Via Francigena

Day 13 – Bapaume to Péronne: sunshine, mud puddles, and sore feet

The stage


👣 33 KM on foot – Tuesday 29 June

When we woke up this morning, we all knew very well what the day had in store for us: the longest Road to Rome day so far! We’d had days of 24, 26, even of 28 kms until now, but more than 30km was a first!

Some of us hadn’t slept a lot in Bapaume because of the heavy thunderstorms passing over throughout the night. The heavy rainfall worried us particularly for the day ahead, but luckily for us in the morning the storms had passed. What was left of these nightly terrors was a thick fog, low-hanging clouds, and lots of mud puddles.

Shortly after 8AM, we set off into the fog! Outside of the town of Bapaume this fog had turned the surrounding wind turbines into undefined figures scattered around the landscape. It didn’t take long before we saw the first WWI military cemetery again: in this area they are as small as 72 burials like the Manchester Cemetery we came across just outside Riencourt-les-Bapaume, and they are literally everywhere. Thinking about what happened here a little more than 100 years ago, and seeing all those crosses everywhere has definitely made some of us quite emotional. So much that even a couple of tears have been shed by a member of our group of walkers.

Around lunchtime the sun decided to show itself and all the way to Péronne we were accompanied by lovely temperatures and the sunshine on our skin. We even got a tiny bit sunburned! But what about your legs and feet, you may ask? Well, to be completely honest today has been rather taxing for our bodies. Even the most trained and experienced walkers/pilgrims of our group showed clear signs of fatigue, muscle pain, and sore feet during the last few kilometers. Upon arrival in Péronne the shower was our best friend and dinner was kindly provided by the municipality. With our bellies full and batteries empty we put ourselves to bed to start the recharging process.


Climbing the bell tower of the Rocquigny church and ringing its bells by hand

Walking bare feet on grass after the first half of the stage

We all made it to the end of this longest day so far!


Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)

Luca Faravelli, Project Manager (EAVF)

Didier Morel (FFVF)

Clair Waïss (FFR)

Emile Ney (former mayor of Bucey-lès-Gy, first French town to join the EAVF network)

Mattia Poppa, videomaker