Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it possible to walk the Via Francigena with kids and toddlers?
The path is quite difficult: some parts include the crossing of crowded roads, others walking on the border of the street, even if generally on less crowded ones; these streches of road are dangerous for kids and toddlers, especially in large groups, and therefore not advisable. The itinerary should be carefully studied to choose parts on forest paths or country roads. We suggest you to refer to the site section containing the maps of the whole itinerary, organized leg by leg.
Walk the Via Francigena with dogs?
The itinerary, largely immersed in nature, would be ideal for our faithful friends to travel with us: nevertheless, accommodation is often not open to dogs. We suggest you to contact each structure in advance to make sure that your dog is welcome.
Is it possible to walk the Via Francigena in winter?
Winter is not the most advisable season, both for the climatic conditions and the itinerary practicability and the availability of services along the way. It is therefore necessary to carefully plan your travel, informing yourself about the viability of the path and the opening times of accommodation. Ask about the structure heating system: most of the refuges are not heated. It is advisable to contact the structures in advance to get this kind of information. We also remind you that the Great San Bernard pass is only open in Summer, from the beginning of June to the beginning of September.
How does one cross the Great San Bernard in the Pass closing periods?
From mid October to May it is not possible to cross the Great San Bernard by foot: the pass is only open in the Summer period (from the beginning of June to the beginning of October). It is possible to get through with a bus, which runs from the village of Bourg St Pierre to Aosta. Timetables are available on sbb.ch.
Is the Via Francigena accessible to disabled people?
It's a difficult itinerary, and few parts are equipped for disabled people. Beside, most of the accommodation structures are not accessible to them.
Is it possible to ride the Via Francigena by horse?
Riding along the itinerary is really difficult, mostly for the lack of equipped accommodation. One must carefully plan the journey to ensure the well-being of the horse, verifying the available services. The book by Arianna Corradi “Quel sogno di partire a cavallo” (Equitare edizioni), in which the author narrates her journey by horse from Val di Susa to Canterbury in 2009, is an important witness for the lovers of travel by horse.
Which is the suggested starting point?
It is advisable to choose a starting point with an efficient public transportation service, see the specific section on this website.
Is it possible to split the itinerary?
Yes, it is only necessary to carefully select your starting and arriving points among the places with an efficient public transportation service.
The same Credential can be used in different periods of time, and once you have walked the last 140 consecutive km upon your arrival in Rome you have the right to the “Testimonium”.
What is the “Credential”?
It's a document that testifies your pilgrim status. Read how to get it.
Is there an organized luggage transportation service?
At the moment the pure and simple luggage transportation service is not manageable on Via Francigena, because not every hostel is attented the whole day: many of them are managed by the local parish and opened on request, and pilgrims often leave alone on the following morning. In a similar situation there won't be a person to leave the luggage to, or to give the luggage back to the transporter the following day.
The luggage transportation is therefore carried out by some tour operators that include this kind of service in their packages.
You can find a list of tour operators in the "organized tours" section of the website
Is the itinerary well provided with road signs?
Road signs are well distributed, in some parts more than in others. It is advisable to purchase the official guidebook, wich provides the precise and detailed itinerary.
Is it possible to ride the Via Francigena by bike?
The itinerary from the Great San Bernardo Pass to Rome is fully practicable by bicycle. You can find stages and maps and download the GPS tracks of the whole itinerary on www.viafrancigena.bike
The cycling route of Via Francigena is not marked along the whole itinerary, except for the Italian part, hence orientation could be difficut in some parts.
We suggest you to download the maps, but the best solution is the use of a GPS.
The walking path of Via Francigena is largely transitable with a Mountain Bike without bags. We suggest not to do it with a Mountain Bike carrying bags, for various reasons:
1. In some stretches the bike needs to be pushed for excessive gradients, bumpy road surface, in case of rain or mud.
2. There are some fords that are not easy to face on a bike;
3. Some paths are too narrows or disconnected, and the bike needs to be carried on shoulders;
4. Some stretches on sidewalks are safe for pedestrians, but not for cyclists who cannot transit on sidewalks. Road can be verry trafficked.
5. Some urban parts are oncoming traffic, or there are stairs to be overcome.
All these problems are solved in the cycling itinerary.
Which kind of bicycle should i use?
The best choice of bicycle is an hybrid or light MTB, without dampers, strictly equipped with not knobbed or laterally knobbed “fat wheels”, smooth in the center. The itinerary is characterized by both long streches of asphalt, where nogs decelerate and make noise, and brief streches on rough paths, where fat wheels (section 1,9 or more) amortise way better and can guarantee a good stability.
Is it possible to rent a bike?
For all the needed information visit the dedicated page.
Which seasons are the best to walk the Via Francigena?
The best periods to walk the itinerary are May-June and September. March and April are quite rainy, and it is still possible to find snow in the Aosta Valley part and on the Cisa pass Pay attention to August, highly touristic month in which it could be difficult to find accommodation. For the southern part October is also advisable, since the weather is still sunny and warm. To find generic information about the characteristics of the various climate zones along the path, we suggest the wikipedia page with information on temperatures, rain levels and temperature ranges.
We also remind you that the Great San Bernard pass is open and thus crossable only from the beginning of June to the beginning of September. You will find information about the lines that allow you to circumvent the pass during the nine closing months on the website of the bus company Savda.
Is it possible to use public transportation services along the path?
The itinerary crosses points served by public transportation in almost its whole lenght; a railway station or bus stop are present in almost every arriving point. In the dedicated section of the website.
Refer to the page "adviced starting point and connections" to find railway and bus lines that connect the main airports to the regions where the legs starting points are located.
How to come back home from Rome with your bike on public transportation?
There are several ways for coming back: high speed or regional trains, autobuses (such as Megabus), or by plane. For more details click here.
Where can i find indication of accommodation along the path?
The accommodation list is available and updated on the dedicated section of the website
How much does accommodation cost?
An accommodation list, complete with information on respective prices, is available to download in the accommodation section of the website. The average price is generally higher than the one of an equivalent accommodation along the Camino of Santiago. The average price for a night in a hostel is more or less 15 euros, but (mainly religious) structures that host pilgrims for a “free offer” are also present.
Is it necessary to book accomodation in advance?
We suggest you to book your touristic accomodation, while a reservation in the “pilgrim” ones is not necessary. Nevertheless is advisable to inform them with at least one day of advance, specifying your arrival time: custodians don't usually live near the refuges, and if arriving without a notice you could risk to find them closed. To contact your accommodation, consult the complete list in the specific section of the site.
Is accommodation open to everyone?
It depends. Pilgrim accommodation is often reserved to pilgrims with the official credential.
Is it possible to camp along the way?
In Italy camping is allowed only in specifically equipped areas, free camping is generally not admitted along the whole Via Francigena.
Where can large groups (es. Scout ) be hosted?
If travelling in large groups, like Scouts, it is always advisable to contact local parishes to receive hospitality.
Does accommodation for pilgrims include the free use of a kitchen?
The free use of a kitchen is often available, allowing pilgrims to cook their own meals. To verify the availability of a free kitchen in selected accommodation, we suggest you to check the list in the accommodation section.
Are Pilgrim menus available?
More and more places propose specific menus for pilgrims, with prices around 12-15 euros for a meal including first course, second course and drinks. We suggest you to ask directly to the managers of your accommodation.
What does a day of travel on the Francigena generally cost?
If sleeping in pilgrim accommodation, you should spend an average of 15 euros per night. In hotels the cost rises to 20-25 euros per night in a double room. Dinner can cost 15-20 euros, a light lunch around 10 euros, an Italian breakfast 3 euros.
Which part of the itinerary has to be walked to receive the testimonium?
You have to leave from Viterbo, 100 km far from Rome.
Is it necessary to stop in established points and walk legs of preset lenght to get the testimonium?
No, legs can vary in lenght and can be walked according to one's own speed.