Essential information (important notes)

The Via Francigena is in many aspects different from the well-known European pilgrim roads going to Santiago de Compostela. It consists of 3 main sections, which are diverse. For your information some important things to note:


In general, the road is passing through smaller settlements. You will encounter bigger towns very rarely (especially on the French and Swiss section). You won’t find official albergues in France and Switzerland on Via Francigena. In Italy there are some pilgrims’ hostels, but not as frequently as in Spain on the Camino. Arrange and plan this part of your pilgrimage thoroughly beforehand. For more detailed information see FAQ.

Crossing the Alps

For passing through the Alps, planning and apropriate conditions are needed. For this important issue see: Crossing the Alps.


The French and Swiss sections are not signed. You will need to use GPS, map or guidebook for orientation.The GPS data and Google Earth data of the complete road can be downloaded from our website. There are signs on the Italian section, but they are diverse and misleading sometimes. For more detailed information see FAQ.

Language knowledge:

There are only a few pilgrims on the French and Swiss sections of Via Francigena. In most cases pilgrims should arrange their own food, accommodation and find the way themselves. It is indispensable to speak the language of the given area. Sometimes it is enough to know a few sentences, but the better you speak French, the more possibilities you will find out. For more detailed information see FAQ.


On the French and Swiss section of Via Francigena pilgrims’ menu is not known. It is rarely known in Italy also. This way you should prepare your own food. For more detailed information see FAQ.


In general Via Francigena is very different from all known pilgrim roads. You need to preplan your way very thoroughly before you start walking.