The presence of a widespread network of public transports makes it possible to combine the walk with brief transfers by train or bus, that may facilitate people who have less time available or who don’t feel like dealing with very long stages. In short, taking public transports is perfectly right and doesn’t take away anything from the beauty of the experience.
Here you can find the main ways to shorten and facilitate the walk, stage by stage.
- From Great St. Bernard to Ivrea
In the first two stages, the SAVDA bus Aosta Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses allows you to take a public transport from each city crossed by the path. From Aosta to Ivrea, the Chivasso-Aosta railway line stops at Aosta, Nus, Châtillon-Saint-Vincent, Pont-Saint-Martin and Ivrea. It is therefore possible to shorten the long Stage 3 Aostra – Châtillon, leaving from Nus. Moreover, the SAVDA carries out a regular service on the Aosta – Pont-Saint-Martin segment, with a stop in every city along the SS26. Sadem serves the segment between Pont-Saint-Martin and Ivrea, with frequent busses, always along the SS26.
- From Ivrea to Pavia
From Ivrea to Piverone, the ATAP 358 bus connects the two cities in half an hour; the same means of transport continues towards Roppolo and Santhià. From Santhià the trains of the Vercelli-Pavia regional line stop in every locality of the path: Palestro, Robbio, Nicorvo, Mortara, Gambolò-Remondò, Tromello, Garlasco, Gropello Cairoli.
- From Pavia to Piacenza
From Pavia, the Pavia-Cremona railway line has stations along the path in Belgioioso, Santa Cristina and Bissone, Mirandolo Terme, Chignolo Po, Lambrinia and Orio Litta. From Soprarivo, the haven point on the right bank of River Po, the extra-urban SETA E5 bus allows to reach Piacenza, avoiding a very congested segment.
- From Piacenza to Fornovo
From Piacenza, the Milan-Bologna railway line has stops along the path in Fiorenzuola and Fidenza. Many urban and extra-urban SETA lines serve the cities along the via Emilia, with stops in Pontenure and Fiorenzuola, allowing to simplify the first section, which is very congested, of the stage 17 Piacenza – Fiorenzuola d’Arda, between Piacenza and Pontenure. Interregional trains, that travel on the Milan-Livorno line, can be found between Fidenza and Fornovo.
- From Fornovo to Sarzana
The extra-urban TEP busses serve the segment between Fornovo and Berceto. Along the layout of the Via, the trains of the Parma-La Spezia and Milan-Livorno lines travel between Pontremoli and Sarzana, with reachable train stations in Pontremoli, Filattiera, Villafranca-Bagnone, Aulla Lunigiana (1.5 kilometers away from the city). The long stage 23 Pontremoli – Aulla can be shortened travelling by train between Pontremoli and Filattiera, or taking an extra-urban CTT Massa-Carrara bus from Villafranca Lunigiana or from Terrarossa to Aulla. The stage can also be divided into two, stopping in Filetto.
- From Sarzana to Lucca
The segment of the Via along Versilia is well served by the trains of the Genoa – Pisa line, with useful stops in Avenza, Massa Centro, Pietrasanta. To shorten the long stage 24 Aulla – Avenza, you can take an ATC management for Marinella di Sarzana bus, getting from Sarzana to Luni. In the stage 26 Pietrasanta – Lucca it is possible to skip the first climb with the CTT E15 Camaiore – Lucca bus.
- From Lucca to Siena
The first segment, from Lucca to Altopascio, is served by the trains of the Viareggio – Firenze railway line, which allow you to skip a stage that is mainly on asphalt. The Piùbus busses, line 20 Altopascio – Fucecchio serve the next stage, stopping in Galleno and Ponte a Cappiano. From Fucecchio you can reach San Miniato with the CTT 290 Empoli – Galleno line. The long stage 29 Altopascio – San Miniato can be reduced also with a halfway stop in Ponte a Cappiano. After San Miniato there are not so many alternatives to the walk. The stage 32 San Giminiano – Monteriggioni can be divided into two with a stop in Colle Val d’Elsa, along a variation road. Moreover, it is possible to take an urban bus from San Giminiano towards Santa Lucia, saving a couple of kilometers on the asphalt. From Colle Val d’Elsa, the TIEMME 130 Siena – Poggibonsi – San Giminiano line stops in Strove, Abbadia a Isola, Monteriggioni. From Monteriggioni to Siena, people who want to avoid the crossing of the suburbs can take any means of transport that stop in La Colonna, on the Via Cassia (SR2).
- From Siena to Viterbo
From Siena to Buonconvento the Via Francigena is parallel to the Siena – Grosseto railway line, with useful stops in Ponte a Tressa, Monteroni d’Arbia and Buonconvento, all of which are served by urban and extra-urban public transports from Siena, too. Hence, it is possible to shorten the stage 34 Siena – Ponte d’Arbia, leaving from Isola d’Arbia. Otherwise, it is possible to divide it into two sections, with a stop in Luciniano d’Arbia. The next stages in Bouonconvento are connected by TIEMME busses: it is possible to avoid the climb to San Quirico with the bus from Torrenieri. Our suggestion is then to divide the long stage 36 San Quirico d’Orcia – Radicofani in two segments, with a halfway stop in Castiglione d’Orcia or in one of the many farm holiday businesses, that are present halfway through the path, near the Via Cassia. The next stage 37 Radicofani – Acquapendente can be shortened by taking a Cotral bus from Centeno, therefore avoiding a few dangerous kilometers of the Via Cassia (SR2). The variant through Proceno is longer, however it allows to divide the walk into two stages, stopping in Proceno. Also in the next stages it is possible to take a Cotral bus, to reduce the walk: facilitated passages can be found between Acquapendente and San Lorenzo Nuovo, or at the entrance of Montefiascone: the useful stop can be found in Ponte della Regina, along the via Cassia (SR2). From Montefiascone, the Viterbo – Attiliano railway comes up beside the path, connecting the city to Viterbo.
- From Viterbo to Rome
The last stage of the Via Francigena is served by the Viterbo – Rome railway, with stops in Vetralla, Capranica, La Storta, Roma San Pietro. The stage 42 Vetralla – Sutri can be shortened by taking a Cotral bus from Capranica. The same can be done in the next stages, where stops can be found in Monterosi, Campagnano di Roma, Formello, La Storta. The stage 44 Campagnano di Roma – La Storta can be divided into two, stopping in Formello or in Isola Farnese. In the last stage, the Viterbo - Rome railway comes up beside the path, with the possibility to cut off a congested segment between La Storta and La Giustiniana.