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Fornovo to Massa The Francigena Way Section 4

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote about the encounter with the Italian range of Apennines in the masterpiece "Journey to Italy": "The Apennines are for me a wonderful piece of creation. The great plain of the Po region follows a chain of mountains which rises from the bottom, to close the continent to the south between two seas. [...] It's such a bizarre tangle of mountain walls, close to each other, which often can't even tell which way the water flows. ». There's no better way to describe the variety of the landscape of this part of the Via. After the Apennines you'll meet the Apuan Alps, famous for the marble mines, used by the Roman Empire for building villas and by Michelangelo and Donatello. From the highest point of the hike you'll see the Mediterranean.
- The wild Apennines range, the "green heart of Italy"
- The old villages of Lunigiana region such as Pontremoli and Sarzana
- The excellent local food and wine

Daily itinerary

DSC02578Day 1: Arrival in Fornovo
Individual arrival in Fornovo . Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel*** in Fornovo. Meals (D)

PaviaDay 2: Fornovo - Cassio (4h30 / 5 hours hiking, +1030mt -385mt, 20 km)
From Fornovo you enter the Apennine mountain range. The landscape is more hilly and at the distance you can see the high pastures. Passing the "Alpe Bardonis", a very important place for resting and hospitality during the pilgrimage to Rome. The tiny and beautiful village of Cassio on the wild "Val Baganza". Dinner not included and overnight stay in B&B in Cassio. (B)
DSC02594Day 3: Cassio - Berceto (4 hours hiking, +300mt -200mt, 10 km)
Today you'll reach the highest point of the journey, the "Cisa Pass". On clear days you can see the Mediterranean! Hiking in centenary forest of chestnut and beech, shelter for the wolves and the deer. The small village of Berceto is known for its cathedral of the XII century and its mushroom production. Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel in Berceto. ( B-D)
piacenzaDay 4: Berceto – Pontremoli (7h30 +1148mt / -1763mt, 28 km)
Leaving the Emilia region entering the Tuscany one, in the first village in Lunigiana. Along your way lovely bridges and villages, built of stone and local wood. Tiny squares, medieval churches and fountains, will take you back in time, breathing a truly pilgrim atmosphere. Located on the banks of the river Magra, Pontremoli offers one of the most beautiful historical centres of Italy and so much culture. Dinner not included and overnight in B&B in Pontremoli.( B)
IMG 9417Day 5: Pontremoli – Aulla (6h30 +519mt / -689mt, 29 km)
Today you will discover the valley of the river Magra. You will pass near by the villages of Villafranca in Lunigiana and Terrarossa. Along the way, many castles of the noble Malaspina family enrich the landscapes. Before reaching Aulla you will pass the abbey of St. Caprasio which dates from the 9th century. Dinner not included and overnight stay in B&B in Aulla ( B)
DSC02599Day 6: Aulla - Sarzana (6h30 hours hiking, +500mt / -500mt, 18 km)
Aulla was entirely destroyed during the bombing of the Second World War. This village on the shore of the Serchio river, has been proudly rebuilt by its inhabitants. During the hike in the pastures you'll have your first chance to see the amazing Alpi Apuane mountain range. Dinner not included and overnight stay in B&B in Sarzana. ( B)

Fidenza-Town-Hall-Garibaldi-Obelisk-2012Day 7: Sarzana - Massa (6 hours hiking, +400mt -400mt, 24 km)
Sarzana gives its celebrity to the marble of the mines in the Apuan Alps. From Michelangelo to Botero, the most important sculptors ever came here to create from the "perfect marble"...Along the hike to the town of Massa, you have the opportunity to visit the ancient Roman port and theatre of Luni. End of the tour
In Massa you can book an extra night in hotel (option) or continue walking on the next part of Via Francigena
Note meals: B (Breakfast); L(lunch); D (dinner)

Skill level: medium, 4,30 to 6h30 hours walking each day, well marked large and paved paths and wooden trails. Prior hiking experience is recommended.

Accommodation: 6 nights in hotel ***/**, and B&B based on twin/triple ensuite room

Equipment: trekking shoes, wind and water proof jacket, hat and gloves, bathing suit, sun glasses and sun cream.

Price per person 1230 €
2 people in double room 1230 €
3 people in triple room 1080 €
Single room supplement 120 €
Single traveller surcharge + 240 €
Supplement for departures during Easter + 40 €
Extra night in B&B in Massa double/single room 40 € /50 €

- 6 nights' accommodation with B&B treatment
- Luggage transfer from day 2 to day 7
- Dinners included as described in the program
- 24 h Phone Assistance in case of emergency
- Maps, road book and description of the tour

Not included:
- All kind of beverages and personal items
- All lunches (about 5€ for each picnic lunch)
- Dinners not included in the program
- Transfer to the first accommodation in Fornovo on day 1
- Tourist tax where required (about 2€ per day per person)
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Location Emilia and Tuscany

italia emilia toscana

Trips note: MOTVFUS4TI

Destination: Emilia Romagna and Tuscany
Travel Style: self-guided walking holiday
Interest: Pilgrim route and local gastronomy
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Departures: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Group size: from 1 person
Airport: Milan and Bologna