Which stages to walk in December? - advice please

#1
We are wondering about walking from Fidenze to Sarzana in late December. Has anyone any experience of the path at this time of year? Would we be better off further south - eg Lucca to Siena?
(So far we have walked from Canterbury to Dover (April 2018), Reims to Chalons-en-Champagne (June 2018) and Lausanne to Aosta (July 2018).)
 

Piero Frustascarpe

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Surely you can walk on the Francigena in winter as well. The tracks can be more muddy, sometime, but surely they are open and walkable, and a good advantage is that there are neither leaves on the trees nor high grass/shrubs, and the view around is more open. Temperatures can go slightly below 0° C, but that is absolutely bearable with a good equipment.
The snow can prevent walking, of course, but from Sarzana on, the risk of finding it is much less than in Piedmont and Emilia Romagna.
The most serious drawback is that most of ostelli are closed in winter period, so it's more difficult to find lodgings, even B&Bs and hotels. Better to check in advance...
Surely the more you walk towards South, the better the temperature is.

P.S. Consider also that the light period in December is "surprisingly" short. ;)
 
#3
Thank you for your helpful and sensible comments, Piero - especially about the hours of daylight, which I see will be 9.5 on 21st December, nearly two hours more than in London but certainly worth taking into account.
 
#4
We are wondering about walking from Fidenze to Sarzana in late December. Has anyone any experience of the path at this time of year? Would we be better off further south - eg Lucca to Siena?
(So far we have walked from Canterbury to Dover (April 2018), Reims to Chalons-en-Champagne (June 2018) and Lausanne to Aosta (July 2018).)
I am starting from Lausanne to Rome Sept21
What was your experience (to Aosta)like??!
Any heads up, most welcome??
 

Piero Frustascarpe

Moderator
Staff member
#5
The weather will not be cold, yet, just a bit chilly in the morning.
If the weather is good, the landscape is really beautiful with all the colors of autumn. It's my preferred season in the low Alps.
But if it rains, the mud and flat stones all over the tracks become slippery. So, poles are highly recommended.
 
#6
Gretel - Late September sounds a very good time to walk from Lausanne to Aosta. When we walked in July it was too hot for us along the section from Lausanne through Vevey, Montreux and Villeneuve to Aigle, We followed the VF route which goes up into the beautiful vineyards above Lac Leman - wonderful views but there is very little shade, so it took us many hours.
In total we took 9 days to reach Aosta: 4 days walking to Martigny and then 4 days from Orsieres to Aosta. We had a rest day in Martigny so we could visit the Fondation Pierre Gianadda then took the train to Orsieres, so we skipped the stage through Sembrancher.
Walking up the Great St Bernard Pass was a truly wonderful experience, with the meadows full of wild flowers and butterflies, and descending the other side, we also very much enjoyed walking beside the 14th century ru from Etroubles to Gignod.
Have a great walk!
 
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