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Via Francigena – From Pavia to Fidenza

From Garlasco to Fidenza
Garlasco can easily be reached by train from Milan in 2h30; you wil find at your first hotel all the material you need for your trip: hotel vouchers, the detailed description of the walking and the GPS maps. You will also be told where to go to receive a benediction should you need one before you start on your way. The week unfolds entierly along the Pò river valley among rice and corn fields. Ponctuated by large farms and old castle it is one of the richest agricultural area of Italy

 

Activity Level: Easy / Moderate | Daily Mileage: 4 – 8 mi | Daily Walking: 2 – 5 hr Duration: 8 Days – 7 Nights

 

 

DAY BY DAY WALKING PROGRAM

 

GARLASCO

Day 1 – Arrival in Garlasco – Height at departure: 93m

Garlasco is renowned for the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Bozzola, visited every year by many pilgrims and believers. The Sanctuary of Garlasco was built after the apperance of the Virgin to a 13 years old girlt in 1465

 

PAVIA

Day 2 – Garlasco – Pavia – Height at arrival: 77 m Length: 25,7km Walking time: 6h.30

The first part of the day you will walk across the plain and the second part along the banks of the river Ticino which is in the area of the natural park of Ticino, the river that connects the Lake Maggiore with the river Po. The park was the first regional park in Italy created in 1974. The stage ends in Pavia, one of the pearls of the Francigena Way. Do not forget the Visconteo casle and the San Pietro in Ciel d’oro church.

 

SANTA CRISTINA

Day 3 – Pavia – Santa Cristina – Height at arrival: 71 m Length: 27,7km Walking time: 6h.30

Today we leave Pavia following the river Ticino, then on across the wide flats of Padania; to avoid traffic, you will walk across the nice countryside in the surroundings of Pavia among fields and woods. Stop in Belgioioso to visit the Castle of Belgioioso, ancient neoclassical residence raised in XIV century by Gian Galeazzo Visconti as place of relax, hunting and amusement. St Cristina has no hotel; you should therefore call the hotel in Miradolo to come and pick you up; they know!

 

CALENDASCO

Day 4 – Mirandolo – Calendasco – Height at arrival:60 m Length: 17.5 km Walking time: 4h.0

The hotel driver will bring you back to Miradolo main square to start walking towards the Castle of Chignolo Po, place of rest for pilgrims on the Francigena since the medieval time. In few kilometres and you reach Lambrina, little village that takes its name from the near river Lambro. Once you reach the rver you will follow the road built on the river banks to Corte Sant’Andrea, from where leaves the ferry on the river Po.The docks are still in the same place where Sigerico crossed the river 1000 years ago. Spend the night in a coutry Inn just beyond the landing point

 

PIACENZA

Day 5 – Calendasco – Piacenza – Height at arrival: 61 m Length: 15,5 km Walking time: 4h.00

A short stage will take you to Piacenza, meandering on both sides of the traffic ridden Via Emilia. The itinerary reaches the bridge of Piacenza. Do not miss the visit to the Romanesque Church of San Savino consecrate in 1107 and with, at the interior, two wonderful mosaics representing all the months of the year and the zodiac. Impressive is also the equestrian statue on Piacenza main square. Spend the night in a nice b&b just on the square.

 

CARPANETO

Day 6 – Piacenza – Carpaneto – Height at arrival:80 m Length:26.5km Walking time: 5h.30

The official road runs along the busy Via Emilia. We will therefore walk parallel to it to avoid the traffic and will takes you across the relaxing landscape of the plain. This is a country of rivers and we will cross and even wade a few of them along the way. Towards the end of the day we will head towards the hills that are the forerunners of the Appennino mountains to come. Spend the night in a charming country inn at the foot of the hills.

 

FIDENZA

Day 7 – Carpaneto – Fidenza – Height at arrival:57 m Length: 25km Walking time: 6h.30

Start the day with a first stop at the romanesque church of Vigolo Marchese then climb to Castel Arquato a beautiful Medieval town with a superb square lined with the cathedral and the communal palace buildings.After days and days of flat land it is nice, though a bit more tiring to climb vineyards covered hills The walking itinerary endsshortly before Fidenza,in a parmesan producing farm inside the Stirone river park. You will be able to taste the real Emilia (Bologna) cuisine.

 

YOURS DEPARTURE

Day 8 – end our service

In the morning you will be driven either to Fidenza railway station if you are at the end of your vacations ot in the centre of town in order for you to visit the Duomo, famous for its basreliefs, before starting to Fornovo.

 
 

Via Francigena Next stage: From Fidenza to Aulla >>

 
 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Madonna della Bozzola Sanctuary
The covered bridge in Pavia
The crossing of Po river
Castel Arquato
 
 

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