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Via Francigena Stage 7: San Quirico-Montefiascone

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.3 Read 3 reviews
  • Spending the night next to Lago di Bolsena, a jewel in the heart of Italy
  • Glorious landscapes of Tuscany, carpeted with cypress-studded hills
  • The geologically unique landscapes and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Crete Senesi
  • Appreciating the beauty of the Romanesque 12th century Abbey of Sant Antimo
  • Savouring a glass of local red Brunello wine in a hill top town restaurant
Following in the footsteps of pilgrims from the Middle Ages this section of the Via Francigena begins in the heart of the Tuscan countryside and finishes in the medieval town of Montefiascone. Encounter small hamlets and villages atop conical hills and set within the distinctive undulating Italian countryside. Walk through the glorious landscapes of Tuscany, carpeted with cypress-studded hills and where the birth of the Renaissance began. San Quirico d’Orcia a charming walled town situated on the northern edge of the Valley d’Orcia and also see Sant Antimo Abbey an important stop for pilgrims and an enchanting Romanesque structure. One of the highlights of your walking tour is passing through the geologically unique and ochre-colored landscapes of the Crete Senesi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Complete this section of the pilgrimage route either as an individual tour, or add further stages at the same time. This particular section is graded as moderate. You will walk through unique Tuscan landscapes and vineyards, follow a river valley and pass stunning lakes on this section of the Via Francigena.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded moderate. However the daily distances vary quite a lot between 12 and 30km, so you must be capable of also walking the longer distances. You need to be in good physical shape to complete this section of the Via Francigena as there are also some elevation gains and losses along the way. 

Navigation

The trail in the most part is well marked but in some of the agricultural areas, such as the cultivated lowlands, this does become sparser. Along the length of the route, it also travels through several different municipalities and the style of the markers can vary between them and not every region has invested in consistently waymarking the trail.

The type of markers includes brown metal plates with two walkers and the route name on them or smaller ones showing a pilgrim and an arrow pointing the right way at road junctions. Red and white signs with a yellow pilgrim on them are also common. There are also signs with little yellow pilgrims on them and a white arrow which points towards Rome (those that are the same but with a yellow arrow lead to Santiago). In the Valle d’Aosta the signs tend to be yellow with Via Francigena written on them along with a route number.

Even if the signs can be lacking or confusing at times, navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost.

Experience & Fitness

You need to be a regular walker and in good physical shape to complete the Full Via Francigena. If you are doing shorter stages then these are less demanding, but the per day mileage still includes longer distances on some days and a couple of the stages include ascents and descents, especially in the foothills of the Alps at the start of the Via Francigena route. We would recommend taking training walks carrying your daypack ahead of going on this trip.

Accommodations

During your trip you will stay in a variety of accommodations. The properties range from private rooms in pilgrims' hostels to 2, 3 and 4* hotels as well as B&B's and guesthouses. At times you will be staying in remote towns and villages, therefore the accommodations in these places are the best that these particular areas have to offer.

If you require single rooms for your party we would be happy to accommodate you. Solo walkers are also welcomed.

Important: Due to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. If this is the case, you will always receive directions to and from the trail in your route notes. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days.

Meals

Daily breakfasts are included. Breakfasts are usually continental or Italian-style with a choice of bread, croissants, meats, and cheeses. Sometimes it is possible to order packed lunches at your hotel or B&B the evening before or you can buy lunch in groceries, cafes, and restaurants en route. You can opt to include dinners as well if you wish.

Included
  • Overnights in a variety of accommodations
  • Breakfasts included
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Detailed maps and routes notes and a comprehensive information pack
  • Private transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Access to the GPS tracks using the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • Emergency telephone assistance from our team in Italy and our UK office if required
Excluded
  • Travel to and from the start and finish points
  • Public transportation where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Drinks & snacks
  • Any additional travel en route, should you wish to miss a day's walking
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
Extras
  • Additional nights before, after or during the trip
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Half board supplement

When To Go

You can start this tour on any day of the week, between mid-March to the end of October.

Spring in Italy is sublime and April, May and June are absolutely lovely. Autumn is a great time of year as the landscape is made up of a gold and red pallet so September and October are unmissable. July and August can be very hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day and then perhaps have a long lunch and finish walking in the mid to late afternoon.

Getting to the Start

Since San Quirico d’Orcia is equidistant between Pisa/Florence and Rome you can either fly into Rome or Pisa/Florence. If you are flying into Rome Fiumicino Airport you can take a train (via central Rome) to Chiusi and from here a taxi to San Quirico d’Orcia. However the taxi will cost around €50 so the alternative is to fly into Florence or Pisa and then take a train to Siena, then Buonconvento. Once here you can take a bus to San Quirico d’Orcia. (Please note: the buses do not run very regularly and you may have to wait). Please check the Trenitalia website for more information on fares and schedules.

Getting from the End

The best way of getting from Montefiascone is to take a taxi from your hotel in Montesfiascone to the local station (5km away) and then take a train to Rome, changing trains in Viterbo. You can fly home from Rome Fiumicino Airport.

Luggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are not included as standard, however you can pay an additional fee for this service. If you choose to include baggage transfers we request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, a day pack, sun hat, and sunscreen.

Online Documents
At Macs Adventure we care about the environment. We’re taking action to minimise the impact we have by converting the majority of our tour documentation for online delivery. On this tour, most of your detailed tour information will be digitally delivered. You will have access to this documentation via “My Account” on our website and the Macs Adventure Smartphone App.

Equipment

There are three main pieces of equipment that are essential to you enjoying your pilgrimage, and they are comfortable walking shoes with good wool or anti-blister socks, and a day pack that gives you good back support.

Most surfaces along the way are smooth and so walking shoes should suffice rather than boots. It is hard surface walking for the most part, so we recommend walking shoes that have a good level of padding or walking socks that offer cushioning. There are a few sections of the route which include mountain paths, in particular in Stage 1 in the Alps. For this part of the route waterproof walking boots with good ankle support and sturdy tread are recommended.

This depends on the time of year you are walking; if travelling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you.  During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers, or you may find since it’s still hot that a lightweight rain poncho is more suitable.

You will receive a full kit list as part of your trip documentation.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in San Quirico d’Orcia Day 2 San Quirico d’Orcia to Castelnuovo dell’Abate 9 miles / 14 km Day 3 Castelnuovo dell’Abate to Rocca d'Orcia 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 4 Rocca d’Orcia to Radicofani 17 miles / 27 km Day 5 Radicofani to Proceno 16.5 miles / 26.5 km Day 6 Proceno to Bolsena 19 miles / 30 km Day 7 Bolsena to Montefiascone 11 miles / 18 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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