Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ciao Bella Italia!

Ciao, prego!  Hello and welcome to my blog about Walking the Via Franigena (VFG).   The VFG is a pilgrimage trail that starts in Canterbury, England and winds its way 1900 km through France and the mountains of Switzerland, finally finishing at St Peter's Square in Rome.  About 1000 years ago, it was the major medieval pilgrimage route. Today, the VFG is a lesser known trail than the Camino de Santiago in Spain, but is slowly gaining popularity.  Being a working person, I don't have time to walk all 1900 km, so my goal is to tackle about 650 km from Fidenza (near Milan) to Rome, over about 4 weeks.  I hope to have time for a side trip to Pisa, as well as the occasional rest day.

The inspiration for this walk comes largely from the fact that I have exhausted (and been exhausted by) most of the major trails in Spain.  The fact that I speak almost no Italian, that I have been warned repeatedly about charming Italian men who like to pinch the bottoms of Canadian blondes and that I have very little information about the trail itself makes the prospect of walking there ever-so-slightly terrifying, but I trust that it will all work out somehow.  And besides, everyone I talk to says that Italy tells me it is fantastic, despite the bottom pinchers... Bellisima, in fact.  D-day is May 31, when I fly to Milan.  From Milan I will get a train about 100 km to the south to my starting point, Fidenza,  where I plan to spend the night in the Monastery of Padri Cappuccini.  I know, it sounds a bit like a coffee house.  Lets hope they serve up something nice in the morning!

So, if you are interested sharing a little walkabout in Italy without the discomfort of blisters, carrying a 10kg backpack or the insomnia associated with sleeping in noisy hostel rooms with 10 or 20 other people, check in from time-to-time.  Feel free to share the blog with anyone who you think might enjoy it.  If you have a Gmail address, and want to be alerted to postings when I make them, you can also sign up to be a follower.

Ciao ciao.... Miranda


  1. Imagine and old woman and a creamy labradidn't ( confined to bedrest). ( the didn't not the old woman). Enjoying every word of your adventures..great pics as well. Hugs. Lynda

  2. Hi Miranda, Good to know that you have arrived safe and sound, it will take a day or two to adjust, so do not push yourself.
    Hope the swelling from fluid retention has left your legs by now, and you have had time to rest and catch your breath. It is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse today, Just watch out for the bottom pinchers. You pinch First and take them by surprise.
    Enjoy yourself... Eat the strong SUN.
    I made a pot of Split Pea and Mint soup. Used Coconut Butter instead of Olive Oil, it turned out great. love, ROISIN.XX

    All is well here.