Walking from Firenze to Roma!
June 6, 2009 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Calling all Italians: Walking from Firenze to Roma, advice needed!

This is what I have so far: Route

Firenze and Roma are the only fixed points. I'm planning to take a train from Firenze to Arezzo, the rest of the journey will be taken on foot. Here is a rough idea of the sorts of things I'm interested in seeing:

2) Arezzo: Basilica of San Francesco, Basilica of San Francesco, Casa Vasari, Vasari Loggia
3) Urbino: Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Raphael's house (I know Urbino is a massive detour, but the artistic pull is to strong to resist)
4) Assisi: Basilica of San Francesco (very excited about this)

I'm spreading this over about 3 weeks. I can easily walk 30 miles a day on the flat, but once I get into the Apennines it will probably be more like 15, especially with the heat.

I'm looking for any advice on how to improve this route - places I've missed, places not worth visiting, sections I should take by train. All I care about is seeing beautiful art, and getting high into the mountains. I would love to know about any lesser known villages of that 'Renaissance spirit'. Also any advice on good routes through the Apennines to Roma would be very useful, do you have footpaths in Italy?

A few practical questions:
- will anyone mind me camping in the mountains? I pitch late and pack up early, never leave a trace, and camp above 600m. In the UK this is never a problem.
- is there plenty of water in the mountains during the summer months?
- will I have any trouble finding food shops in the mountain villages?
- long shot: are you allowed to light camp-fires?
- given that I'm 18, and that I don't speak great Italian, will I be well received by Italians in those villages off the tourist route?

Anything else I should know? Religious festivals? Mountain hostels? Whatever you can think of, highly appreciated!

Thank you.
posted by vespr1610 to Travel & Transportation around Italy (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My number one worry would be water, especially "intermittent" streams, which might only run at the very height of winter given the intense heat of the summer. There's also this book.

Also: wild boar?
posted by mdonley at 2:38 PM on June 6, 2009

Also, Google Maps does walking directions - here's an Arezzo-Urbino-Assisi-Roma walk, though examine the map closely as it's only a beta version.
posted by mdonley at 2:41 PM on June 6, 2009

Wow. That's ambitious. Buona fortuna :) That said:

long shot: are you allowed to light camp-fires?

Please don't. I'm sure you're quite responsible, but Italy in the summer months has a nasty problem with fires from both natural causes and man made, be they accidental or arsonists.

As for the other logistical aspects of your question, I'd try contacting TrekkingItalia or other similar organizations.

As far a being welcomed, as long as you learn the basic travel phrases (please, thank you, good day/evening etc) and make an effort to use them, you should be fine.
posted by romakimmy at 1:20 AM on June 7, 2009

ambitious indeed! sounds more fun than sightseeing in the cities. I dont have any particular advice, but you might want to google "via francigena" (for example http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_Francigena and http://www.viafrancigena.com/), as it most relates to your itinerary..

if you do get the the viterbo area id stop for a while for some thermal baths - but maybe you're not so decadent yet.

buon viaggio!
posted by 3mendo at 2:47 AM on June 7, 2009

It's a wonderful, ambitious idea and I envy you a bit. That said, I walked my fair share in these woods and I think such a thing should be extremely (extremely as in: I don't want to hear about your remains being found in the woods - and unfortunately it happens sometimes) well researched and planned in advance and you definitely should not even be thinking of doing it alone.

There's lots of footpaths, but most of them are not well cared for, if at all. You should contact the CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) which maintains and marks some of them. It's organised by region, so you should check with the Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Lazio sections. You might also be crossing several parks and reserves, so further information can be gathered from there.

The GEA (Grande Escursione Appenninica) runs along the Apennine ridge from Ceparana to the Bocca Trabaria pass, after that is part of the Sentiero Italia and the European walking route E1 until Castelluccio di Norcia. Also the FIE (Federazione Italiana Escursionismo)

Also, your itinerary is definitely too long for three weeks alone, purely in terms of distance. You're A realistic, yet still very optimistic estimate might be a month and a half.

My advice: research very deeply an area of interest, maybe a segment of your planned route, catch a low-cost flight *with a friend*, walk, return home, repeat. I'll be happy to help with more specific indications.
posted by _dario at 4:17 AM on June 8, 2009

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