3
moderate
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo/B&B's
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£925GBP

Overview

Trip Code: SOG8144

Trip highlights


  • Stage 7 of the Via Francigena in Italy
  • Following in the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries ago
  • Absorbing the classic Tuscan countryside
  • Visiting quintessential Italian towns and cities such as Radicofani, Montalcino and Siena
  • Staying in comfortable and welcoming hotels and charming B&Bs

Walking on the southern section of the Via Francigena is packed full of rewarding experiences. Starting in the spectacular medieval city of Siena, which is well worth an extended stay, you will embark on a journey that leads you through the beautiful Tuscan countryside, dotted with wonderfully preserved hilltop villages such as San Quirico and Rocca d'Orcia. Rolling hills, cypress-lined backroads and the "Crete Senesi" - an area south of Siena where grey crags create a lunar-like landscape - will be the perfect backdrop to your walk. The important historic context of the region and the astonishing beauty of the landscapes you walk through, combine to make this trip completely unforgettable.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Siena

Finishing Point:

Acquapendente


On arrival in Siena make your own way to the first hotel. There is lots to see and do in Siena. We recommend wandering through the old town centre and visiting the main square, Piazza del Campo, which is where the famous "Palio" is held twice a year. You can climb the nearby tower, the Torre del Mangia and visit the stunning Duomo and numerous imposing medieval palaces. History will come alive as you meander through the narrow streets of this fantastically preserved jewel of Italy.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you'll start your walk along the Via Francigena through beautiful Tuscan countryside. You'll spend the day walking alongside cultivated meadows, with colours that change from greens to yellows to ochres depending on the season. You'll pass through the medieval village of Cuna, just a few hundred metres before you enter the town of Monteroni d'Arbia, with its famous watermill. The last part of the walk leads you to the fortified hamlet of Lucignano d'Arbia, along it's characteristic cypress tree- lined entrance. Ascent: 307m/1007ft, descent 467m/1532ft

Meals:  B

Today's walk is through a series of rolling hills and wheat-cultivated fields in the heart of the "Crete Senesi", a region named for its clay crags. This area has distinctive grey coloured soil which makes the scenery look like you're on the moon. Today's destination is the walled town of Buonconvento, considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Ascent 307m/1007ft, descent 467m/1532ft

Meals:  B

Today's walk will take you to towards San Quirico, over dirt roads and some asphalted ones - though these will be compensated for 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 church with its various architectural styles, before enjoying a rest among the green hedges of the 16th century classic Italian garden, Horti Leonini. Ascent 641m/2103ft, descent 376m/1233ft

Meals:  B

The walk continues across the Val d'Orcia. Just beyond San Quirico you will enter a timeless world visiting Vignoni Alto, and you can enjoy an invigorating rest in the thermal waters of Bagno Vignoni, with its pool in the middle of the main square. Another highlight today is your destination Castiglione, in the heart of the Val d'Orcia. On the main square, Piazza il Vecchietta, named after the Castiglione-born artist, you'll find the splendid Palazzo del Comune and several medieval buildings. Ascent 420m/1377ft, descent 310m/1017ft

Meals:  B

Passing ancient towns and after a stretch of hills you'll arrive at an agriturismo, where you'll stay tonight. Located in the hills and amongst olive groves, you'll be in typical Tuscan countryside. Or if the agriturismo is not available, transfer to Radicofani for your overnight stay in an apartment, with dinner in a nearby restaurant. Radicofani has many attractions including an imposing fortress dominating the entire valley and the Pieve di San Pietro, a jewel dating from the 13th century. Ascent 769m/2923ft, descent 536m/1758ft

Meals:  B,D

The longest walk of the trip is also one of the most rewarding. The day starts with a short transfer from the agriturismo to the main square in Radicofani. Leaving Radicofani on foot you'll follow the old consular road Via Cassia, surrounded by hills and Mount Amiata en route to Centeno. At Centeno you will be picked up and transferred (included, about 6km, to avoid a busy stretch of road) to Ponte Gregoriano. There's a last short climb to Acquapendente. If you'd prefer the longer walk you can take the variant route from Ponte a Rigo, over the hills and via Proceno, which offers beautiful views of the Paglia valley below. Overnight in Acquapendente. Ascent 516m/1693ft, descent 972m/3189ft Note: If your Via Francigena journey ends here we highly recommend that you take the option to transfer from Centeno to Orvieto instead of Acquapendente for the last evening - Orvieto is a more interesting town and has good train links for onward arrangements. Additional cost applies and must be requested at time of booking. Beautiful Orvieto rises on a tufaceous hill in the middle of the Umbrian countryside. Home to an impressive Cathedral, one of the most important in Italy, a well-preserved medieval town center and a very interesting underground network of tunnels. Enjoy the visit of the lovely city in your own rhythm.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes this morning in Acquapendente, or you can continue along the Via Francigena to Rome. Alternatively, the trip ends in Orvieto if you have opted to stay in Orvieto on your last night.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad or pasta dish, followed by either a chicken, red meat or fish dish with seasonal vegetables & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10-15)
  • Information pack including smartphone app with maps plus a route book per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece per person, max weight 20kg and max bag size of 60 x 50 x 40 cm) - every extra piece will be charged extra
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Credenziale - the pilgrim's passport
  • Private transfer from the agriturismo to Radicofani on day 7 (or on day 6 dependent on accommodation booked) and from Centeno to Ponte Gregoriano

  • Travel to Siena and from Acquapendente
  • Meals not included (lunch daily, dinner except on day 6). Allow EUR15-20 for dinner and EUR5 for picnic lunch.
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax - allow EUR2 per day - payable directly to each hotel

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked. Most sections are not particularly steep, with the exception of the climb to Radicofani on day 6. The last two walks are long but can be shortened with a transfer if requested in advance (at an extra cost). The whole itinerary is mainly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), and some sections on asphalted road - especially the first and last walking days. You should be able to walk for up to 8 hours a day in sometimes hot sun on stony tracks. The classic Tuscany landscape of small (although sometimes steep) hills, olive groves and vineyards, are traversed each walking day. The whole itinerary is well-marked by the official signs of the Via Francigena. A good level of fitness is required and prior experience is advisable. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, three to four times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

BP
Base Price

Priceper person from

£925GBP

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

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Videos

Walking to Southern Tuscany from Siena | Italy's Via Francigena | UTracks