via francigena cycling from siena to rome
via francigena cycling from siena to rome

Siena to Rome Cycling Via Francigena

Level
3
Distance
290 km
Duration
9 days | 8 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 1.421
CO2 footprint
199 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSB160

Are you ready to enter a postcard-like landscape? In the first part of this journey you will walk along the legendary dirt roads of Siena for kilometres and kilometres, crossing the Val d’Arbia and the Val d’Orcia, icons of the Tuscan landscape. You will visit wonderful villages like Bagno Vignoni, with its enormous thermal pool in the centre of the square, and Radicofani, whose fortress dominates southern Tuscany.

Once you enter Lazio, you will be amazed by the beauty of Lake Bolsena, and charmed by the ancient paving stones of the Via Cassia, still intact after 2000 years.

But surprises continue, from the enchanting medieval center of Viterbo, with with an entire district dedicated to the pilgrim, through the ancient Etrurian roads, to the Roman amphitheatre of Sutri, completely dug out from the tufo. Then, a beautiful cycle path leads you into the heart of Rome, running along the River Tevere until your destination: St. Peter Square.

If you appreciate good flavours, keep in mind that you will cross the vineyards of the Brunello di Montalcino, one of the best Italian wines, and the production zones of the cacio di Pienza (type of cheese), before entering one of the most important areas for the production of extra-virgin olive oil, between Bolsena and Montefiascone.

Highlights

  • Admire the big termal pool in the center of Bagno Vignoni square;
  • Admire a sunset over lake Bolsena;
  • Walk barefoot on the paving of the Via Cassia in Montefiascone;
  • Get lost at night in the district of il Pellegrino, in Viterbo;

Itinerary

Day 1

Siena

Siena

Your journey will start in Siena, one of the most beautiful towns along the Francigena, famous for its Palio race: you will be able to spend the day walking through its paved streets, looking for coats-of-arms on the walls of the contrade, 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 contrade, 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.

Day 2

From Siena to San Quirico d'Orcia, 54 km

From Siena to San Quirico d'Orcia, 54 km

Let’s hope that the sun will be shining 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 strade bianche (typical dirt roads of the Sienese countryside) 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 once held the reserves of wheat for the Republic of Siena.

From Lucignano you will continue your journey through the Valle dell'Ombrone to Buonconvento. You will cross wall gate and enter the fine old village centre, discovering why its name means "happy fortunate place", before jumping again on your bicycle to continue towards San Quirico over dirt roads and some paved 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.

Distance: 54 Km

Ascent/descent: +650/-490 m

Day 3

From San Quirico d'Orcia to Radicofani, 42 km

From San Quirico d'Orcia to Radicofani, 42 km

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.

Today you will test your strength with a short but demanding leg of your  journey which will take you as far as  Radicofani: however it will definitely be worth it, 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.

Distance: 42 Km

Ascent/descent: +650/-455 m

Day 4

From Radicofani to Bolsena, 55 km

From Radicofani to Bolsena, 55 km

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. 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.

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.

Distance: 55 Km

Ascent/descent: +620/-610 m

Day 5

From Bolsena to Viterbo, 33 km

From Bolsena to Viterbo, 33 km

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 climb up to the Rocca, where you will be enchanted before a boundless view. After descending from the Rocca, you can visit a typical wine bar and taste a glass of Est!Est!!Est!!!, which is even better here because it is km zero.

If you want to spoil yourself a little more, you will be able to enjoy a pleasant stop at the spas of Bagnaccio, recharging your batteries in its thermal waters before proceeding towards Viterbo, the end of your journey. In honour of your 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 !

Distance: 33 Km

Ascent/descent: +545/-420 m

Day 6

From Viterbo to Sutri, 38 km

From Viterbo to Sutri, 38 km

From Viterbo the journey continues towards Vetralla, town in the heart of the ancient Etrurian territory, to later continue through the green countryside of Lazio you come to Sutri, a small town rich in attractions. The Roman amphitheatre, completely dug out from the tufo, is something not to be missed.  Decide whether to sit on the terraces or to get up onto the stage, but as you leave remember to sign the visitors’ register: it is very important for the custodian, and if he is there he will invite you to do so. After this, proceed to the church of Santa Maria del Parto, the tufo walls of which are decorated in well preserved frescoes. Look for the group of pilgrims among the images, depicted in prayer with their sticks in their hand.

Distance: 38 Km

Ascent/descent: +420/-510 m

Day 7

From Sutri to Formello, 34 km

From Sutri to Formello, 34 km

From Sutri we go on towards Campagnano: during the journey you will flank the Mount Gelato Waterfalls, where you can stop for a reinvigorating bath. A panoramic road of the Veio Nature Park will bring you to the gates of Campagnano. Here you can rest in the Venturi Park, the home of a three-hundred year old Yew tree the locals call the “Tree of Death”: but don’t worry, you can sit in its shade without any danger! Get back on the saddle and face the last leg of your journey which separates you from the Eternal City. You will continue through the Veio nature park with its woody hills, before entering the enchanting Valle del Sorbo. Along the way you will be able to admire the sanctuary of the Madonna del Sorbo, but also the old town centre of Formello, with its fine medieval buildings

Distance: 34 Km

Ascent/descent: +536/-590 m

Day 8

From Formello to Rome, 34 km

From Formello to Rome, 34 km

The leg continues across the countryside of Lazio, so close to Rome yet so distant because of its quiet atmosphere. You will have to cross a short section of trafficked roads to reach the cycle path of River Tevere, an enchanting slow path which will lead you to the gates of Vatican City, where you will be able to end your journey in St.Peter Square.

Do not forget to take a triumphant photograph in front of the Basilica, before celebrating the end of the journey freshening up with spring lamb, pecorino romano cheese, and perhaps a delicious maritozzo with cream...you’ve deserved it!

Distance: 34 Km

Ascent/descent: +155/-280 m

Day 9

Roma

Roma

Last day is included. The tour ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


This is the most beautiful section of the Via Francigena cycling route: this trip is for you if you have previous experience of biking trips and a good fitness level, as the ups and downs across the Tuscan hills will definitely test your legs. Entering in Rome through the Tiber River cycling path is a unique, beautiful experience. Renting an E-Bikes makes everything easier and it's highly suggested if this is your first biking trip.

We can rent you a bike, but as with every biking trip you are required to know how to carry out minor repairs on your bike. 

Included


What is included

  • 8 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 2 dinners (Radicofani, Sutri)
  • Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel (max 1 item per person)
  • Travel App
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • Lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • Visits and entrance fees - tips
  • Personal expense
  • Possible sojourn taxes
  • Everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.

Below you see some examples of the facilities used for this trip, but keep in mind that they may vary based on availability in the period. We could therefore book for you structures different from those you see listed here, but of the same category and carefully chosen according to SloWays criteria.

Hotel Chiusarelli Siena
Hotel Chiusarelli - Siena

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.

https://www.chiusarelli.com/

Hotel Palazzuolo San Quirico d'Orcia
Hotel Palazzuolo - San Quirico d'Orcia

Hotel Palazzuolo is situated within a private park of 11 hectares on the edge of the village of San Quirico d’Orcia. The structure is a little bit dated, but rooms are well-furnished and some of these have a balcony with views of swimming-pool or Val d'Orcia. The restaurant is open every day and it offers traditional dishes. 

https://www.hotelpalazzuolo.it/

Agriturismo La Selvella Radicofani
Agriturismo La Selvella - Radicofani

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. 

https://www.selvella.com/

Agriturismo Le Vigne Bolsena
Agriturismo Le Vigne - Bolsena

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. 

https://www.levigne.it/

Hotel Royal Bolsena
Hotel Royal - Bolsena

Surrounded by greenery, Hotel Royal is set 20 m from the shores of Lake Bolsena and it offers elegant rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. Rooms are spacious, well-finished and clean with air conditioning, TV, free Wifi, telephone. Breakfast is rich with savoury and sweet dishes. 

https://hotelroyalbolsena.it/

Hotel Riario Viterbo
Hotel Riario - Viterbo

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. 

www.palazzoriario.it

Agriturismo Montefosco Sutri
Agriturismo Montefosco - Sutri

Agriturismo Montefosco is nestled in the countryside of Lazio a few steps from Rome and surrounded by its hazelnut trees. Room are well-finished, clean and well-furnished with free Wifi, TV, air conditioning/heating. There is quality cuisine and the restaurant offers traditional dishes with local ingredients. 

https://www.agriturismomontefosco.it/

B&B Nonna Loreta Formello
B&B Nonna Loreta - Formello

B&B Nonna Loreta is located in a quiet and comfortable house and it offers a garden and a terrace. Rooms are well-finished and clean with air conditioning/heating, TV, private bathroom and some of these have common bathroom. Breakfast is rich and varied.

www.nonnaloreta.com

Dharma Style Hotel Roma
Hotel Dharma Style - Roma

Dharma Style Hotel, located in the center of Rome, is very close to the main attractions and it is also close to the metro. Rooms are all recently renovated and are modern and beautifully decorated. These are equipped with free Wifi, soundproofing, air conditioning, TV, minibar, coffee/tea maker, telephone with direct line. Breakfast is rich and good.

https://www.dharmagroup.it/

When to travel


The climate in North Italy is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography of the region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas. The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C. The valleys can often seehigher temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon, while June and September normally offer lovely warm weather. Of course there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot. Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are often dry with sunny days, but the chances of rain is higher then.

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


From Bologna Airport (BLQ), reach the central railway station, from where you can take a train to Siena with change in Florence.

From Pisa Airport (PSA), you can take a train to Siena with change in Pisa Centrale station and in Empoli.

From Florence Airport (FLR), take a public bus to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station, and then either a bus or a train to Siena (both direct).

On departure, you can reach Pisa, Bologna and Florence by train. If you are flying from Rome (FCO or CIA), you can reach the airport by bus.

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486

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