Your starting point is Ivrea: the old town centre will delight you with its fine castle and tall tower of Santo Stefano, but do not miss a walk through an open-air museum of modern architecture. For the gourmands, we recommend a break to taste the Novecento cake, a chocolate cake whose recipe is jealously guarded by the town’s pastry-makers.
Today you will relax with a quiet leg, which lets you discover some of the small hidden jewels of the Via Francigena: you will walk under the arch of the tower of Piverone to enter its old village, developed around a road which crosses the centre, and then to see the remains of a fresco inside the “Geisùn“, the ruins of a small roofless church where two country roads cross. Finally, you will arrive in Viverone to end the day admiring the sunset along the banks of the lake.
Today again you will walk along quiet country roads. The treat of the day is Roppolo castle, which will offer you a splendid view over lake Viverone and the morainic amphitheatre of Ivrea. If you love good wine do not miss a visit to the cellars that are home to a collection of regional wines. The hills become gradually lower while you continue towards Santhià. Now you have reached your destination point, you can enjoy the tasty cuisine of the Vercelli area, with its delicious rice and meat dishes, ending on a high note with a glass of white herb liqueur.
The first leg of the journey will take you across the Vercelli plain, alongside the characteristic rice fields. If you are lucky enough to see them flooded, you will be enchanted by the shades of colour reflected in the water, in a landscape unique in its kind: different species of birds will be your walking companions, and will follow you with their flight, skimming over the surface of the water. And if you are curious to discover how the rice is valorised, you can taste the local cuisine in Vercelli: you will have plenty to choose from among first courses, savoury pies and desserts.
Today you get to Robbio on a short train trip from Vercelli, along the Sesia River From there, the countryside of the Lomellina will lead you towards Mortara, over grassy sheep-tracks and wide earth tracks. You will be able to admire the old façade of the San Valeriano Monastery and the little Romanesque church of San Pietro, which once offered hospitality and comfort to the travellers walking along the Francigena: in fact it was near here that the Hospitale was built dedicated to offering hospitality to pilgrims. If you appreciate typical specialities, in Mortara don’t miss the I.G.P. goose salami, a veritable product to be proud of.
The penultimate leg covers country roads, among woods, fields growing crops and little towns. We recommend a visit to the Abbey of Saint Albino, which you will come to just outside Mortara: here ancient pilgrims stopped, and you also will be able to stand in prayer and in meditation before its mosaic-decorated altar and discover the history of Saint Albino, suspended between reality and legend.
The route bringing you to Pavia is particularly attractive: after a long section of countryside typical of Pavia, scattered with groups of woods and farm houses, you will arrive at the Parco del Ticino. You will be able to stop for a rest in the shade of the thick woods, or sunbathe on the beaches or meadows near the river, looking out for great tits and squirrels that run through the trees. Don’t stay too long, however, because a veritable jewel of the Via Francigena: Pavia, awaits you, with its splendid old town centre full of artistic treasures of all kinds. You will end your journey with an aperitif in piazza Vittoria, and if you enjoy sweet things, you will be interested to know that Pavia is the birthplace of the torta paradiso, one of the most popular cakes baked by Italian grandmothers.
Last day included. Service ends after breakfast.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
We choose comfortable 2* and 3* hotels, B&Bs and agriturismi where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
“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.
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.
This B&B is situated in an ancient building in the historic center of Roppolo. It has two large bedrooms with private bathroom. One of this is located on the ground floor and the other on the first floor. Both of these have TV, free Wifi and are beautifully furnished with ancient style, spacious and comfortable.
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.
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.
Hotel San Michele*** 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.
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.
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.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and November 7th.
Arrival in Ivrea
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.
Departure from Pavia
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.
GPS tracks are available on request.
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