The rides follow mostly well asphalted country roads and secondary roads. Near larger towns, the roads are more trafficked.
The journey starts in Aosta, a Roman town located in a valley surrounded by mountains. Here you can contemplate the medieval capitals in the silence of the cloisters of Sant’Orso, or visit the impressive Roman theatre. To end the day, we recommend you take a walk through the alleys of the centre, admiring the high mountain peaks that appear over the roofs of the houses.
Today a private transfer will take you to the jagged peaks of the Great Saint Bernard Pass, where the same Saint Bernard built the first pilgrim hospice: from here you will descend to Aosta along a panoramic road with breath-taking views, pedalling first on a State Road and then through orchards and woods, crossing enchanting villages such as Saint Rhemy and Etroubles.
The itinerary continues across the valley floor, on the cycle path that runs along the River Dora, through castles and vineyards. Along the way you encounter the enchanting Saint Germain castle, with its imposing Midday tower that used to defend the noble De Mongioveto family. From here the itinerary continues to Verrès through breath-taking views.
Entering in Piedmont, the alpine scenery gives way to the gentle Piedmont hills, as ascents and height differences become less and less challenging. You alternate wood trails to typical towns such as Ivrea, with its nice old town centre and the tall tower of Santo Stefano. Continuing the ride you arrive close to the imposing Serra of Ivrea, the biggest European drift, until the nice village of Roppolo where a cozy, family-run bed and breakfast awaits you.
Today you enter the area of rice fields, which get flooded from March to May, creating a landscape of great fascination. The leg is easy and enjoyable, and you exit the philological itinerary of Via Francigena to visit the Bosco della Participanza (Wood of Community), whose name originates from the fact that the locals have been taking care of the wood together. If you appreciate local dishes, try the Panissa!.
Crossing the fertile plains of the Po river valley you leave Vercelli, the Sesia river, the vast rice fields and the region of Piemonte. As you reach the Ticino river you enter Lombardy region. During the renaissance Duque Ludovico Sforza ruled this land and it is said he commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to design Vigevano’s beautiful central square. Migle with the locals as you relax at one of the outdoor terraces on the square. Today’s ride is flat and relaxing giving you ample time to visit this pictureque town
The green way of the Ticino River, among the most important in Italy, lets you immerse in a savage nature, and if the weather is good you may even sunbathe on the beaches or meadows near the river, looking out for great tits and squirrels that run through the trees. You then leave the river to visit the Certosa di Pavia, beautiful monastic complex built in the XIVth century, before arriving to Pavia, one of the “pearls” of Via Francigena: we suggest you end your journey with a nice visit to the wonderful historic center, and discovering the young soul of the city with an aperitiv in Piazza della Vittoria, animated by university students.
This part takes you through the flood plain of the basso Pavese, with its typical flood terraces. You reach the ford of Sigerico, the “transitum Padi”, where walking pilgrims are transported to the other bank: the cycling itinerary allows you to cycle along the river Po until Piacenza, entering gate to Emilia Romagna, a land of great hospitality famous for its food and wine delicacies. Here you will be able to taste the famous charcuterie, washed down with a glass of Gutturnio wine, and pass through the Porta del Paradiso to discover the Romanesque interiors of the Basilica.
Today’s quiet, flat leg leads you to Parma: along the way do not miss a visit of the Cistercian abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba, where you can stand in thought for a few minutes in the silence of the cloisters or admire the carved wooden interiors of the church. The ride continues among the Parma hills, a foretaste of Tuscan mountains, until arriving to the final point of your trip: Parma, the Italian province boasting the largest number of PDO and PGI gastronomic products. A great place to celebrate the end of your trip!
The trip ends after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights or other optional services with us.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
We choose comfortable 3* hotels, farmhouses and B&Bs 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.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.
From any airport, get to the closest railway station. Torino, Milano and Geneva are all connected to Aosta by train (not direct).
On departure from Parma, you can reach Torino, Milano and Geneva by train.
Check train timetables on www.trenitalia.com.
Customized ELIOS, Aluminium bike
Bianchi Sempre Pro
E-BIKE Customized Peugeot
GPS tracks are available on request.
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