Via Francigena, an ancient road and pilgrim route

The Via Francigena runs from Canterbury in England to Rome in Italy, through France and Switzerland. In ancient medieval times it was one of the most important pilgrimage route for whose wishing to visit Rome, the “Holy See” and especially  the tombs of the major apostles Peter and Paul.

The Via Francigena sign

It deserves about 3 months of continuos walking (or a month by cycle) to cross the entire itinerary, much more than the analogue pilgrimage route known as the Road to Santiago and it could be a unique experience in such a modern world.

Our itinerary follows only brief stretches of the route, starting from the village of Aulla in province of Massa, just a couple of km from the highway A15 “Cisa”.

Aulla’s Castle

We start following a secondary paved road direction Bibola, a medieval village that deserves a visit, along its narrow paved roads.


We continue our trip along a dirt road that climbs to the top, than a brief descent in a single track surrounded by typical mediterranean vegetation (from Tuscany we pass to Liguria) brings us to a craddle.

Apuane Alps

The view is fantastic, from the ridge of the Northern Apenine to the Apuane Alps and, most of all, to the Ligure Sea and the little islands in the “Baia dei Poeti”.

Ligure Sea with the Gulf of Poets

We take now a strech of the Via Francigena toward Ponzano Superiore with some difficult passages, but really enjoying.
The village deserves another visit before continuing toward the hills over Sarzana.

An Apuane’s Peak

Now who likes technicals descents will find his field, with 2 tracks really challenging, part of a local enduro race.
From the valley that brings to Sarzana, we overpass a river and start climbing to Carignano and later on to the Pass of Vecchietto.

Near Vecchietto village

Another hard descent will bring us to the village, in this case surrounded by deep vegetation that in some spots will obstacle our passage.

A bucholic single track toward Aulla

From Bibola the last enjoying single track brings us directly to Aulla.


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