Modern day Europe is crossed by ancient medieval pilgrimage and trade routes, travelled by walkers and ramblers on a slow adventure, discovering castles, vineyards and olive trees, delicious food and local wines.
One of the most famous routes in Europe is the Via Francigena – or the route from France how it was called in medieval Italy. Crossing Europe from Canterbury (England) to Rome (Italy), it reaches Santa Maria di Leuca on the very tip of the Italian heel.
The route takes you from Northern Europe to the harbors of the Mediterranean Sea along 3200km, which are manageable in 4 months on foot. Browse the gallery to discover, region by region, some of the most beautiful places along the Via Francigena.
England - Canterbury
Starting at the Via Francigena KM zero – the Canterbury Cathedral – you set off along a gentle path that crosses the countryside on the way to Dover, where your route in England ends with a line of the gorgeous white English coast cliffs.
France - Hauts-de-France
Once crossed the Channel, Via Francigena starts again from Calais, with a first beautiful stage overlooking the North Sea. It will take hundreds of kilometers before you can see the sea again along the route!
France - Grand Est
Grand Est region is ideal to be discovered by bike! Here the Via Francigena winds among beautiful countryside sceneries: fields of wheat and sunflowers, but above all the vineyards where the famous Champagne comes from!
The route of the Via Francigena through Europe not only offers breathtaking landscapes and enchanting nature. It also allows for discovering many jewels of cultural heritage, such as the Cathedral of Saint-Jean in Besanꞔon.
Switzerland – Vaud
The picturesque canton of Vaud is an unmissable place to spend time in nature practicing outdoor activities in the many natural parks present. It is the perfect place for a beginner walk – the route is easy and mostly flat!
Switzerland – Valais
Hiking in Switzerland is just as you would imagine: green! High mountains, meadows and waterfalls make this area one of the most enchanting of the entire Via Francigena. Be prepared for a steep ascent to the Great Saint Bernard Pass – the highest point of the route.
Italy - Valle D'Aosta
Valle D’Aosta marks the Via Francigena’s passage from Switzerland to Italy. The mountains remain faithful travel companions in this border region characterized by Swiss and French influences on the local language and cuisine.
Italy – Piemonte
Piemonte is the region where high mountains slowly slope down to hills rich in vineyards reaching out to the Po Valley. Walking the Via Francigena here means observing ever-changing landscapes and drinking good wine.
Italy - Lombardy
Lombardy is a perfect place to ride a bicycle on the Italian flat land, reaching the Po River and enjoying the views of the rice paddies. Here is a place to taste risotto, a typical KM zero rice meal.
Italy - Emilia-Romagna
Continue your travel along the Italian flatlands to discover Romanesque churches and multitudes of castles. Here it’s a must to taste Parmesan cheese – produced in the province of Parma, it has been pilgrims’ snack for centuries.
Italy - Tuscany
Hilly routes in Tuscany require all your energy, compensating with the almost overwhelming beauty of the surroundings. Here you walk along the postcard cypress landscapes, passing by the cities of arts, medieval villages, and thermal sources.
Italy - Lazio
Via Francigena in Lazio meets the Roman Via Appia, reaching out to the eternal city of Rome. Here you literally walk in the footsteps of the Romans, passing by archaeological sites and parks. Warm welcome in the evening is guaranteed!
Italy - Campania
In Campania, you walk in the Appennini mountains, surrounded by nature. The warm welcoming vibes of local people from Campania will melt your heart and the cuisine won’t leave the stomach empty: try mozzarella cheese and pizza here – you are in the food heaven!
Italy – Apulia
In Apulia, you walk between the olive trees with the blue of the sea on the horizon reaching the final destination of the journey: Santa Maria di Leuca – the terminus of the Via Francigena, Land’s End of south-east Italy, at the very bottom of the heel.
To discover the Via Francigena is to walk a 3200 kms path across England, France, Switzerland and Italy, on the ancient footsteps of medieval pilgrims that walked towards magnificent destinations, such as Rome, Santiago de Compostela or Jerusalem. For more information, refer to the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF).