Via Francigena: from Canterbury to Camaiore

Via Francigena: from Canterbury to Camaiore

A trip from England to Tuscany, about 1,700 km on paths and dirt roads coinciding with the official pilgrim walking route. The Francigena Way in Engla

The Three Peaks of Lavaredo from Dobbiaco
At the foot of Gran Sasso by bike
Mountain bike in Umbria: “The Sagrantino Way”

via-francigena_Canterbury-CamaioreA trip from England to Tuscany, about 1,700 km on paths and dirt roads coinciding with the official pilgrim walking route. The Francigena Way in England and France follows a generally wavy path with continuous ups and downs that sometimes turn into sudden gaps. To undertake the journey, some physical training is needed, but no less important are a good mental preparation and a lot of adaptation spirit. The biggest difficulty is represented by off-road stretches that with the rain turn into clay puddles where it is difficult to proceed.

Starting directly from London, first you must first walk the 100 km of the Pilgrim Way, which in the Middle Ages was frequented by pilgrims to reach Canterbury, the official start of the Via Francigena. The English path is characterized by extensive well-groomed meadows and endless pastures where it is very easy to imagine the nobles engaged in the fox hunting on horseback. Once arrived at Dover, famous for its white cliffs, we embark on the ferry to reach Calais, France. Here begins a long stretch in the wildest French countryside, certainly less cured but no less fascinating than the English one. For many miles, you are surrounded exclusively by grain fields and uncultivated plots without ever meeting a house, a bar, a shop.
In the Champagne region, the landscape changes: the cultivated fields leave space to extended vineyards, from which the namesake French wine is derived.

When you reach Switzerland you find the first true climbs, very tiring and challenging, but rewarded with an amazing view of the Alps. Among the toughest climbs there is that up to 2,470 mt on the Passo del Gran San Bernardo which allows you to cross the mountains and enter in Italy. In our country the Via Francigena becomes much more frequented, many people begin the journey right from here and end up in Rome, the final destination of the way.

The Italian landscape up to Camaiore, in Versilia, changes rapidly: it goes from the mountains of Valle d’Aosta to the paddy fields of the Po Valley, to the sweetest reliefs of the Apennines. Camaiore is a small town in the Versilia hinterland, right at the foot of the Apennines, rich in history and panoramic views over the sea. Absolutely to visit!