Via Francigena city center of pavia and its cathedral
Via Francigena city center of pavia and its cathedral

Via Francigena: Stage 3, Pavia to Fidenza

90 km
6 days | 5 nights
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 573
CO2 footprint
89 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM330

Like an ancient pilgrim, you are embarking on the ferry that will take you to the opposite side of the Po, the great river that nurtures these fertile plains.

You've just left Pavia, one of the most fascinating cities on Via Francigena - a mosaic of different cultures and histories that have enriched the old town centre with all sort of artistic treasures.

 Happy and inspired, you set off for the jouney ahead: an easy, meditative walk through the great plains, towards a territory where the proverbial Italian hospitality becomes legendary: Emilia. 

Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, Parmigiano Reggiano... this is the local, extremely tasty gold - the result of a welcoming and fertile land, but above all of great passion. But art is just as notable as the food: from the Cistercense abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba to the Fidenza Cathedral, the reliefs of which narrate the history of pilgrimage. A history as old as the world - and you are now part of it. 


  • Enjoy the buzzing energy of the University city of Pavia;
  • Chat with Danilo, the boatman who will take you across the Po;
  • Enjoy the silence in the cloister of the abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba.


Day 1



Your journey begins in Pavia, one of the jewels of Via Francigena: a multifaceted, charming Medieval city perfect to get lost in - which we think is one of the pleasure of travelling. 

Admire the carved altar of the Saint Peter Basilica, discover the wonders that have been enriching the city since Roman Age, have a stroll in the shadow of the Medieval towers and walk across the covered bridge, an elegant runway on Ticino River. 

Above all, enjoy the city: its rich historical and artistic memory graciously blends with a lively and young present, with university students filling the large squares and cobbled streets of the old town centre. 

Day 2

From Pavia to Belgioioso, train back to Pavia, 16 km

From Pavia to Belgioioso, train back to Pavia, 16 km

Ready, set, go! Today you're walking in the flood plain near Pavia. It's a peaceful, very green land, where you can notice rows of trees delimiting steep descents towards the river: these are called river terraces, and are originated from the stream of water eroding the river banks.

On your way, the small Church of San Giacomo: its simple but beautiful facade hides several frescoes dedicated to the life of San Giacomo, which are worth a stop should the church be open. 

Today's destination is Belgioioso: every year its Medieval castle houses events and fairs of all sort, so we suggest that you check to see if there is any when you are visiting. 

Distance: 16 km

Elevation gain: +40/-40 m

Day 3

Transfer Pavia-Orio Litta - Walk from Orio Litta to Piacenza, 22 km

Transfer Pavia-Orio Litta - Walk from Orio Litta to Piacenza, 22 km

Your day begins with a short transfer from Belgioioso to Orio Litta, where today's walk begins. First you walk along the hillside of San Colombano, dotted with vineyards, before reaching the famous Sigerico's crossing: the Transitum Padi. 

Trust the boatman Danilo, every day he carries pilgrims from one side of the River Po to the other, connecting Lombardia with Emilia Romagna. 

You set foot on solid ground, and here is a land of legendary hospitality and great delicacies: a few kilometers along peaceful country roads lead you to Piacenza. 

Here we suggest a visit to the Cathedral, with its special octagonal tower: once you walk across the "Gate of Heaven" you can admire the Romanic interiors and some beautiful 15th century frescoes. 

Dinner will definitely be a highlight! The local specialties are many, delicioius and renowned. If you have no idea what to start with, we suggest that you build an appetite with the local "salumi", cold meats - possibly paired with a glass of Gutturnio wine. 

Distance: 22 km

Elevation gain: +35/-30 m

Day 4

From Piacenza to Fiorenzuola, 30 km

From Piacenza to Fiorenzuola, 30 km

Today's walk is long and peaceful. Recharged with the Piacenza delicacies, you can enjoy a meditative walk along quiet country roads to Fiorenzuola: as small as it may be, this village is filled with art and history - you can visit the San Fiorenzo church and the church of Beata Vergine di Caravaggio before heading to your agriturismo, a countryside oasis where you can spend one of the most peaceful nights of your life. 

If you think that this stage may be too long for you too walk, don’t worry: you can make it shorter by taking brief stretches by public transport. 

Distance: 30 km

Elevation gain: +65/-40 m

Day 5

From Fiorenzuola to Fidenza, 22 km

From Fiorenzuola to Fidenza, 22 km

Your last day of walking leads to Fidenza, where your journey ends in the Cathedral square. 

Along the way, the picturesque Abbey of Charavalle della Colomba: the perfect place to make the trip last a little longer, if you are not ready to stop. 

Here you can admire the beautiful interiors of inlaid woods, or enjoy the silence reigning inside the church for some moments, before continuing your walk and reach your final destination. 

Do you like popular traditions? Then find someone who can tell you a local doggerel dedicated to the ciribiciaccola, the abbey tower's dialectal name. 

Distance: 22 km

Elevation gain: +35/-40 m

Day 6



Last day included. Tour ends after breakfast.


Is this for me?

This is a soft, quiet and flat section of Via Francigena, between the artistic beauties of Pavia and Fidenz, the great gastronomy of Emilia Romaga and the excitment of crossing the river Po.  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. 


What is included

  • 5 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.


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.

Below you see some examples of the facilities used for this trip, but keep in mind that they may vary based on availability in the period. We could therefore book for you structures different from those you see listed here, but of the same category and carefully chosen according to SloWays criteria.

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.

Hotel Euro Piacenza
Euro Hotel - Piacenza

Euro Hotel is located in a strategic position, on one of the main road of Piacenza, close to the city center. Rooms are old-fashioned, but clean and spacious with air conditioning, mini bar, TV and satellite TV with international channels, direct dial telephone, free Wifi. Breakfast is rich and various.

Agriturismo Battibue Fiorenzuola
Agriturismo Battibue - Fiorenzuola d'Arda

The Agritourism is surrounded by green spaces, offers comfortable rooms recently restructured. These have free Wifi, TV and air conditioning/heating. The restaurant offers traditional and high quality courses. Breakfast is normal.

Hotel Astoria Fidenza
Hotel Astoria - Fidenza

The Astoria Hotel is housed in the center of Fidenza, close to the train station. Staff is kind and helpful. Location is clean and comfortable . Rooms are quiet and equipped of air conditioning, TV, free WiFi and direct phone. Breakfast is rich and various.

When to travel

The climate in Centre 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 see higher 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 Bergamo-Orio al Serio (BGY), you can get to either Milano Centrale railway station or to Bergamo railway station by bus. From there, you can get to Pavia by train (with change in Milano Lambrate, if you are travelling from Bergamo).

Check bus connections from Bergamo Orio al Serio (BGY) on

From Milano airports (MXP, LIN), get to the central railway station in Milano, and get a direct train to Pavia.

From Turin airport (TRN) and from Verona airport (VRN), get to the closest railway station, from where you can reach Pavia by train, with change in Milano.

On departure from Fidenza, you can reach Bologna, Milano, Bergamo, Turin and Verona by train (direct if travelling from either Bologna or Milano).  

There are direct busses running from Milano Centrale train station to Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport (BGY), as well.

Check train timetables on

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
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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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
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