Francigena Way: Orvieto to Rome

Francigena Way: Orvieto to Rome

Trip Highlights

  • Visiting the beautiful towns of Orvieto, Viterbo and Rome
  • Exploring the spectacular landscapes and fascinating countryside including Lake Bolsena and the truff gorges
  • Walking through charming ancient Etruscan villages and historical sites
  • Staying in small, comfortable, family-run accommodations and sampling delicious regional culinary specialities
  • Discovering the Regional Park of Sutri and its Roman amphitheatre

Trip Summary

From Canterbury in England to Rome in Italy, the 1900km "Francigena Way" dates back to the 11th century when pilgrims travelled across Europe on foot to visit the site of Martyrdom of St Peter and St Paul in Rome. With the modernisation of Europe and the shifting of borders the route became obsolete, until a recent revival of the pilgrimage making it one of the most exciting pilgrimage trails in Europe today. This trip takes in the last section of the trail through to Rome, passing by ancient relics and hill top towns. If you have walked the previous section from Siena you will start in Acquapendente, otherwise you will start in Orvieto. The first walk takes you down to the charming lake town of Bolsena, then passes through medieval town Montefiascone, known for its great wine, and then continues through woods and by Abbeys as you approach the Eternal City of Rome. En route stay in atmospheric farm houses and small family run hotels, soaking up the fine hospitality that has characterised the route for centuries.

Suitability

MODERATE – GRADE 3

This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked. There are not many changes to the height walked each day, even when walking on unasphalted roads. Some walks are long but can be shortened if requested in advance. 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.

Itinerary

Today you will need to make your own way to the first hotel in Orvieto. Orvieto is a beautiful town sitting atop a tufaceous cliff in the middle of the Umbrian countryside.There are many interesting sites to visit including the impressive Cathedral or Duomo, a work of architecture and religious harmony considered to be among the most important in Italy. The medieval town centre is well-preserved and the underground city set deep in the tufa (volcanic rock) can be visited with a guide. The multitude of secret passageways and tunnels will remind you of the vast history of this town. Enjoy dinner and a glass of the local great wine in one of the many restaurants in town. *Alternatively if you are continuing on from the previous section from Siena you will walk from Acquapendente, where the Southern Tuscany section finishes.

Meals:  Nil

If you're starting in Orvieto the walk begins at the Duomo and crosses the whole old town. You'll soon enter the countryside and pass a recently discovered Etruscan necropolis. Some trails are on quiet asphalted roads and will bring you to the other side of an ancient crater with exceptional panoramic views over the Bolsena Lake. If you're starting in Acquapendente you'll walk across a plain to reach the village of San Lorenzo Nuovo, which is located on the edge of the ancient crater, before continuing on a gradual descent to Bolsena. Whatever your starting point, your destination for today is the charming old town of Bolsena on the banks of the beautiful lake of volcanic origin. Bolsena is known for the miracle of Corpus Domini. Walk from Orvieto: 18km/11mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 505m/1657ft. Descent: 504m/1653ft. The walk from Acquapendente is 22km/13.5mi and will take between 7-8hrs.

Meals:  B

Today you will walk from Bolsena, following along the crest of the hills surrounding the eastern part of the lake. You'll walk along parts of the ancient Roman Via Cassia. This afternoon you will arrive in Montefiascone, a lovely village in a prominent location with great panoramic views over the lake, the surrounding plain and the Cimini Mountains. The Fortress of the Popes in Montefiascone is well-worth a visit. Overnight in Montefiascone. Walk: 18km/11mi, 5hrs. Ascent: 603m/1978ft. Descent: 329m/1079ft.

Meals:  B

The route to Viterbo today is along the plain that divides the Bolsena Lake from the Cimini Mountains. You'll be able to see the outline of the hills as you walk, as they border the whole territory. There are no residental areas along the route today but there are some old drinking fountains. When you arrive in Viterbo this afternoon you can take some time to visit the charming old town. Walk: 18km/11mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 174m/571ft. Descent: 430m/1410ft.

Meals:  B

The medieval walls, the seven entrances to the old town, the churches and the aristocratic palaces of Viterbo are must-sees before setting out today. There are no villages along today's route, as you walk through the countryside and forests and pass an Etruscan underground tomb. Reach the gates of Vetralla, where you can visit the ruins of the Pieve of Saint Marie di Forcassi, a typical example of the architecture of the area. Dinner and overnight in Vetralla. Walk: 17km/10.5mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 288m/945ft. Descent: 309m/1014ft.

Meals:  B,D

The walk today is quite long so we recommend leaving early. From Vetralla you'll walk along the volcano side of a crater which was once occupied by Lake Vico. You'll continue through Etruscan countryside until you reach the tiny village of Capranica. From here you descend to a tuff gorge, following the stream. This track is very striking, but can be difficult in places depending on the water level. Finally you'll arrive in Sutri where you can enjoy a nice dinner. Walk: 24.5km/15mi, 7hrs. Ascent: 469m/1539ft. Descent: 475m/1558ft.

Meals:  B,L,D

The first section of the walk today takes you across fields until you reach the picturesque village of Monterosi and the Monte Gelato waterfalls. You can stop for a rest here or even swim on a warm day. Continue walking along a panoramic trail that leads to Campagnano di Roma. It is possible to shorten the walk with a morning transfer to Monterosi (must be pre-arranged). Walk: 24.5km/15mi, 7hrs. Ascent: 376m/1234ft. Descent: 399m/1310ft

Meals:  B,L

Today you'll walk through the Roman countryside, walking on mainly flat dirt roads or country trails. There are a few hills towards the end of the day. Continue to Isola Farnese where you will stay overnight. Walk: 22km/13.5mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 433m/1421ft. Descent: 604m/1982ft.

Meals:  B

After breakfast you will set off on the final leg of your pilgrimage. You can choose to reach Rome either by public transport or on foot. Part of the walk today is through the Insugherata park, a beautiful natural reserve a short distance from the bustling city. As you approach the 'Eternal City' you can stop for a triumphant photograph at the Monte Mario Belvedere. From here you'll catch your first glimpse of the dome of St Peter's Basilica. You'll then make your final descent to reach the Piazza San Pietro, your ending point and that of many pilgrims through the centuries. Walk: 22km/13.5mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 360m/1181ft. Descent: 450m/1476ft.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in Rome, with arrangements ending after breakfast. With much to do and see in Rome, it is well worth extending your stay so you can explore the city. We can book extra nights, please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 9 breakfasts, 2 packed lunches, 2 dinners: 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.
  • 9 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&Bs 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)
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Credenziale - the pilgrim’s passport

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Orvieto or Acquapendente and from Rome
  • Meals not included (lunch and dinner - except lunch on day 6 and 7, and dinner on day 5 and 6). Allow EUR15-20 for each dinner and EUR5 for a 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 approximately EUR1-2 per day - payable directly to the hotel

Upcoming Travel Dates

Reviews

An amazing experience and a great taste of Italy - its friendly people, the beautiful buildings, the food, peaceful countryside, especially the hazelnut groves. We met some fascinating people on the way and enjoyed visiting the Colosseum and Vatican City once we arrived in Rome. A holiday we'll never forget.

P. Clark, Manchester, UK, 10 Oct 2018


It was an amazing trip. A little more difficult than I anticipated but still manageable. The SloWays app was a great resource (don't forget to download the maps the night before while on wifi - it will help with your phone's battery life).

J. Poteracke, Ventura, California, 19 Oct 2018

AT A GLANCE

Duration:10 Days
Countries:Italy
Starting Point:Orvieto
Finishing Point:Rome
Activities:SELF GUIDED WALKING
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:FR8
Prices From:GBP£860 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£280  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£300  Click for more information