take a liner? Where do you start walking? If it is Italy, then a liner will most likely be enough.
 

Piero Frustascarpe

Moderator
Staff member
#10
I start walking from GSBP on 8 August and arrive in Rome on 20 September. What do you think? Hot weather all the way?? Thanks for your brainpower on this, Mel
  1. Alps: from Gran San Bernardo to Cavaglià: generally not so hot, pleasantly windy.
  2. Pianura Padana: from Cavaglià to Fornovo. Rice fields from Santhià to Pavia and the rest is just flat country. The sun can be merciless there, and no breezes.
  3. Appennini: from Fornovo to Aulla. Low mountain area, pleasantly warm and aired.
  4. Costa del Tirreno: from Aulla to Camaiore. The breezes coming from the sea mitigate the hot temperature.
  5. Tuscany tract: from Camaiore to Acquapendente. You should come here in September, and the sun will not be too much hot. Tuscany in wonderful in that month!
  6. Lazio: from Acquapendente to Rome. Again, totally different landscapes and and pleasantly warm climate. The sun will not be rough any more.
In the recent years, due to the changes of climate, we are facing more and more heavy storms. Sometime we call them "water bombing". They happen mostly in the afternoon. Always consult natives and the weather forecast. Being caught under a storm without the chance of finding a shelter is dangerous because of the bolts.
 
Top