From Siena to Rome along the Via Francigena

Overview

Lace up your boots and hike the Via Francigena, the legendary pilgrim trail that has connected northern Europe with Rome since the Middle Ages. We follow this historic route through spectacular settings, including Siena, with its scallop-shaped piazza, and dreamy San Quirico d’Orcia. We’ll hike along serene Lago di Bolsena, taste wines from renowned vineyards, explore the peaceful Etruscan ruins at Sutri, and finish with a flourish as we walk right into St. Peter’s Square in Rome. This route is still relatively untouristed; experience it before the crowds come. The cuisines of Tuscany and Lazio and the famed local wines keep us well-fueled as we enjoy a journey that is both an experience of the senses and of the heart.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Siena / Buonconvento / San Quirico d’Orcia / Lago di Bolsena / Montefiascone

From Siena, we hike a classic Tuscan landscape to the walled town of Buonconvento, one of the piu belli borghi d’Italia (most beautiful villages of Italy), with an overnight in charming San Quirico d’Orcia. Our trail crosses a section of cobbled Roman road as we head above deep blue Lago di Bolsena to the citadel town of Montefiascone, with its papal fortress. Sampling regional dishes, from ribollita (Tuscan bread soup) to gnocchi alla Romana, adds to our pleasures en route.

Relais Palazzo del Capitano
San Quirico d’Orcia, Italy
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Hotel Royal
Bolsena, Italy
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-8
Viterbo / Sutri / Monterosi

Our hike towards medieval Viterbo passes rolling vineyards and ends at thermal springs set among green hills. In Sutri, we visit a Roman amphitheater carved out of tufa rock, and we’ll explore Monterosi, once a major pilgrim stop, with a private tour of the Etruscan museum there. The small village of Isola Farnese, perched on a rock outcrop has a rich history—a member of the Farnese family became Pope Paul III.

Days 9-10
Rome

From our countryside hotel, we hike right into Rome, pausing for a panoramic vista of the Eternal City from Monte Mario, just above the city. The final steps of our pilgrimage lead us right to Bernini’s masterpiece, St. Peter’s Square, flanked by the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Leaving our pilgrim staffs by the door, we enter the revered sanctuary of the Basilica to conclude our pilgrimage. Depart on Day 10.

Highlights

Highlights

Hike historic routes used by wayfarers since the Middle Ages
Discover medieval villages on foot, savor Tuscany’s and Lazio’s mouth-watering culinary treats
Enjoy panoramas of stunning Lago di Bolsena from a balcony trail
Enter Rome on foot from the hills above, and walk to St. Peter’s Basilica

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5195  
Arrive: Siena, Italy
Depart: Rome, Italy
Lodging: 9 nights hotels, including historic properties
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking, Walking
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep trails, 4-7 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)

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