Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Orvieto to Rome
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Highlights

  • Exploring the labyrinth of caves beneath the Etruscan city of Orvieto
  • Following the ancient via Francigena through quiet countryside to Rome.
  • Walking the Roman via Appia Antica into Rome
  • Savouring a chilled glass of Orvieto Classico on the Piazza del Duomo in Orvieto
  • Rome: The Colosseum, St Peter’s Square, the Pantheon and so much more
  • Exploring the ancient city of Sutri with its Roman amphitheatre

Follow the Via Francigena from the Etruscan city of Orvieto through the classic Italian landscapes of Umbria and Lazio to Rome. This is a journey of superlatives taking in Etruscan towns, fine wines, historic villages, ancient pilgrim trails, delicious food and the delights of Rome.

Your walk from the Etruscan city of Orvieto to the great city of Rome is filled with interest from start to finish. Every step of the route is filled with echoes of the past as you walk by medieval towers, Etruscan necropoleis, down dark cobbled streets and along the via Appia Antica into Rome. Walking through the almost unknown parts of Umbria and Lazio you will have the trails, piazzas and churches to yourselves much of the time. Much of the walk from Orvieto to Rome follows the Via Francigena, a recently revived pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. We have selected the best sections of this ancient trail and combined them with some delightful variations which allow you to explore the towns and villages along the way such as Bolsena, Montefiascone and Sutri.

Your walk begins at the Duomo in Orvieto, an Etruscan town best known for its commanding position on a plateau of tufa rock riddled with Etruscan caves. From Orvieto you follow the Via Francigena to Lago di Bolsena and then to the Fortress town of Montefiascone, with great views of the Cimini Mountains. The medieval walled city of Viterbois next before you continue onto Vetralla, Sutri and Campagnano passing waterfalls and tiny villages en route. To finish your journey to Rome we transfer you to the start of the via Appia Antica, where you follow this preserved Roman road into Rome.

DAY 1: Arrive Orvieto

The dramatically set hilltop town is where this amazing holiday and the final section of the Via Francigena begins. If you arrive early you may want to explore this former centre of Etruscan civilization and the impressive Duomo which dates from 1290 but took three centuries to complete. You may also wish to visit Orvieto's series of 440 caves which have been used for millennia for all kinds of purposes, such as WWII shelters, refrigerators and hiding places when the city was under siege.


Orvieto is accessible from Rome, Perugia, or Florence airports by train and bus.


Overnight: Hotel Filippeschi*** , Orvieto


Situated just 200m from the Duomo this centrally located hotel has comfortable rooms with modern amenities.


DAY 2: Orvieto to Bolsena

Today you start your walk on the Via Francigena from the Duomo in Orvieto, walking initially through the old town down the narrow cobbled streets. Naturally because of Orvieto’s position high above a plateau there are tremendous views. Continue on through modern Orvieto where you reach the outskirts of the town and eventually walk past a recently discovered Etruscan necropolis.


Taking small roads and footpaths you reach Lake Bolsena, a jewel in the heart of Italy and your stop for tonight. The lake was formed in the crater of an ancient volcano and has crystal clear waters.


Walk: 18km


Overnight: Agriturismo La Vigne , Bolsena


This charming farmhouse has spacious rooms situated in annexes and is situated at the edge of Lake Bolsena. Enjoy sitting in the gardens overlooking the lake and rest from the day's walking.


DAY 3: Bolsena to Montefiascone

After breakfast begin your day by walking along the crest of hills that that surround the eastern side of the lake. You walk in gentle inclines and declines passing through woodlands and farmland until the trail moves away from the lake. Here you begin to walk along the paved and ancient road of Via Cassia before arriving in Montefiascone; your final destination for today with great views of the lake and of the adjacent Cimini Mountains and also famous for its wine production.


Here it is worth visiting The Fortress of the Popes. It is an imposing building and dominates Montefiascone’s skyline. Enjoy tonight’s 4 star accommodation, perhaps you can sit on the terrace with a glass of the well-renowned local wine.


Walk: 18km


Overnight: Hotel Urbano****  , Montefiascone


This hotel was completely refurbished in 2002 and is housed in an ancient building. It is charming, elegant and has a wonderful terrace from which to admire the view.


DAY 4: Montefiascone to Viterbo


From Montefiascone you continue on the Via Cassia and the trail follows the plain that divides Lake Bolsena from the Cimini Mountains. A great highlight of your walking today is the passing of the Bagnaccio thermal pools, which were visited by pilgrims in ancient times. It is possible to spend some time relaxing in the pools before continuing on to Viterbo.



Despite enduring heavy bomb damage in WWII, this town is the best preserved medieval town in the province of Lazio. It was the 13th century residence of the Popes and if you have the time you should visit the Palace of the Popes and the San Lorenzo Cathedral.


Walk: 18km


Overnight: www.palazzoriario.it , Viterbo



This hotel is located in the heart of the enchanting town of Viterbo.


DAY 5: Viterbo to Vitralla

This section of the trail, once you have left Viterbo behind, is more remote and you will pass no villages, and be immersed in the beautiful countryside of Lazio. Pass by the lovely abbey of La Quercia and Bagnaia and behold the wonderful and scenic gardens of Villa Lante. Make your way along the undulating trail and climb a small hill before arriving in Vetralla. As this town has a dominant position over the surrounding countryside it has been occupied as a fortified town since the early Middle Ages.


Tonight you will eat dinner in your hotel made with local products and recipes.


Walk: 17km


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Residence Antica Locanda*** , Vetralla



This property offers tranquillity and comfort and is surrounded by lush countryside and olive groves.


DAY 6: Vetralla to Sutri via Capranica


Today is quite a long walking day because of the addition of a visit to Capranica. After a fortifying breakfast leave Vetrella and follow the Via Francigena along a beautiful wooden track before reaching the Church of Madonna di Loreto. Walk through a wood of hazelnut trees which is flanked by colossal oaks before arriving at Torri Orlando, three crumbling medieval towers. Here is a great spot for your picnic lunch.


On entering Capranica it is hard to believe that you are only 60km from the centre of Rome! Give yourself time to explore this typical village with its churches and historical centre. Sutri would be virtually unvisited by tourists if it was not situated along the Via Francigena. It has a Roman amphitheatre called the Mithraem and an enchanting old quarter.



Dinner is included tonight and will consist of simple, rustic, yet delicious cuisine based on recipes from long ago.


Walk: 25.5km


Dinner & Overnight: Agriturismo Montefosco , Sutri


This agriturismo is immersed in the green countryside of northern Lazio. Relax by the pool or drink a glass of wine or beer under the shade of the gazebo.


DAY 7: Sutri to Campagnano


The initial part of your walk today takes you through local fields and also past rivers, streams,  and waterfalls. You will arrive in Monterosi around mid morning. There is a bakery here and you may wish to stop and have coffee and a delicious pastry. Continue on through the countryside until you reach the Monte Gelato waterfall. This is a great place to relax, refresh yourself with a swim and have lunch.



After lunch you will walk along a flagged Roman road which eventually leads to Campagnano which rises above the landscape as you walk up to it from below.


Walk: 24km


Overnight: Hotel Benigni , Campagnano di Roma



This hotel is a small, locally owned property and situated in the centre of town. Enjoy the breakfast here, a buffet which includes freshly baked breads.


DAY 8: Campagnano to Isola Farnese


Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel which will sustain you as your first section of the walk today is uphill.  En route you are lucky enough to pass the Monastery Madonna del Sorbo and the Etruscan ruins of Veii. Stop to take a look at these interesting pieces of architecture.


Then walk into the green valley of Sorbo where you will see grazing horses, a beautiful and serene place. You then reach Formello, where you may stop for lunch. Walk around the foot of a hill which takes you to a stream which may be difficult to negotiate if the water level is high. Arrive in Isola Farnese later this afternoon.


Walk: 22km


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Tempio d’Apollo , Isola Farnese



This hotel is in a peaceful location in the medieval town of Isola Farnese. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside and has a pleasant garden and terrace.


DAY 9: Isola Farnese to Rome

Today includes a private transfer to the Appia Antica whilst your luggage will get transferred to the Rome hotel. You can actually walk the last 6.6 kms along the Via Appia Antica into Rome. See some of the highlights along the way, including the Mausoleo of Cecilia Metella, the Parco della Caffarella and the Catacombs of San Sebastiano. This ancient trail finishes a couple of kms from the centre of Rome. From here you can walk into central Rome, to your accommodation (which is a little closer) or take a bus the rest of the way. On arrival in Rome you can begin to discover some of the major sights immediately, including the piazzas, churches and ancient monuments. Of particular interest and relevance to this tour is of course St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.


Walk: 6.6km along the Via Appia Antica, but more if you walk all the way into central Rome.


Overnight: Domus Sessoriana , Rome


This quaint hotel is located within an archaeological site, the Castrense amphitheatre where gladiatorial shows took place during Roman times. All the rooms are comfortable and have modern amenities.


DAY 10: Onward Travel


The tour ends after breakfast. Rome is served by two airports and has a major train station.


Accommodation

Your 9 night, 10 day Orvieto to Rome self-guided walk in Italy includes 9 nights in small hotels and agriturismos. All rooms have private bathrooms. The accommodations have been hand-picked to make sure that you will have a warm welcome each evening.


Alternate accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.  Solo walkers are also welcome for an additional charge.


Availability

This tour is available to start daily from April to October.


Time of Year

This trip is best enjoyed in Spring, early Summer and Autumn and you can start any day that suits your travel plans. Mid Summer can get quite hot. 


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we are happy to accommodate, although a single supplement is payable. Solo walkers are also welcome for a supplement.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is rated moderate but there are very minimal elevation gains and losses. There are a couple of times when you have to cross streams, which can be easy or quite difficult depending on the flow and whether there has been any rain. In your route notes you will find explanations as to the best way to negotiate these streams. As this is a self guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The walk is partially waymarked with the official red and white signs of the Via Francigena which have a picture of a yellow pilgrim on them. For other sections there is no waymarking but you will be provided with detailed route maps and maps to help you find your way.


Baggage Transfers

Daily door-to-door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


Meals

9 Breakfasts, 2 packed lunches and 2 evening meals are included. The days when the packed lunches (provided by the hotels) and the dinners are included is when you are in more remote areas and there is not a choice of local restaurants. However the food provided will be delicious and locally-sourced. On the other days there are plenty of local restaurants to choose from for dinner and markets/shops from which to buy packed lunches.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sunhat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includeds standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.


Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury. 


Getting to Orvieto

By Air: There are several airports which you may fly into. The closest to Orvieto is Perugia Sant ‘Egidio Airport and from here you can take a bus to Perugia Train Station. (Although it is the closest geographically it can take longer to reach Orvieto from here because there are no direct trains). You can also fly into Florence Amerigo Vespicci Airport and from here you can take a taxi or local bus into Florence where you can catch a train to Orvieto. Lastly you can fly into Rome Fiumicino or Ciampino Airports and from here take bus or train transfers into Rome city centre. Details and websites containing more detailed information may be found in your information pack.


By Train: There are several national or local trains that stop in Orvieto. If you take the train from Perugia you will always need to change trains in Terontola-Cortona. The prices varies between €7 and €13 one way and it takes from 2-3 hours, depending on which train you take. From Florence there are many direct trains to Orvieto and the journey takes about 2 hours. The price varies between €14 and €20 depending on the train you take. From Rome there are also many direct trains. It takes about 1-2 hours and costs between €8 and €16. For more information regarding train timetables and prices please visit the following website www.trenitalia.com


By Car: Take the A1 Firenze-Roma motorway and exit at Orvieto. Alternatives are the E45 Preugia-Todi State Road and the S.S. 448 Todi-Orvieto State Road or the SS2 Via Cassia Roma/Viterbo—Siena/Firenze State Road and the SS71 Montefiascone-Orvieto State Road.


Getting from Rome

By Air: Many international and low-cost airlines fly in both Roma Fiumicino and Roma Ciampino

Getting to Orvieto

By Air: There are several airports which you may fly into. The closest to Orvieto is Perugia Sant ‘Egidio Airport and from here you can take a bus to Perugia Train Station. (Although it is the closest geographically it can take longer to reach Orvieto from here because there are no direct trains). You can also fly into Florence Amerigo Vespicci Airport and from here you can take a taxi or local bus into Florence where you can catch a train to Orvieto. Lastly you can fly into Rome Fiumicino or Ciampino Airports and from here take bus or train transfers into Rome city centre. Details and websites containing more detailed information may be found in your information pack.


By Train: There are several national or local trains that stop in Orvieto. If you take the train from Perugia you will always need to change trains in Terontola-Cortona. The prices varies between €7 and €13 one way and it takes from 2-3 hours, depending on which train you take. From Florence there are many direct trains to Orvieto and the journey takes about 2 hours. The price varies between €14 and €20 depending on the train you take. From Rome there are also many direct trains. It takes about 1-2 hours and costs between €8 and €16. For more information regarding train timetables and prices please visit the following website www.trenitalia.com


By car: Take the A1 Firenze-Roma motorway and exit at Orvieto. Alternatives are the E45 Preugia-Todi State Road and the S.S. 448 Todi-Orvieto State Road or the SS2 Via Cassia Roma/Viterbo—Siena/Firenze State Road and the SS71 Montefiascone-Orvieto State Road.


 

Included

  • 9 Nights in small hotels and agriturismos in twins/doubles (private bathrooms throughout).
  • 9 Breakfasts.
  • 2 Packed lunches (on days 5 and 6).
  • 2 Dinners (on days 5 and 6).
  • Baggage Transfers.
  • A transfer from Isola Farnese to the Appia Antica on Day 9.
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes and guidebook.
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in Florence and our office.

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Travel to Orvieto and from Rome.
  • 7 Dinners.
  • 7 Lunches.
  • Drinks and snacks.
  • Personal equipment.
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance.

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the walk
  • Single room supplement if single room required.

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Don't hesitate to contact one of our Italy specialists if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest that you book as soon as your plans are finalized as it's a popular trip, particularly over the summer months. However, we will always try to accommodate your plans.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag per person of up to 20kgs.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop- check with your accommodation provider as they usually have the best knowledge of local public transport.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is rated moderate but there are minimal elevation gains and losses. There are a couple of times when you have to cross streams, which can be easy or quite difficult depending on the flow and whether there has been any rain. In your route notes you will find explanations as to the best way to negotiate these streams.

When is the best time of year?

May and June are lovely months to be in this part of Italy because of the wealth of spring flowers, plus it is less busy than in the summer months. September and October are also lovely as the vineyards change to a pallet of reds and golds. 

July and August can be very hot so you will have to start walking early in the morning to miss the heat of the day. However there are lots of activities going on during these months such as local festivals, so at times you will stumble upon these during the summer months.

What personal equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Which is the best airport?

You can fly into either Perugia, Florence or Rome as all of these airports are accessible to both Orvieto and Rome by bus and train transfers. Even though Perugia is the closest airport to Orvieto we would recommend flying into Rome or Florence as it actually takes longer by train because thel ocal train stops a lot and you will also have to change trains.

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