Your journey will start in Siena, one of the most beautiful towns along the Francigena, famous for its palio: you will be able to spend the day walking through its paved streets, looking for coats-of-arms on the walls of the contradas, or climbing the Torre del Mangia to enjoy a unique view over the roofs of the town; not to be missed is a visit of the duomo, which will impress you with its amazing black and white columns. If you are lucky you will be able to witness a festival in one of the contradas, and see the work of the skilled flag-throwers, before sitting down at a table in Piazza del Campo to enjoy a plate of pici all’aglione for dinner, admiring the illuminated Palazzo Pubblico.
Let’s hope that the sun will be shinning during the first day of your journey, because the Crests of the Val d’Arbia offer unforgettable views: after saying goodbye to Siena, resting on the hills on the horizon, you will travel along the typical dirt roads of Siena as far as the fortified village of Lucignano, with its fine Church. At the gates of Monteroni d’Arbia you will be able to admire the impressive Grancia di Cuna, a fortified farm which held the reserves of wheat destined to the republic of Siena.
From Lucignano you will continue your journey through the Valle dell’Ombrone to Buonconvento. You will cross the gate of the walls and enter the fine old town centre of the village, discovering why its name means “happy fortunate place”: you will walk through the picturesque streets, where life is lived quietly following the slow rhythms of a provincial village, and if you love art, you will be able to admire the works of some of the most famous Sienese painters in the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia.
Today your journey will take you towards San Quirico, over dirt roads and some asphalted ones: these however will be compensated by the beautiful views of the Val D’Orcia, among hills tinted with charming shades and scattered with vineyards and cypress trees. At San Quirico you will stand enchanted before the gate of the Collegiata, trying to recognise the various architectural styles that blend into its decorations, before enjoying a rest among the green hedges of the Horti Leonini, a fifteenth century garden.
You will continue your journey across the fabulous views of the Val D’Orcia: just beyond San Quirico you will enter a timeless world visiting Vignoni Alto, and you will be able to enjoy a reinvigorating rest in the thermal waters of Bagno Vignoni. The other pearl of the day is Castiglione, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, which you will pass close by as you travel across one of the most beautiful panoramic sections of the whole Via Francigena.
Today you will test your strength with a short but demanding leg of your journey which will take you as far as Radicofani: stick it out, because admiring the view from the Radicofani fortress, tired but satisfied, will repay all your efforts. You will also be able to visit the Pieve di San Pietro, a little jewel dating back to the thirteenth century, and take an evening walk in its old town centre, admiring the magic of the illuminated Fortress.
From Radicofani you will walk towards one of the most exciting sections of the Via Francigena, leaving the fortress behind you and travelling along the old Via Cassia, surrounded by scenery of infinite hills dominated by Monte Amiata. Through the valley bottom of the Val di Paglia and following the route of the Cassia nuova you will climb for the last time before reaching Acquapendente, the northernmost municipality of Lazio. You will pass through the Porta della Ripa before entering its old town centre. You will be able to walk in silence in the Romanesque crypt beneath the Basilica del Santo Sepolcro, among decorated capitals and arches: where, according to tradition, some stones bathed in the blood of Christ are supposed to have been kept.
If you feel like this stage may be too long for you to walk, don’t worry: you can make it shorter with brief stretches by public transportation.
Your journey will continue gently as far as the first views of Lake Bolsena: from here you will descend into a volcanic crater and you will continue along dirt tracks, alternating thick woods with meadows scattered with olive trees, as far as Bolsena. If you are curious to see proof of the miracle of the Corpus Domini, for which Bolsena is famous, in the Cappella del Miracolo some marble slabs stained by the blood pouring from a Host in the thirteen century are kept. If, instead, you are more interested in the typical cuisine. you can taste the products offered by the lake, such as the Sbroscia, a typical soup made from lake fish and tomatoes.
You will continue through woods and olive groves, on a route that will offer constant views of the lake: you will cross an area famous for the production of Extra virgin olive oil, which we recommend you taste on the a piece of fragrant local bread, before arriving in Montefiascone: not to be missed, a climp up to the Rocca, where you will be enchanted before a boundless views. After descending from the Rocca, you can go into a typical wine bar and taste a glass of Est!Est!!Est!!!, which is even better here because it is km zero.
We return to travelling along the ancient paved road of the Via Cassia, in a leg of our journey that takes us over hills dotted with charming views over Montefiascone and Viterbo; you will be able to enjoy a pleasant halt at the spas of Bagnaccio, recharging your batteries in its thermal waters before proceeding towards Viterbo, the end of your journey. In honour of our trip, do not miss visiting the picturesque pilgrim’s quarter, before admiring the splendid Palazzo dei Papi and enjoying the silence of the Longobard cloisters of Santa Maria Nuova. And to end on a sweet note, celebrate the end of the journey with the delicious local frittellacce!
Last day is included. Service ends after breakfast.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
We choose comfortable **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
The three-star Hotel Chiusarelli is located in the city centre of Siena, finds its natural setting in a neoclassical villa built around 1870. The structure has been completely renovated in 2013. Rooms are spacious and clean and these offer bathroom with shower or bathtub, hairdryer, air conditioning/heater, telephone, Wi-Fi, TV with Sky Vision. The Hotel has no lift. High quality breakfast.
Hotel Urbano V is situated in a very tranquil position, in perfect balance with the architecture of the historical centre. Rooms are well-finished, clean and comfortable. These offer TV satellite, safe, air conditioning, free WiFi. Breakfast is rich and good.
Hotel Riario is located in the center of Medieval Viterbo, in a builiding of the 16th century. Rooms are furnish in elegant way, comfortable and well-finished. These offer TV, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning. Breakfast is good and rich.
The Hotel is surrounded by a relaxed and pleasant environment. Rooms are small, but clean. These are furnished in every detail while maintaining the typical Tuscan style with beams and wood trim. In some rooms you can admire the beautiful Tuscan landscape. Free Wifi, air conditioning, TV.
Hotel Il Ghibellino*** is located in a strategic position near Crete Senesi and Val D'Orcia Park. Rooms are spacious with free Wifi, TV, air conditioned, telephone. Breakfast is basic.
Set in the city centre of San Quirico d’Orcia, Affittacamere l'Orcia is a few steps from the Horti Leonini gardens. Rooms have free Wifi, heating (no air conditioned), TV and elegant furniture. Staff aren't present in the structure, but You can advise them by phone. Breakfast is good.
Il Vecchietta is a restored stone house, set in the historic centre of Castiglione d'Orcia that offers a garden with BBQ facilities and features rustic-style rooms with exposed wood-beamed ceilings. Featuring mountain views, rooms are a little bit old-fashioned but they are comfortable and clean. The owner is helpful and friendly.
Set between 2 rolling hills in the heart of the Val D’Orcia Valley, Agriturismo Selvella is a renovated Tuscan country house Radicofani 3 km away offering typical rustic rooms and a summer pool. The location is quiet and totally surrounded by nature. Rooms are comfortable and cozy with free Wifi, air conditioned and some of these have a view overlooking tuscany countryside or Radicofani. Owners are hospitable and helpful. Quality breakfast and cuisine.
Hotel Toscana is situated in the center of Acquapendente, a few steps away from main sites. Rooms aren't so much large, but well-furnished in a simple way. Cuisine is good and appreciated.
This agritourism is just 250 metres from the centre of Bolsena and it has a nice view of the Bolsena Lake. Rooms are spacious and well appointed. These offer flat tv, free WiFi, air conditioning, heating, independent bath and shower and some with private entrances. Breakfast is rich and various of sweet and savoury food.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.
GPS tracks are available on request.