Online: Northern California Chapter, Via Francigena Talk

Apr 12, 2023 6:30PM—8:00PM



Event Contact Guy Joaquin | Email


Andy Cohn fell in love with Italy in 2008, when he and his wife, Kate Stewart, did a week-long walking trip through Tuscany, passing (unknowingly at the time) through much of the countryside traversed by the Via Francigena, one of the three great medieval pilgrimage routes that runs from Canterbury, England to Rome.

Since that early trip, Andy and Kate have circled back three times – knowingly this time – to the Via Francigena, covering the 1100 kilometer second half, from Lake Geneva in Switzerland, then following Napoleon’s footsteps up and over the Alps, and continuing down the spine of Italy into St. Peter’s Square in Rome. In this presentation, Andy will recount their adventures for us. In addition to presenting a travelogue, he will focus on the “How to?” logistics – lodging, transportation, the difficulties of the terrain, etc.

Beyond their experiences in Italy, Andy and Kate are Camino veterans. They’ve walked the principal Caminos in Spain, Portugal, and France, and also numerous other long-distance paths in Europe and England. Beyond their jaunts on the Via Francigena, Andy has returned many other times to Italy – to walk other paths, to (try and) learn Italian, to soak up the culture, and especially, to eat and drink.

The Via Francigena is a Camino to die for – mixing the Alps, the intense green Apennines, the golden light of the Tuscan hills, one stunning medieval town after another, and Rome at the end. And did we mention the wine and the food? What’s not to love?

Later in April, Andy and Kate take off for the Robert Louis Stevenson trail in France, with hopes to continue after that into Spain along the Camino Aragonés.