woman walking the via francigena from ivrea to pavia
woman walking the via francigena from ivrea to pavia

Via Francigena: Stage 2, Ivrea to Pavia

Level
2
Distance
126 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 679
CO2 footprint
134 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM320

Welcome to the land of the"chequered sea": every year from March to May the flooded rice fields create a unique scenery, with the water reflecting the Alps on clear days. 

But no matter the time of the year, there is always something to be in awe of: Herons and Egrets are your travel companions as you walk along irrigation channels and between the banks of rivers Sesia and Ticino. 

Your destination is Pavia, a gem of a Francigena city: historic yet contemporary, with a rare cultural riches and a lively soul - the city is also home to an important university, and students swarm the squares and cobbled streets of the old town centre.  

Highlights

  • Admire Mount Rosa which reflects in the “chequered sea” of the flooded rice fields;
  • Get excited every time you see a white eagle take off as you arrive;
  • Visit the basilica of Sant’Andrea in Vercelli, and see how the architectural styles have travelled together with the pilgrims along the Via Francigena. 

Itinerary

Day 1

Ivrea

Ivrea

Your journey begins in Ivrea: you can start with a stroll in the old town centre, a good way to stretch your legs and enjoy the open air museum of modern architecture. 

You sill surely notice the great "Castle of Red Towers", a perfectly preserved fortress standing in the heart of the city: its granduer was meant to symbolize the power of Savoia family, to which was first a defensive fortress and then a modest country house. 

A foodie tip? Order the "Torta Novecento": its traditional recipe is a mystery jealously guarded by the local pastry makers, but it must be some sort of magic. 

Day 2

From Ivrea to Viverone, 20 km

From Ivrea to Viverone, 20 km

And you are off! Today's walk is not so long and really sweet, with ample time to enjoy the tiny gems along the way: the hamlet of Piverone - also known as the "road-village" as it developes around a one and only road crossing the city centre - and the so called "Geisun"; a small roofless church located at the intersection of two country roads.

Fascinating as it looks, the frescoed interiors are the real surprise, an unexpected piece of ancient art surrounded by cultivated fields. 

Your day's destination is Viverone, the perfect place to admire a great sunset on the lake. 

Distance: 20 km

Elevation gain: +451/-389 m

Day 3

From Viverone to Santhià, 17 km

From Viverone to Santhià, 17 km

Your trip continues on quiet country paths, immersed in a blissful silence. Today's highlight is surely the Castle of Roppolo, which offers a stunning view on Viverone Lake and the mountains all around.

If you love a good glass of wine, don't miss a visit to its cellars - they're home to an extensive collection of regional wines. 

You are now walking towards Santhià: the hills soften with every step as you get closer to your day's destination. To celebrate your efforts, indulge in the local kitchen: here the real protagonist is rice, and the most typical thing you can try is called Panissa. Not a light dish, but a hearty one, comfort food at its finest - perfect to recover energy...and if you feel the need of a digestive aid at the end of the meal, a glass of white herb liquor is highly suggested. 

Distance: 17 km

Elevation gain: +181/-304 m

Day 4

From Santhià to Vercelli 27 km

From Santhià to Vercelli 27 km

Today's highlights is the plain of Vercelli, the rice fields kingdom: if you are walking in the right time of the year and the fields are flooded, the chequered sea extends all around you and the the water is painted in shades of lilac and blue. 

Your travel companions are several species of birds; they follow and surprise you at every step, touching the surface of water as they fly or resting near the flooded fields. 

Distance: 27 km

Elevation gain: +94/-145 m

Day 5

From Vercelli to Robbio by train - Robbio to Mortara, 14 km

From Vercelli to Robbio by train - Robbio to Mortara, 14 km

Your day begins with a short train ride from Vercelli to Robbio, along the river Sesia. From this point, you walk through farmlands and wide country roads to Mortara. 

Along the way you can admire the ancient facade of the San Valeriano Monastery and the Romanic church of San Pietro: this point used to represent a regular stop for ancient pilgrims, as they would find hospitality and a warm meal. 

Once in Mortara, don't forget to try the goose salami, a local pecialty and reason of great pride. 

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +44/-64 m

Day 6

From Mortara to Garlasco, 23 km

From Mortara to Garlasco, 23 km

Today's stage is perfect for meditating: your walk follows countryside roads, leads you across forests, farmlands and sleepy villages. A visit to the Sant'Albino Monastery, right outside Mortara, is highly suggested: a mandatory stop for ancient pilgrims, this is the perfect place for setting today's intentions and starting the day on the right foot - literally! 

If meditating is not your thing, you may just be interested in the beautiful mosaic embellishing its altar and in the story of Sant'Albino, suspended between myth and reality. 

Distance: 23 km

Elevation gain: +177/-193 m

Day 7

From Garlasco to Pavia, 25 km

From Garlasco to Pavia, 25 km

Pavia is getting closer, and today's walk is almost as beautiful as your final destination: you'll walk immersed in the Pavese countryside, in an idyllic scenery scattered with trees, rare birds and farms, until reaching the Park of Ticino River. 

Take some time to enjoy this peaceful oasis, rest under the trees, sunbathe on the beaches and meadows along the river, spot squirrels and titmice - but pay attention to the time, as it seems to flow faster here. 

One of the most beautiful cities of the whole itinerary, Pavia boasts a splendid old town centre, where the beautiful facades of palaces and churches guard all sort of artistic treasures; its covered bridge on River Ticino is among the most famous in Italy, and the cobbled streets and lively piazzas of the centre are always filled with university students and locals. 

This is the perfect place to enjoy a celebratory aperitivo - or if you have a sweet tooth, a cappuccino and a slice of Torta Paradiso, a beloved recipes of all Italian grandmas. 

Distance: 25 km

Elevation gain: +145/-162 m

Day 8

Pavia

Pavia

Last day included. Service ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


A soft, quiet and flat section of Via Francigena, among rice fields (if you'd like to see the spectacular landscape of the flooded rice fields, choose to travel between March and May) and Pavia's artistic beauties. This is not the most fascinating or exciting section of the itinerary, but it's suitable for beginners - perfect for testing your legs before facing more challenging sections. 

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • official guide of the route, App
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


B&B Il Tuchino Ivrea
B&B Il Tuchino - Ivrea

“Il Tuchino” Bed and Breakfast is located in the “Borghetto,” the medieval heart of the ancient town of Ivrea and it was recently renovated under the guidance of the architect Annibale Fiocchi, who worked with the well-known architect Olivetti from 1947 to 1964. Rooms are elegant, spacious, comfortable and equipped of air conditioning and free WiFi. 

www.iltuchino.it

Hotel Royal Viverone
Hotel Royal - Viverone

Hotel Royal is right on the shores of Viverone Lake and offers 40 rooms, some of these with view on lake and balcony. Rooms are old-fashoned and basic with bathroom, TV, air conditioning/heating and fridge. All the common areas have free Wifi coverage.

www.hotelroyal.org

Hotel Vittoria Santhià
Hotel Vittoria - Santhià

Hotel Vittoria*** was born in the 30's establishing itself as a historical structure of the city of Vercelli, important crossroads between the provinces of Vercelli, Biella and Ivrea territory. The structure has been restored in 60's and offers rooms furnished in a basic way with bathroom, free Wifi, air conditioning and TV. 

www.hotelristorantevittoria.com

 

Hotel Cinzia Vercelli
Hotel Cinzia - Vercelli

Hotel Cinzia*** was born in 1967 in a rural area and it's located at 15-minute walk to Vercelli city centre. The structure has 25 air-conditioned rooms and characterized by parquet or carpeted flooring. Furthermore some of these have balcony. 

www.hotel-cinzia.com

Albergo Bottala Mortara
Albergo Bottala - Mortara

Albergo Bottala ***  is 50 mt from train station and it has 50 rooms and one suite, all of these with private services. Rooms are well-finished and have TV, free Wifi and some of these have a living room. 

www.ilcuuc.it

Hotel I Diamanti Garlasco
Hotel I Diamanti - Garlasco

Hotel Diamanti is 10 minutes by foot from center fo Garlasco, it offers a flowery garden, a patio and large free parking and rooms with air conditioned and free Wifi. Staff is welcoming and courteous. Rooms are basic and old-fashioned, but these are spacious and quiet. 

www.hotelidiamanti.it

Hotel Excelsior Pavia
Hotel Excelsior - Pavia

The Hotel Excelsior enjoys a central location, in the Railway Station Square, just a short walk from the historical centre of Pavia. Rooms are clean and spacious, but old-fashioned. Breakfast is normal and various. 

www.hotelexcelsiorpavia.com

When to travel


The climate in Northern Italy is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography of the region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas. The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C; the valleys can often seehigher temperatures and 38°C to 40° C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice warm weather. Of course, there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot.Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high. The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn.

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


From any airport, get to the closest railway station and catch a train to Ivrea. Trains are direct from Turin Porta Nuova station, whereas you will need to change in case you are travelling from Milano.

On departure from Pavia, you can reach Milano either by direct train or by bus (www.pmtsrl.it/mappe/).

If you are flying from Turin, you can get there from Pavia by train (change in Milano).

Traintable avavilable on www.trenitalia.com.

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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