Along the route of the Via Francigena both low cost “pilgrim” accommodation (religious facilities, hostels, guesthouses) and “tourist” accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, accommodation in farms, etc.) are available.
The organisation of accommodation along the Via Francigena is not as plentiful and economical as along the Way of St. James. Even if the situation continues to improve, it is a good idea to organise your accommodation in advance, identifying accommodation suited to your own needs for each leg of the journey.
Bear in mind that often accommodation facilities have only a few beds. We suggest booking at the tourist facilities, while it is not necessary to do so for “pilgrim” accommodation. However, it is advisable to let them know the day before, specifying the time you will arrive since the people in charge of the refuges often do not live nearby and if you don’t tell them you are coming you may find the premises closed.
The average price for a night in one of the refuges for pilgrims is hardly ever more than 20 Euro (minimum 10, maximum even 25 euro for the more “touristy” hostels), but there are facilities (above all religious ones) who provide accommodation on an “offer” basis.
In many cases the offer concept is applied to the letter, and therefore everyone can leave what they can or what they feel is right; in other cases a minimum offer is requested so it is a good idea to find out beforehand by phone. In any case bear in mind that these facilities where an offer is requested survive only thanks to the generosity of pilgrims, and even if the facility is public and they are run by volunteers, their management costs are considerable.
Almost all the pilgrim accommodation is reserved to travellers in possession of a credenziale (pilgrim’s passport). Therefore, this is an indispensable document for anyone wanting to tackle the walk. You can access the information about the facilities either from the following lists or directly from the interactive map, by activating the “Accommodation” level.
You are advised to memorise where the accommodation is situated with respect to the route: sometimes it may be quite a long way for walkers or cyclists! You can also create a list of the accommodation facilities where you want to sleep using the customised guide.
Within the site the accommodation facilities have been named on the basis of the leg of the route along which they are situated (if the name begins with VF01 it refers to the first leg of the Francigena, etc.)
Pilgrim accommodation is almost always in dormitories, with bunk-beds and shared bathrooms.
Our list only includes tourist accommodation facilities that have shown particular interest in offering hospitality to people travelling along the Via Francigena. There are many other facilities not included in the list that can generally be found in the tourist promotion sites of Provinces and Regions.
In Italy you can only camp in areas equipped specifically for the purpose. In general free camping is banned along the whole of the Via Francigena.
The pilgrim’s menu
More and more facilities are offering a specific menu for pilgrims, at interesting prices (for around 12-15 euro you can eat a first and second course and beverage). It is a good idea to ask the accommodation operators where you are staying which restaurants offer such meals. Some hostels allow pilgrims to use their kitchens.