From the harsh Alpine peaks to gentle hills, ending in the tranquil agricultural plain of Piedmont: the first section of the Italian Via Francigena is a kaleidoscope of colors and landscapes, a condensed version of the ever-changing way to Rome.
Breath the cool Alpine air, here is where your journey begins: depending on season, you can choose to start from the Great Saint Bernard Pass - where the ancient hostel has been hosting pilgrims for more than 1000 years - a heavenly scenery of staggered peaks and a crystal-clear lake. The other starting point is Aosta, proudly bearing its ancient Roman identity.
This journey allows you to discover the different souls of Italy: the tranquil rhythms of its provincial towns, the lively atmosphere of its villages nestling between the Alps and the modern charm of its industrial cities. You will taste little-known but surprising local dishes, from cheese from the pastures to rice specialties, accompanied by the refined wines of the Val d’Aosta.
From here, every day will be different. Follow ancient Rus among shady woods and streams, walk through vineyards and taste the delicious wines that they produce; cross Medieval bridges and ancient Roman roads immersed in the woods, until reaching the soft hills of Piedmont and Ivrea, with its open-air museum of Modern architecture.
Between June and September, it is also possible to add two more stages at the beginning of the trip, starting the walk in Col Grand St Bernard (on the border with Switzerland):
Col Grand St Bernard-Etroubles (13,5 km)
Etroubles-Aosta (15,5 km)
This itinerary is carried out with funding of Routes4U, joint programme between the Council of Europe and European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Sloways and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Routes4U joint programme.
- Walk bare-footed over the paving stones of the Ancient Roman Road of the Gauls;
- Look at the perfect construction of the terraced vineyards of Donnas.