The second week crosses the north of Piedmont and finishes in Lombardy, from the Alps to the Pavese plain.
This is the second stage of the Via Francigena, the Pilgrim Route to Rome.The second week crosses the north of Piedmont and finishes in Lombardy, from the Alps to the Pavese plain. There are contrasting landscapes: the Alps above Ivrea, the hills around Vercelli and the wide plain before it. Towns rich in history with ancient medieval towers, basilicas and Renaissance buildings, alternate with the likes of Lake Viverone. Finally, the Sanctuary of Madonna della Bozzola, consecrated to the blessed Virgin Mary and a destination for pilgrims. 7 nights. Total distance: 113 kms/71 miles.
Highlights: Ivrea and Vercelli, Lake Viverone, Piverone Bell Tower, Sanctuary of Madonna della Bozzola.
Terrain characteristics: paths, white roads and secondary asphalted roads. Trekking altitude: between 0 and 345 m, average duration of the stages between 4h and 6h30. Positive difference in height between 0 and 150 m per day.
£655.00 per person based on 2 people sharing.
Single supplement: £115.00.
Solo traveller additional £100.00.
Dinner on 5 nights £115.00 per person
Accommodation is a mixture of 2 and 3 star hotels, country houses (agritourismo) and B&Bs. Sample hotel list: Hotel Crabun Pont St Martin, Aquila Nera Ivrea, Hotel Royal Viverone, Hotel Vittoria Santhia, Al Viaggiator Leggero Vercelli, La Mondina Robbio, Montara (Garlasco) Il Pino.All rooms with private facilities; bed and breakfast service; luggage transfer; eventual transfer as described in the programme; detailed description of the route and informative material.
Any day of the week from April to OctoberNumber of participants: 1 Getting to Pont St. Martin: Nearest airport Turin – Caselle (68 km), Milano Malpensa (121 km), Milano Linate (155 km).Nearest train station: Pont St. Martin Departure from Garlasco: Nearest train station: GarlascoNearest airport: Milano Linate (57 km), Milano Malpensa (91 km),Bergamo – Orio al Serio (104 km), Turin – Caselle (164 km)
Day 1: Pont Saint Martin
The departure point of the first stage is Pont Saint Martin, the little village located on the frontier between Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont, which owes its name to the Roman bridge dating back to the 1st century B.C.Height at departure: 345 m a.s.l.
Day 2: Pont Saint Martin to Ivrea
Crossing the Canavese brings you into Piedmont, winding among countryside areas, hamlets and woods. From the hills located north of Ivrea, you will see distant Montalto castle, a huge fortress with high towers dating back to 1300. Arrive in Ivrea, located on the banks of the river Dora Baltea, in an area which is rich in environmental and geological features, and surrounded by five glacial lakes.You may visit Conte Verde’s Castle located in the city’s historical centre, close to the Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace. San Bernardino’s church has ancient origins and houses a precious collection of frescos representing the life of Christ, painted by Martino Spanzotti.Height at arrival: 253 m a.s.l. – 26.5 km – 7h
Day 3: Ivrea to Viverone
The first part of the today’s stage wanders through the countryside and then across hills with good views over the valley. Continue to Lake Viverone, with crystalline water and rich in uncontaminated plant and wild life. Nearby is the village of Piverone, with an interesting Bell Tower. This village was founded in 1200 and it was completely fortified with walls and defensive towers. Height at arrival: 287 m a.s.l – 22.7 km – 6h
Day 4: Viverone to Santhia
After a quiet walk beside Lake Viverone, continue through woodland to cross one of the last hills before reaching the plain. The first village you meet during the long passage across the Padana plain is Santhià, an agricultural centre where two branches of the Francigena Way join: one towards the Gran San Bernardo Pass and the other one towards the Susa Valley. Worth seeing here is the neoclassical public palace and the Church of S.Agata dating back to the X sec. Height at arrival: 183 m a.s.l – 16.7 km – 5h
Day 5: Santhia to Vercelli
This is the first completely flat stage and it goes for the most part on country tracks in a landscape of fields and farm houses. Reach the city of Vercelli, strategic junction at the cross of two branches of the Francigena Way (Jacob toward Turin and Susa Valley, and Sigeric toward Valle d’Aosta) at the end of this stage – medieval Cavour square is almost surrounded by ancient houses and is overlooked by the medieval Angel Tower. The neoclassical Cathedral is imposing, but most important is the renowned Basilica of Saint Andrew, a masterpiece of the Romanesque-Gothic of North Italy. Height at arrival: 130 m a.s.l – 30.5 km – 7h30
Day 6: Vercelli to Robbio
After a short walk in the countryside, continue along the banks of the river Sesia. The itinerary becomes wooded as you cross the border between Piedmont and Lombardy. Near Palestro, you will leave the river to reach Robbio, an important agricultural and industrial centre on the Pavese plain. Height at arrival: 120 m a.s.l – 23 km – 6h
Day 7: Robbio to Mortara (Galasco)
First you continue across the Pavese countryside to Mortara, battleground of the Franks and the Longobards of King Desiderio, and the home of Salame d’Oca (goose salami). From here we recommend you continue by train to Tromello to reduce the length of this long stage. Height at arrival: 93 m a.s.l – 36 km (the stage can be shorted by taking a train from Mortara to Galasco. The ride is 15 minutes and costs approx. 2 Euro)
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast end of the tour or you can continue towards Pavia if you have booked one more week.