Sunn day over Cortona on the Via Romea Germanica
Sunn day over Cortona on the Via Romea Germanica

Via Romea Germanica: Stage 2, La Verna to Castiglion del Lago

Level
2
Distance
97 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 886
CO2 footprint
137 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW580

The Via Romea Germanica was the chosen route for the majority of pilgrims from Northern Europe to reach Rome: this stretch begins from the enchantment of Chiusi della Verna, with its sanctuary, and continues through the Casentino Forests National Park and then into the Etruscan lands of the Arezzo region, between Subbiano and Arezzo, a city that celebrates all sort of ancient beauty.

And then Cortona, a symbol of iconic Tuscan beauty, and Castiglion del Lago, the jewel of Lake Trasimeno.

Highlights

  • The Sanctuary of Chiusi della Verna and the enchantment of the Casentino Forests.
  • Etruscan sites: Subbiano and Arezzo, famous for its jousting tournament and antique market.
  • Lake Trasimeno and Castiglion del Lago
  • Walking on one of Italy's most ancient roads 

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Chiusi della Verna

Arrive in Chiusi della Verna
Arrive in Chiusi della Verna. Head for the hotel and check in. If you arrive early enough, you can visit the Franciscan Sanctuary in the afternoon. The Sanctuary is opened every day of the year from 06:30 to 19:30 hrs (22:00 hrs in summer) NOTE: To enter the Sanctuary, you need to cover your chest and arms and wear trousers / skirts long to the knee

Day 2

From Chiusi della Verna to Chitignano, 14,5 km

From Chiusi della Verna to Chitignano, 14,5 km
It is an easy hike along trails and forest tracks. You reach the Spring of St. Francis where, according to tradition, the saint brought water out of the rock. We suggest a 1-km detour to reach the medieval village of Sarna. The route then passes through the charming village of Rosina. Another suggested short detour can be made to approach Ubertini Castle. Today, there are no traces left of the original extensive walls, and the castle has been incorporated into a vast complex of buildings, taking on the appearance of a 17th-century villa. Of the three towers, one is clearly visible, with its crenellation, another round tower is under the present building, while only the foundations of the third remain.

Distance: 14,5 km

Elevation gain: +360/-790 m

Day 3

From Chitignano to Subbiano, 14,5 km

From Chitignano to Subbiano, 14,5 km
It is a comfortable hike through the agricultural landscape in the lower Casentino hills. It is worth making a small detour at the beginning of the route to see Poggio d'Acona hamlet. Then you walk pass the Valenzano Castle. The origins of the castle are lost in the obscurity of the Middle Ages and appear to predate the 10th century. The first nucleus arose in the late period of Lombard domination, between the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 10th century, as a lookout tower. It is thought that in Etruscan times, the tower was a garrison along the salt route, which was an essential commodity, in fact it was also used as currency. Presumably expanded between the 10th and 11th centuries, the fortified nucleus of Valenzano was owned by Lombard nobles, who shared the land with Camaldolese monks from the monasteries of Sasso and Selvamonda.

Distance: 14,5 km

Elevation gain: +360/-620 m

Day 4

From Subbiano to Arezzo, 20 km

From Subbiano to Arezzo, 20 km
It is a long hike that runs first along the Arno River and then across the plain that separates Arezzo from the beginning of the Casentino. The landscape is dominated by fields and hedges in the rural Tuscan tradition. Alon the route we suggest a short detour to reach the Pieve di Sietina. The stage can be shortened by about 8 km by taking the train at Subbiano-Capolona station and getting off at Giovi station.

Distance: 20 km

Elevation gain: +240/-260 m

Day 5

From Gaville to Castiglion Fiorentino, 21 km

From Gaville to Castiglion Fiorentino, 21 km
It is a long hike through the hills of Valdichiana valley towards east. You pass through forests and wide stretches of countryside. Along the way there are sweeping views of the valley. You walk on country roads and trails passing sites of historical interest such as the Convent of Sargiano and the Pieve di Rigutino.

Distance: 21 km

Elevation gain: +700/-650 m

Day 6

From Castiglion Fiorentino to Cortona, 13,5 km

From Castiglion Fiorentino to Cortona, 13,5 km
The hike of the day runs close to the plains, mainly on paved and dirt roads. At various points there are views of the valley, and in the final stretch Cortona appears to us in all its magnificence. The route pass by the Castle of Montecchio. The first settlements on the Montecchio hill date back to Etruscan-Roman times and perhaps a pagan sanctuary stood here. Around the 9th century, the castle was built here, originally a feud of the Marchiones and with interests of the Abbey of Farneta. Other feudal lords, such as the Orselli and Panzoni of Cortona or the Da Vitiano, also had rights there. In the early 13th century, Montecchio Vesponi was allied with the Municipality of Arezzo along with the other castles of Mammi and Monticello. Around 1234 it was purchased by the Municipality of Arezzo, which repopulated it, turned it into a 'semi-free' municipality and made it a stronghold against Castiglion Fiorentino and Cortona. Along the way we suggest a 600-meter detour to the monumental Etruscan tomb of Sodo.

Distance: 13,5 km

Elevation gain: +370/-205 m

Day 7

From Terentola to Castiglion del Lago, 13 km

From Terentola to Castiglion del Lago, 13 km
A short train ride takes you to Terentola. The day route first crosses the countryside on the border between Tuscany and Umbria and then runs all along Lake Trasimeno with few possibilities of detours to hidden point of view of the lake. The town owes its name to the symbol of the family that once ruled over it; in fact, Castiglione derives from Castellum Leonis (Castle of the Lion), later vulgarised into Castellioni. Founded by the Romans under the name Novum Clusium (New Chiusi), it stands on a hill that in ancient times constituted the fourth island of Lake Trasimeno (the three islands that still exist are Maggiore, Minore and Polvese) before the strip of water separating it from the mainland was filled in.

Distance: 13 km

Elevation gain: +70/-30 m

Day 8

Depart from Castiglion del Lago

Depart from Castiglion del Lago
Last day included. Tour ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


A journey on the Via Romea Germanica, an ancient route followed by pilgrims from Northern Europe: this part passes through the Arezzo region - Subbiano and Arezzo, cities with wonderful Medieval charm - and then reaches the iconic Cortona and Lake Trasimeno.

It's an alternative route to the Via Francigena, not particularly strenuous - however, good fitness and the habit of covering several kilometers on consecutive days are still required.

Distances are always under 15 km, except for day 4 when you exceed 20 km.

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary
  • 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.

 

Chiusi della Verna-Hotel Letizia

Thanks to all our guests, new and loyal, who over the years have shown us precious loyalty and trust. You: our strength that has allowed us with joy and dedication to grow, to renew ourselves and to create not just a hotel in San Martino di Castrozza, among the Dolomites of Trentino, but a "HOME" full of details, warmth and harmony, to make your vacation a unique and intense emotion. Over the years, values that are important to us have sprouted and we have made them our philosophy, thus creating the strengths of our hotel.

www.hletizia.it

Chitignano - Hotel Docciola

Every client is unique. That's why we customize our strategies to fit your needs. Whether the intervention is short or more challenging, we will listen to your requests to prepare a customized plan of action.

www.hotelristorantedocciola.com

Subbiano - La Corte dell'Oca

Rediscovered within the old Borgo Maestro of Subbiano in the province of Arezzo, at the foot of the Casentino Valley, there where the Arno River flows, immersed in the Tuscan countryside surrounded by hills covered with vines and olive trees, by farmhouses, medieval villages, and Romanesque parish churches, La Corte dell'Oca shows its history to be experienced and enjoyed today as it was then. It can be accessed on foot from 33 Borgo Maestro, now Via Roma, by walking through an andito carved out on the ground floor of the 19th-century building above and from Viale Europa 16, which is also a driveway. At the Corte dell'Oca, Guests not only savor the gastronomic history of the area, but also experience some moments of living history.

www.cortedelloca.it

Arezzo - B&B Antichemura

Bed and Breakfast "Antichemura" is located on the second floor of the building where we grew up and where we still live today. Antichemura is our home, that's why for us you will never be just customers: you will feel like guests in the home of friends, we will take care of you and your needs. We will make your stay in Arezzo unforgettable.

www.antichemura.it

Castiglion Fiorentino - B&B Viziottavo

Viziottavo is a modern, well-appointed bed and breakfast located in the historic center of a magical Tuscan hill town, Castiglion Fiorentino. This elegant bed and breakfast is located in a renovated 15th-century palazzo and offers 6 guest rooms. Each room is tastefully decorated and has a luxury bathroom, air conditioning, satellite television/radio and minibar. The Viziottavo is just a fifteen-minute walk from the train station, conveniently located between Cortona and Arezzo, the setting of the films Under the Tuscan Sun and Life is Beautiful, respectively. You can also take easy day trips by train to Florence, Rome, Pisa and Siena. On the other hand, if you wish to discover our beautiful region by car, there is free parking nearby.

www.viziottavo.com

Castiglion del Lago - Albergo Le Macerine

Albergo Le Macerine is located a short walk from the shores of Lake Trasimeno and 800 meters from the historic center of Castiglione del Lago, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.Surrounded by greenery and a few kilometers from the border with Tuscany, Albergo Le Macerine is the ideal hotel for those seeking a vacation to enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature and the lake, but also for those who love to discover new places and traditions. The strategic location of the hotel allows you to reach in a short time the medieval villages of the terrtiorio and the most beautiful cities of central Italy, or to make magical excursions to the shores of the lake and the Islands, Maggiore and Polvese, the pearls of Trasimeno.

www.albergo-lemacerine.com

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


There are several trains per day from Rome PIsa and Florence, going to Arezzo, where you change train to Bibbiena and then a bus to Chiusi della Verna.

It is possible to book a transfer from Arezzo to Chiusi della Verna, or from Città di Castello to Rome or Florence.

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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