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 and Rome since the Middle Ages. From Siena to Rome, we follow the most beautiful sections of this historic route through spectacular settings, including the Tuscan hilltop village of San Quirico d’Orcia and the handsome walled town of Viterbo, once the seat of the popes. We’ll follow trails 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. The delightful cuisines of Tuscany and Lazio and deep Chianti and Brunello 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 past avenues of tall cypress to the walled town of Buonconvento, one of the piu belli borghi d’Italia (most beautiful villages in 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.

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Days 5-8
Viterbo / Sutri / Monterosi

Our hike towards medieval Viterbo ends at the thermal springs at Terme del Bagnaccio, set among green hills (bring your swimsuit for a post-hike dip). In Sutri, we visit a Roman amphitheater carved out of tufa rock, and we’ll explore Monterosi, once a major stop on the pilgrim trail, and the small village of Isola Farnese, perched on a rock outcrop. This tiny village has a rich history—a member of the Farnese family became Pope Paul III.

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Days 9-10
Rome

From our hotel in the countryside, we hike right into Rome, pausing for a panorama of the Eternal City from Monte Mario, a hill just above the city. The last steps of our pilgrimage lead us 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. Depart on Day 10.

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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: $5495  
Arrive: Siena, Italy
Depart: Roma, 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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