Have you heard about the Via Francigena Pilgrimage? Do you want to know how long does the Via Francigena take?
In total, the Via Francigena route, is more than 2,000 kms long and half of them are crossing the Italian Peninsula
(1,004 km). If you are wondering how long it takes to walk the Via Francigena find it out in this post.
Let’s discover more about the Via Francigena stages and how long this itinerary is.
The Via Francigena: how long is it?
First of all, we have to say that the Via Francigena starts in Canterbury, in the UK, and finishes in the Eternal City, Rome.
After France and Switzerland, pilgrims walking la Via Francigena, will cross to Italy from Gran San Bernardo Pass, at the border with Switzerland.
The Via Francigena will cross 6 Italian regions: Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio.
Please, remember that this is not just a trekking experience. On the contrary, it is a great opportunity to get to know the different regions, the historical and natural heritage and the different aspects of the Italian culture.
This means that if you have time to walk or cycle the Via Francigena, you should keep in mind that it will allow you to spend some time to enjoy the “Bel Paese”. You will find some of the most unique UNESCO Heritage sites (e.g. San Gimignano and Siena historic centre).
Plan your itinerary with extra nights not to miss the best of your experience. 😆
So, how many days will you need to walk the Via Francigena?
If you want to walk La Via Francigena, with no stops, you will need 98 days approx.
However, we really suggest to take some days off to rest and to have some spare time to visit the most important places. Otherwise it would be too long and tiring and it won’t allow you to enjoy the experience 100%.
If you are looking for a slow tourism experience, take it easy and enjoy your route on the Via Francigena at your own pace.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking- Nietzsche”
The length of your itinerary will depend on the reasons why you choose the Via Francigena walking experience. If you want to know more about the country, you will probably spend more time than those who are just willing to cross the countries to quickly arrive to their destination.
But also, it will depend on the chosen section. For instance, the level of difficulty in the 4 first stages of the Via Francigena in Italy (Valle d’Aosta region) are quite demanding (with strong differences in the ascent and descent altitude) as well as the Appenines’ chain, but then in Piedmont region is mostly average/easy.
Cycling the Via Francigena?
Nonetheless, remember that you can complete the Via Francigena by bicycle, too. Many pilgrims choose to cycle the Via Francigena to be able to visit more, in less time.
In fact, your journey will require less than half of the time (around 44 days if you do the Francigena Way by bike). If you decide to do so, you will have to cycle between 27 and 73kms per day.
Although, we recommend to cycle, only if you are experienced cyclists and know enough about basic mechanic. This applies to both the Via Francigena by bike and the Camino de Santiago by bike.
Even though there are some differences between the Via Francigena and the Camino de Santiago, pilgrims have often the same needs and requirements.
Where does the Via Francigena start?
Most of the people, won’t have so much time to walk the Via Francigena. Even though, the start of the Via Francigena is in Canterbury, you can decide where you want to start your route and for how long you want to walk.
Mainly, most of the pilgrims decide to walk a section (about 6-7 days) and leave other sections for the future. The average distance on the Via Francigena is 20 km/day.
You can start, either by foot or by bike, from any stage of this Via Francigena map (see below) and walk as many kms/ days as you want.
Moreover, if you are not very trained and you prefer to split the stages in 2, you can walk a less amount of km per day. At Galiwonders, we create customized itineraries for all our pilgrims.
The most famous sections of the Via Francigena are in Tuscany (from Lucca to Siena) and in Lazio (from Viterbo to Rome).
The first one Via Francigena Lucca- Siena last 6 walking days and 7 nights, while the Via Francigena Viterbo- Rome is 5 walking days and 6 nights.
European Cultural Itinerary: What is the Via Francigena?
This pilgrimage, that is receiving an increasing interest from international pilgrims in these past years, started to be famous in the Carolingian Age, under the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne. However, it was thanks to the manuscript of Sigeric, a British archbishop, that the Magna Via Francigena was studied and is now a European Cultural Itinerary.
This religious from Canterbury walked the Francigena route in 990, going to Rome to receive the “Pallium” (Papal investiture). While walking the entire Via Francigena, he wrote a detailed diary about the stages where he stopped during his journey.
If you are planning your route along the Via Francigena and want to know what you should bring with you check our post!
If you have any question, feel free to contact us to plan your adventure.