Rice paddies, and the Ticino River, before arriving in Pavia via the Ponte Coperto.
Today’s walk begins passing over a fertile plain with the countryside that is stunning in its raw simplicity. The landscape here does not have the majesty of the Alps or the vivid colours of Tuscany, but the unobstructed shifts of light as the day progresses are inspiring. This area is another major producer of rice, the route follows alongside many rice paddies with farms standing like an oasis amidst them.
Upon reaching the Ticino River walking along its wide, sandy banks and perhaps stopping for lunch in one of the two riverside cafés. The Via Francigena joins up with the E1 trail today to follow the along the riverbanks and through Ticino Park. The Ticino River is a distinctive shade of blue due to the long time it spends purifying in Lake Maggiore before making its way here.
The destination is Pavia which has a famous covered bridge, Ponte Coperto, which the route enters via. Originally constructed in the 14th century, today’s bridge is a modern copy, due to the original being destroyed by bombing in World War II. As well as the bridge there are an incredible array of artistic and cultural treasures to explore in Pavia. Of particular interest is the Duomo and the Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro.
Water fill points are infrequent outside of the populated area, so be sure to refill your filteration water bottles when you can in each town.
There aren't many restaurants easily accessible along this route, so we would suggest bringing a picnic lunch, as there are plenty of scenic spots to enjoy this at along the way or having a late lunch in one of the restaurants near Pavia alongside the Ticino River.
Osteria della Malora
There are a few sections of the walk on small country roads and along pavements of busier roads today. Where there is no pavement or grass verge, please take extra care. The general rule is that you walk on the same side of the road as oncoming traffic, in order to avoid having your back directly to oncoming traffic. Be prepared to walk in single file and to stay as close to the side of the road as possible. There are a couple of busy road crossings today, so be sure to take extra care at these points.
July and August are the hottest months. At that time of year, the temperatures can rise into the 30 degree Celsius during the day. Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. It is also advised to wear skin protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen. We recommend you inquire about the day’s forecasted weather before setting out on your walks. A useful website for climate information specific to towns and countries is www.weather2travel.com or www.yr.no
Tips and hints
Due to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days. Please use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which will guide you from your location to the hotel address. Go to the ‘Itinerary’ section on the applicable day, open the section about your accommodation and click on the ‘Get Directions’ button.
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
This depends on the time of year you are walking; if traveling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure to bring some layers with you. During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs or a rain poncho are also essential in case of heavy showers. In the heat of the day, sun cream is essential and a sunhat is highly recommended. Otherwise normal hiking gear in a 25-liter rucksack will suit.
The walk today involves well-trodden tracks and rural roads, so a sturdy pair of cushionned, broken-in walking shoes rather than full walking boots should suffice.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food, snacks or water so be sure to bring enough with you; it is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of walking.
Other essential items are blister treatment and first aid kit, insect repellent, biodegradable toilet tissue, and a whistle and torch.
- 16 Waypoints
- 16 Waypoints