After Valencia, we had a few days back with our friends Fanny and John in Marseillan. While we were there, we decided to send anything we didn’t need anymore back to the UK.

Tom was so excited, he dressed up like the parcel.

Tom with a package containing our bigger rucksacks and camping gear, wrapped in a few bin bags

Why Italy

We decided to walk a bit of the Italian Via Francigena pilgrimage route next.

Pilgrimage routes seem to be a great way to see a country and Italy’s an amazing country to see. It’s also still warmish so the weather should be good for walking.

Pilgrims in northern Europe follow the Via Francigena to get to various holy sites in Rome.

We’re aiming to walk along the route from Lucca to Rome. It’s about 400 kilometres and we reckon we can it do in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Getting there

Getting to Lucca by train was lots of fun. At least it was fun for us because John kindly gave us a lift to Sète. That meant we didn’t have too many connections on the way.

Even with John’s help, our journey ended up involving trains to (in this order):

  • Marseille
  • Nice (where we stayed overnight)
  • Ventimiglia (on the border with France)
  • Genoa
  • Viareggio
  • Lucca

Ventimiglia seems to be the station through which all journeys from the very south of France to Italy go. There aren’t any border checks. You just switch trains.

Fun facts

Genoa is where pesto comes from.

In the early eighties, Monaco (which we passed through on the way to Ventimiglia) had more people in its national orchestra than its army. We recently found out Monaco’s army is now bigger than its band. Disappointing.