What is the best time to walk the Via Francigena? How can you find out the perfect months to do this walk?
Read our post and our advices for enjoying the best route along the Francigena Way.
Let’s figure it out!
The best time to walk the Francigena Way
As you probably already know, the Via Francigena is a route of 2040 km. It starts in Canterbury (Uk), crosses France and part of Switzerland and then ends in Rome, after getting through 6 different regions in Italy.
Given the difference of these countries, their geographical position and the weather that characterizes each one of them, you can understand how the best time to walk each section will change.
Depending on which section you decide to walk, you will also find out how long the Via Francigena will take. This is the first thing to consider if you want to know when it’s the best time to walk this itinerary. If, for example, you want to walk the entire Francigena, from Canterbury to Rome, you will need more than 3 months. This means that you could start in the second half of June in the United Kingdom, and ends in the best moment in Italy, September.
Therefore, we have to consider two aspects when talking about the best time to walk any Francigena route: the number of pilgrims on each route and the weather.
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The number of pilgrims along the Via Francigena
First of all, we need to keep in mind that the Via Francigena is much less popular than the Camino de Santiago. We mention this because you need to consider that it will be much safer to walk in specific moments rather than others. Being this route less popular and not so well marked than the Camino, you will feel safer if you will find other pilgrims on the route.
For such reason, we recommend summertime to walk the first part of this Way. From Canterbury, all the France section of the Francigena route until Aosta. Only a few thousands of pilgrims are walking or cycling this route each year, while in the Camino we registered more than 300.000 pilgrims in 2019.
Pilgrims in Italy along the Via Francigena
However, things will change in Italy. In fact, the most crowded part is the italian section of the Francigena Way, especially in Tuscany, so the situation will be the opposite there.
Indeed, in this part of the Francigena Way, you will be able to find more pilgrims all over the year. So we do recommend you to avoid the most popular months (summertime).
Please note that for what refers the social part of the Via Francigena in Italy, the things will be different.
Not only Italy will always have more tourists and the accommodation offer is higher than in the other countries. Also, the signposts and the possibility to get directions are easier to find.
This means that you don’t need to walk in the busiest months, actually we do recommend to avoid them. Especially if you are walking the section of Tuscany, from Lucca to Siena, because it will be much more pleasant to live this experience with a smaller amount of pilgrims.
Since the walk along the Via Francigena is a slow tourism experience, you might choose to enjoy Italy with more calm and time for yourself. If this is the case, follow our advice and walk this route either in spring or autumn.
The Weather on the Francigena Way
Now, after considering the number of pilgrims that we could find along the route, we can also say that summertime is the best time to walk the northern section of the Via Francigena in terms of weather conditions.
In fact the United Kingdom, France and the Alps are most likely to be walked in this season. You will avoid the frequent rains, common in the other months, the strong winds and especially the snow in the St Bernand’s pass to Aosta.
On the other hand, things will be different when we consider the Italian section of the Francigena.
Summertime is too hot for walking the Francigena Way and even if some pilgrims decide to walk this route in the months between June and August, at Galiwonders we recommend to avoid it.
Spring and Autumn for Francigena Way in Italy
Without any doubt, April, May, September and October are the best months to walk the Via Francigena in Italy. All the tourism services will be opened but the temperatures will be much lower and pilgrims will actually be able to enjoy their route.
Are you looking for more information about this route? If you are interested in what kind of accommodation you can find along the Via Francigena, or if it is safe for solo women travelers, don’t miss our posts.
Moreover, remember to always check in advance the many festivals and events you are interested in. As well as the opening times of the churches, museums and other attractions you might be willing to visit. Italy is always very crowded, especially the tourism destinations, so you need to take this into consideration and we recommend you to pre-book the most touristic sites.
At Galiwonders, we create the best tailor made routes for our customers!