The Next Walk....

MichaelSG

Member
After the Camino Frances from SJPdP in 2012, the Caminho Portuguese from Lisbon in 2014 and the Camino Ignaciano in 2015, my wife and I were looking for another walk in another country. It looks like we are set for a 850km section of the Via Francigena from Vercelli to Rome in April & May 2016.

I'm still figuring out how to get the right mix of mileage. We are used to about 25km stages and an initial look at the Lightfoot guide seems to suggest a lot of shorter stages mixed in with a good bit of fairly longer ones. We are still digging into that though as well as trying to budget how much beds and meals will be. Finally, it is starting to hit home that all the Spanish I have picked up over the past three years will be close to useless on this walk. C'est la vie! :p Onwards to new challenges.
 

NavyBlue

New Member
Hello Michael,

You're correct, the stage mileage mix is not fully satisfactory. As mentioned in the guide, the given stages are indicative. But it's not really easy to find a better balance, as villages and accommodation are not as frequent as in Spain. However some changes make sense such as :
- Vetralla-Sutri + Sutri-Campagnano (24 + 27 km) instead of Vetralla-Capranica + Capranica-Campagnano (16+35 km) (we did).

The (official) alternatives are also worth considering. For instance Radicofani to Acquapendente is 24 km instead of 32 if you skip Proceno (we did).

And in some cases, you will probably be happy to have only a short walk to major cities such as Siena, to let you enough time to visit.

You will discover that your biggest challenge with Italian will be to forget your Spanish ! How can one avoid mixing "¿Cómo se dice?" and "Come si dice ?" o_O
 
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MichaelSG

Member
That's it then. I've just bought the tickets and the are not refundable or changeable. I guess we're set to start on 21 April from Vercelli. Well, all set except the training, planning, gear check up, arranging for the house to be looked after, hotel reservations for the first night and last week in Rome, plans of what to do in Rome, registration for things like going through the Holy Door, etc. etc.

Yep, all set.

Of course I have nine weeks to take care of all that. Except I'll be on a boat in Thailand for five of those. Yep, all set.
 

Bradypus

Active Member
Normally I'd be green with envy. But tomorrow morning I leave home to walk the Camino Portugues. I may carry on to Finisterre if time, weather and feet permit. So I'll wish you a hearty and sincere 'Buon cammino' too!

Pax et bonum.

Bradypus
 

Bradypus

Active Member
Thanks for the good wishes. Looking forward to the CP.

I don't know what time of day you plan to arrive in / set off from Vercelli. A recommendation for you. One of the highlights of my whole VF walk last summer was a night in the beautiful small private ostello in Palestro - about 12km east of Vercelli. Run by a lovely young couple - Ambra and Paolo. A medieval brick tower like a dwarf version of San Gimignano. Usually when someone says "you can't miss it" they are wrong. I promise that you won't miss this one from the VF! Would make a great start to your journey.
 
After the Camino Frances from SJPdP in 2012, the Caminho Portuguese from Lisbon in 2014 and the Camino Ignaciano in 2015, my wife and I were looking for another walk in another country. It looks like we are set for a 850km section of the Via Francigena from Vercelli to Rome in April & May 2016.

I'm still figuring out how to get the right mix of mileage. We are used to about 25km stages and an initial look at the Lightfoot guide seems to suggest a lot of shorter stages mixed in with a good bit of fairly longer ones. We are still digging into that though as well as trying to budget how much beds and meals will be. Finally, it is starting to hit home that all the Spanish I have picked up over the past three years will be close to useless on this walk. C'est la vie! :p Onwards to new challenges.
Good luck with your section of the VF, Michael. I did the CP from Lisbon last year - greatly assisted by your blog (such as being prepared for the world's worst hotelier in Coimbra!). Will be setting off on the VF from Canterbury behind you on May 2 - so again any blog info about the route, accommodation etc will be very gratefully received. Ultreia!
 

MichaelSG

Member
Hi Geoff, I'm jealous (I think) that you get to walk from Canterbury. My time is more limited but we're looking forward to our section a lot. I've set up a blog page but I'm still unsure how much I'll be making entries. The Portugese one was fun and easy to do but the Ignaciano was much more of a chore. That may have been because of ipad issues and less frequent Internet connections but we will see. Boun Cammino!
 

MichaelSG

Member
I'm nervous. We get on the plane tomorrow evening and throughout a very hectic last two months, I've managed a single 10km training walk without backpack last week and I'm still trying to kill off the blister that formed on the bottom of my big toe.

As we remember gear or remember where we had stored it, we've been putting it into a box in the bedroom. Hopefully as soon as I find my packing list, everything will already be together. I've also left it to chance that it will all fit in my new backpack. I really am pushing my luck here.

I'm still not sure if I'll be doing a live blog but if I do, I'll post a link to it here. I know that it may someday be useful to those who walk the route after us, but I may just need the energy and time to make it to Rome in one piece.

We'll say a prayer in St. Peter's for everyone who has helped with advice and encouragement. I do appreciate it.
 

Annette london

New Member
Buen Camino to you both. Great blog and we are enjoying comparing the stages with yours from our diary. I am unable to leave comments on blog as I don't have a google account. Yes we too met that lovely man on the bicycle in Tromello and we got the badge!!! Sorry you wasted the mosquito spray but you might still need it before you finish the walk.i think I was the one who advised you to get it!! Mea culpa. We hit a heatwave and I will never forget the heat. By 0800 it was 30 degrees and we were doing nearly 30 km a day. We're we silly or what!? Starting again on 7 th may so hope we can finish what we started. Enjoy, and all the best to you both
I did start a blog for the first couple of days but I didn't tell anyone. I wasn't sure I would keep it up and Internet access seems to be hard to come by. After today's walk, I just had to share. I am certain that you will enjoy today's entry. http://memismsitaliancammino.blogspot.it/2016/04/day-3-mortara-to-garlasco-213km-675hrs.html
 

Bradypus

Active Member
Three of us walking separately arrived in Tromello last summer at 10 minute intervals and met the same man: he went through the same greeting, cycling off with the credenziales and returning with a certificate and a badge three times in quick succession with a beaming smile. Must be his life's work! I certainly needed the mosquito spray in the summer. Decided very quickly that I might walk parts of the VF again but the rice swamps of the Po valley were definitely going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Felt a bit like Bogart and the leeches in "The African Queen" :)
 

MichaelSG

Member
The two Dutch ladies that are our same timing said that their last walk ended in Robbio last summer and the mosquitos nearly ate them alive. When they started again last week, they brought a LOT of bug spray - only to not need it either.

Annette, surpringly, I was praying for 30 degrees today. At 10:00am, we passed a pharmacy and their sign showed it was a chilly 8 degrees. The strong cold wind in our face and thick cloud cover made it feel even colder than that. Soon, I'll pray for the opposite but I needed a 15 minute shower to thaw out today.
 

Annette london

New Member
The two Dutch ladies that are our same timing said that their last walk ended in Robbio last summer and the mosquitos nearly ate them alive. When they started again last week, they brought a LOT of bug spray - only to not need it either.

Annette, surpringly, I was praying for 30 degrees today. At 10:00am, we passed a pharmacy and their sign showed it was a chilly 8 degrees. The strong cold wind in our face and thick cloud cover made it feel even colder than that. Soon, I'll pray for the opposite but I needed a 15 minute shower to thaw out today.
Oh dear, what a shame. Apart from Sunday it's going to get much better. The weather forecast on the site 3B METEO is quiet good for all of Italy and also for particular areas. . We have found it to be pretty accurate as far as these sites go! Anyway it will cheer you up.best wishes Annette
 

Bradypus

Active Member
Pontremoli is special. You see that big castle high up on the hill? - all mine for the night for 11 euro :) No one else there after 7pm. Only time I've borrowed a castle for the night!
 

Annette london

New Member
We're still going at it despite the weather. It's lunch time today - finally a sunny day again and in the gorgeous town of Pontremoli. We're thinking of continuing to walk as it is early though. Here is yesterday's blog: http://memismsitaliancammino.blogspot.com/2016/05/day-12-cassio-to-montelungo-terme-271km.html
Onwards and upwards!! I am not usually a blog reader but am enjoying this one. Thank you. Yes we remember that boggy section and also took the road.we were soaked in that little cafe too.oh yes I remember it well as the song goes!! 3 more days and we're off still deciding whether to bring light umbrellas or ponchos or both so keeping an eye on the weather but if it's anything like the bbc weather, say no more!! It's nice too to be able to speak a bit of the lingo. We are ok with French and Spanish and then our daughter goes and marries an Italian!! The grandsons do try to teach us but think we are a lost cause! Still, we will keep trying. Best wishes Annette
 

Annette london

New Member
We're still going at it despite the weather. It's lunch time today - finally a sunny day again and in the gorgeous town of Pontremoli. We're thinking of continuing to walk as it is early though. Here is yesterday's blog: http://memismsitaliancammino.blogspot.com/2016/05/day-12-cassio-to-montelungo-terme-271km.html
Still enjoying your blog when we can get wifi. Specially enjoyed the"bless her cheating heart bit" we really had a chuckle!! We had to take a bus today for 8km into Siena as I was on my knees.. The guilt!! NOT I'm afraid. The section from San Miniato alto,for us has been the most wonderful scenic section of the whole via so you are in for a treat with the rolling hills of Tuscany. The nicest place to stay so far has been the Convento of San Francesco in San Miniato Alto. Good food and wine, good breakfast,comfortable room and lovely people. All for 70euro. We have a few very long stages ahead so hope the feet hold up. Sorry, we are unable to leave comments on the blog page but very interested on how you find the next section. Best wishes Annette and Charlie
 
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