Walking the Via Francigena Pilgrim Route - Part 2
Lausanne and the Great St Bernard Pass to Lucca
Guidebook to the Via Francigena pilgrim route from Lausanne to Lucca. Starting at Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), this 725km section crosses the Alps at the historic Great Saint Bernard Pass, descends the Po Valley, then climbs to cross the Cisa Pass into Tuscany. Described in 32 stages, with information on facilities and pilgrim hostels.
SeasonsSuitable for walking in spring, summer and autumn. The Great Saint Bernard Pass is fully open to hikers only in August and September.
CentresLausanne, Martigny, Great Saint Bernard Pass, Aosta, Ivrea, Vercelli, Pavia, Piacenza, Pontremoli, Pietrasanta, Lucca.
DifficultyEach stage is graded for difficulty (1-4). A few mountainous stages include steep and slippery slopes. No special gear is required to walk the Via Francigena in season, but off-season crossings of the Great Saint Bernard Pass require winter mountain gear and careful attention to changing mountain conditions.
Must SeeDazzling Lake Geneva, the 1500-year-old Abbey of Saint-Maurice, the spectacular 2469m Great Saint Bernard Pass across the Alps, the emerald peaks of Italy's Aosta Valley, well-preserved medieval cities of Vercelli, Pavia and Piacenza, spectacular views from the Monte Valoria at the Cisa Pass, resorts of the Lunigiana coastline and the charming walled city of Lucca.
An indispensable guidebook to walking the Via Francigena between Lausanne and Lucca. This is the middle section of the pilgrim route connecting Canterbury to the Vatican City in Rome, and passes through some of the Via Francigena's most beautiful and dramatic scenery. Starting at Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) in Switzerland, the 725km route crosses the Alps into Italy at historic Great Saint Bernard Pass, descends through the Aosta Valley to the Po Valley, then climbs again to cross the Cisa Pass into Tuscany.
The route is described in 32 day stages averaging around 23km a day, but can easily be customised to other itineraries. It is suitable for any averagely fit walker, although there are a few steep mountainous stages. Relevant variants are described, including options to make use of boat, bus and train connections, and it is possible to cycle all or part of the Italian portion of the route.
In this guidebook, full stage directions are accompanied by maps showing the route line and the facilities available at different locations. Accommodation listings give invaluable information on low-cost pilgrim hostels and where to stay. There are useful city maps for Lausanne, Aosta, Ivrea, Pavia, Piacenza and Lucca, and a stage planning table lists intermediate distances between accommodation providers, so you can customise your own walking schedule. One of three volumes covering the complete Via Francigena.
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The Reverend Sandy Brown
Sanford 'Sandy' Brown is a long-distance walker and ordained minister who lives in Lucca, Italy. He was born in California and his great-grandparents migrated to San Juan Capistrano from Mexico in the 19th century. Inspired by The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, he trekked the Camino de Santiago in 2008 and since then has walked over 14,000km on pilgrim trails in Europe and the U.S. He records his pilgrim adventures in his popular blog at https://caminoist.org. In 2020, Sandy joined Cicerone Press as Associate Publisher for Caminos and Pilgrimages.View author profile
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