Via Francigena in retrospect

I will use this site to recollect my thoughts about having walked the Via Francigena, a pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. I walked from Ronchamp, France, to Rome, Italy from May 22nd to July 22nd, 2010. I believe I walked about 1700 kilometers.
I’ll go through the steps or stages I took, remembering what I can, conveying it using words and photographs.  Strangely, almost every morning in that time after having awoke but before really feeling my body, I think about some section of the walk- the minutia of a moment.  I’d like to share and recall these moments.


About Tarver

I am an architect living in Atlanta Georgia. In the summer of 2010 I walked from Ronchamp, France to Rome, Italy, about 1200 miles. I walked about 20 miles a day for 62 days. This blog is to recount the steps, stories, and images from that walk, with the intent of providing some useful information for those thinking about making a long walk, and those for those who wouldn't dream of it.
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7 Responses to Via Francigena in retrospect

  1. Sil says:

    YAY! I’m looking forward to reading about your VF walk and have posted the URL on the VF @ Yahoo group so that wanna-be VF pilgrims can learn from your experience.

  2. Andrew says:

    Good luck with the blog; I cycled the Eurovelo 5 during the summer from the UK to southern Italy via Rome (often along the route of the VF, especially in northern Italy). Look forward to reading your posts. Mine are at
    Best wishes

  3. Michelle Waldorf says:

    I have walked the camino to Santiago de Compestella in 2009 and am preparing to walk the Via Francigena April 2011. All blogs and information are useful but the Via Francigena is a less travelled path so I was thrilled to see your blog. Thank you for sharing. I am a South African who lives in Melbourne Beach, Florida USA.

    • Tarver says:

      Thanks for writing. I hope your walk on the VF is fun. I have not walked the camino de santiago, but I walked with some others who did. They seemed to think the VF was harder because there are a lot of locations where it is not very well marked. I will try to give route specifics as I recall them. I am trying to recount my trip day-by-day, and will list places I stayed and tried to stay, places on the route where I got lost, etc. I hope this is helpful. If you have specific questions, please ask.

    • Sil says:

      Hi Michelle – If your timing is right you can walk over the Gr St Bernard Pass after they have cleared away the snow (usually mid-June). If not, you’ll either have to hire snow shoes in Osieres, which can be handed in on the other side of the mountain, or you’ll have to take transport through the tunnel. There might still be ice sheets and little glaciers covering the paths so on the down walk into Italy, you might have to take to the long and winding road!
      I hope you’ll also be keeping a blog for us to follow!

      • Pat Desmond says:

        I will lead a group of middleaged walkers from Viterbo to Rome in April of next year. We are seasoned walkers with a small to medium budget, any advice or assistance would be appreciated as I find it difficult to get info on the web.

        Many thanks

      • Tarver says:

        Good luck on your walk! Viterbo is a great town- my first suggestion is that you take the bus out to the terme, or hot bath, as it is very pleasant.
        From Viterbo there are many options for accomodations. The places run by the church are very nice, especially in Campagnia de Roma. I walked into Roma on a Sunday, even though everyone says it is too dangerous. Listen to them- it is a harrowing walk, even early on a Sunday. However, you do walk in on the Via Triumphale, through a park on one of the hills and it is fantastic.
        I made the walk from Viterbo to Roma in 3 days. The first of those was very beautiful- through fruit orchards, staying in the hill town of Sutri at a nunnery. The second night in Campagnia de Roma at the villa and the third night in Roma. The nuns will let you stay 2 nights in Roma.
        Good luck on your walk.

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