walkers on Via Francigena path between Siena and Viterbo
walkers on Via Francigena path between Siena and Viterbo

Via Francigena: Stage 7, Siena to Viterbo

Level
3
Distance
170 km
Duration
11 days | 10 nights
period
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 1.073
CO2 footprint
195 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM370

Are you ready to walk in the middle of postcard-like scenario? In the first part of this journey you will walk along the legendary strade bianche ("white roads", 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, before visiting the charming old town centre of Viterbo.

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

  • Look behind you from the crests of the Val d’Arbia, to admire the Siena skyline;
  • Enjoy the thermal pools of Bagno Vignoni;
  • Admire a sunset over lake Bolsena;
  • Walk barefoot on the paving of the Via Cassia in Montefiascone.

Itinerary

Day 1

Siena

Siena

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 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 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.

Day 2

From Siena to Lucignano, 21 km

From Siena to Lucignano, 21 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 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 once held the reserves of wheat destined to the Republic of Siena.

Distance: 21 km

Elevation gain: +50/-200 m

Day 3

From Lucignano to Buonconvento, 13,8 km

From Lucignano to Buonconvento, 13,8 km

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 countryside village, and if you love art, you will have the chance to admire the works of some of the most famous Sienese painters in the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d'Arbia.

Distance: 13,8 km

Elevation gain: +120/-150 m

Day 4

From Buonconvento to San Quirico d'Orcia, 21,5 km

From Buonconvento to San Quirico d'Orcia, 21,5 km

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. In 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: 21,5 km

Elevation gain: +714/-450 m

Day 5

From San Quirico to Castiglione, 9 km

From San Quirico to Castiglione, 9 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, with its unmistakable pool in the middle of the main square. 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.

Distance: 9 km

Elevation gain: +389/-351 m

Day 6

From Castiglione to Radicofani, 20 km

From Castiglione to Radicofani, 20 km

Today you will test your strength with a short but demanding leg of your  journey which will take you as far as  Radicofani: but it will 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: 20 km

Elevation gain: +762/-418 m

Day 7

From Radicofani to Acquapendente, 25,6 km

From Radicofani to Acquapendente, 25,6 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. 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. According to tradition, some stones bathed in the blood of Christ are supposed to be kept here.

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. 

Distance: 25,6 km

Elevation gain: +220/-400 m

Day 8

From Acquapendente to Bolsena, 23 km

From Acquapendente to Bolsena, 23 km

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, before reaching 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 local soup made from lake fish and tomatoes.

Distance: 23 km

Elevation gain: +220/-290 m

Day 9

From Bolsena to Montefiascone, 17 km

From Bolsena to Montefiascone, 17 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 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 the famous Est!Est!!Est!!!, which here tastes even better because it is produced locally.

Distance: 17 km

Elevation gain: +580/-290 m

Day 10

From Montefiascone to Viterbo, 18 km

From Montefiascone to Viterbo, 18 km

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 stop at the spa of Bagnaccio, recharging your batteries in its thermal waters before proceeding towards Viterbo, the end of your journey. To honour of our trip, do not miss visiting the pictoresque 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: 18 km

Elevation gain: +150/-465 m

Day 11

Viterbo

Viterbo

Last day is included. Service ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


A wonderful section of Via Francigena, between the lunar landscape of Crete Senesi and the Medieval charm of Viterbo. We suggest that you embark on this trip only if you have previously tested your endurance on other sections, because of the trip lenght and the climbs, which may result a bit harsh for beginners - especially the one towards the hilltop town of Radicofani. 

Included


What is included

  • 10 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 2 dinners (Lucignano, Radicofani)
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • transfers as described in the program
  • official guide of the route, 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


B&B La Locanda del Sorriso d'Orcia
B&B La Locanda del Sorriso - San Quirico d'Orcia
 

A charming B&B in the town centre, with classic decor. Breakfast in a local cafe in included

 

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.

www.chiusarelli.com

Hotel Borgo Antico Lucignano
Hotel Borgo Antico - Lucignano

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. 

www.hotelborgoantico.com

Hotel Il Ghibellino Buonconvento
Hotel Il Ghibellino - Buonconvento

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. 

www.hotelghibellino.it

B&B Il Vecchietta Castiglion d'Orcia
B&B Il Vecchietta - Castiglion d'Orcia

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. 

www.ilvecchietta.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. 

www.selvella.com

Albergo Toscana Acquapendente
Albergo Toscana - Acquapendente

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. 

www.albergotoscana.net

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. 

www.levigne.it

Hotel Urbano V Montefiascone
Hotel Urbano V - Montefiascone

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.

www.hotelurbano-v.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

When to travel


The climate in Central 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 see higher  temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice 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 dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high.The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn. 

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.

Train timetables are available on the website www.trenitalia.com.

Bus timetables are avavilable on www.busfox.com/timetable (Siena-Firenze).

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
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