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Walking the Francigena Way

from $1,949.00

Walk the path of Sigerico; The Francigena Way from Orvieto to Rome

  • Reviews 4 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Walking the Francigena Way.

The Francigena Way is a historial journey; a road which once led from Canterbury to Rome and which has been walked by thousands of pilgrims. This trip begins in the beautiful city of Orvieto which boasts arguably the most beautiful cathedral in Italy. From here walk through Tuscia Laziale, an agricultural region of fields and olive groves dotted with volcanic lakes. Following the ancient Via Cassia, pass through beautiful villages such as Montefiascone, the fortified city of Viterbo, the Etruscan necropolis and the Roman amphitheatre of Sutri and the small mediaeval churches of Vetrallla and Campagnano. The path continues, through thick forests of oaks and past ruined abbeys and control towers, and ends in Rome; the ‘Eternal City’.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 4 dinners
* All accommodation (see below)
* All luggage transfers
* Route notes and maps

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Pilgrimage route to Rome
  • Stunning landscapes
  • Orvieto and its Cathedral
  • Picturesque villages, historic abbeys and volcanic lakes
  • 5 nights in hotels, 4 nights in B&Bs and 1 night in a farmhouse
  • 9 days point-to-point walking with luggage transfers
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Self-guided tour; min. age 12 yrs
  1. Day 1 Start Orvieto

    Individual arrival in Orvieto. The beautiful town of Orvieto rises on a volcanic hill in the middle of the Umbrian countryside. It boasts an impressive cathedral; a work of architecture and religious harmony among the most important in Italy, a well-preserved mediaeval town center and a series of caves and tunnels under the town that were created almost 3000 years ago.* *

  2. Day 2 Orvieto to Bolsena

    Leaving the valley surrounding Orvieto, you head towards Bolsena and the crater lake. Through woods of oak and wild boars, hills and fields you reach the old town of Bolsena and Monaldeschi castle. Known for the miracle of Corpus Domini, the town developed on the banks of the beautiful lake of volcanic origin. We recommend a swim in the lake afte the day of walking.**

  3. Day 3 Bolsena to Montefiascone

    Walk towards Montefiascone, city of Popes and excellent wine. With a route overlooking the lake, we follow the stretch of the ancient Roman Via Cassia, crossing some roads paved in the original path. The town is a real gem among arches, alleys and artisans, keeps the flavour of yesteryear.  Here you begin your journey in the beautiful Tuscia of Lazio region. Tonight you can taste the legendary Est! Est!! Est!!! Wine which is the perfect accompaniment for light appetizers.

  4. Day 4 Montefiascone to Viterbo

    Through vineyards and orchards, cypresses and olive trees, you walk towards Viterbo. This hike will take you to Bagnaccio, home of the ancient baths where pilgrims used to stop for a rest in hot waters before reaching Viterbo, laying at the foot of the Cimini Hills. Enjoy an evening in the city centre to explore this mediaeval city.

  5. Day 5 Montefiascone to Viterbo

    This morning, you leave the beautiful Viterbo to continue your journey to Rome. The day is spent between countryside and woods. You are in the Tuscia area and will find along the way remains of the Etruscan civilization that between the 8th and 4th Century BC, populated the area. The day ends in Vetralla, a small mediaeval town.

  6. Day 6 Vetralla to Capranica

    Vetralla raises above the countryside and the hills around. Leave the mediaeval centre and walk through fields and chestnut trees. You reach the Towers of Orlando, the remains of an old monastery. Your destination Capranica is waiting for you to stroll through its elegant alleys.

  7. Day 7 Capranica to Monterosi

    Today you embark on the second half of the path to Rome. The walk will take you to Sutri, famous for the Roman amphitheatre and the Etruscan Necropolis you’ll get a chance to visit on your path. A gentle trail will then take you to Monterosi.

  8. Day 8 Monterosi to Campagnano di Roma

    Today you walk through fields, woods and rivers towards Campagnano di Roma. You pass by some small waterfalls, the Cascate di Monte Gelato, that have been used as a set in many Italian movies. A little further, you reach Campagnano di Roma in the Natural Park of Veio.

  9. Day 9 Campagnano to Isola Farnese

    This is the longest day of the trip and it starts with a lovely stroll in the National Park of Veio where you may meet with some wild horses! You then reach Formello and its beautiful city centre. You then follow the Way to Isola Farnese, a secluded and elegant village perched atop a volcanic crag and the last stop before Rome.

  10. Day 10 Isola Farnese to Rome

    Today you walk the last stretch to Rome. Leave Isola Farnese and follow the Way through the Natural Reserve of Insugherata. You reach Monte Mario and the unforgettable descent towards Rome and finally, St Peter’s square. We recommend starting your walk early in order to arrive into Rome with good time to visit some of the most important monuments of the city; the Pantheon, Colosseum and Trevi fountain are just 3 of many!

  11. Day 11 End Rome

    Your trip ends in Rome after breakfast. If you would like to add extra nights in this fantastic city, please speak to your sales consultant at the time of booking.

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Where you stay

Hotels and B&B’s

5 nights in hotels, 4 nights in B&Bs and 1 night in a farmhouse, all rooms en suite. We use variety of different styles of good hotels with many of them family-run properties.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveler there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs.

Additional Accommodation

We can book additional accommodation in Orvieto or Rome (subject to availability). Please notify us at the time of booking and we will provide up-to-date prices.

Eating and Drinking

‘La Cucina Romana’ (Roman food) is based on an ancient past and you will find on many menus inexpensive cuts of veal and lamb, fresh vegetables and plenty of the local sheeps’ cheese; Pecorino Romano. Recommended dishes to try (amongst many!) are bruschetta (a good bread, rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and often tomatoes), porchetta (pork carved from a young, herb stuffed pig), carciofi alla guidia (fried artichokes), fave al guanciale (broad beans, often served with pork), baccala (codfish), pasta e ceci (pasta with chickpeas, a simple, old and delicious recipe!), cacio e pepe (pasta served with pecorino and black pepper; simple but surprisingly delicious), saltimbocca alla romana (veal wrapped in proscuitto and fried). Rabbit and wild boar are also very popular. Finish with a classic Roman dessert; crostata di ricotta (cheesecake). To drink, try Frascati, referred to by Romans as the Golden Wine both for its color and value, or Cesanese del Piglio which is a full bodied red served with game.

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)

Average daily walk: 18km (11 miles)

No. of days walking: 9

This is a self-guided tour; you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking your time and enjoying the sights!)

Terrain & route: The terrain and type of path will vary between manmade paved tracks, tarmac and dirt tracks. All walks take between 4 and 7 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. Please be aware that this area can be very warm, often exceeding 30 degrees in the summer.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together.

The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

The Francigena Way

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Orvieto is a great place to start, small, dramatically situated with a mind blowing cathedral, try to give yourself time there. Viterbo was the revelation with a superb medieval quarter. Most of the towns are on hills with wonderful views across the countryside. The final day gets you from fields to the centre of Rome with only a couple of hours of urban walking and the final 'reveal' of Rome from a final hilltop park really gives you that feeling of arrival.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    A superb team effort (me and my wife)!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walking is pretty easy and the Francigena Way very well signed throughout until Rome when street names take over. The walking notes are usually pretty good (one or two obvious errors) and in fact mostly only needed for confirmation since the signage is so good. Do look at the maps at the start of the day. The two times we went mildly wrong are because there are two Francigena routes and we followed signs so went on the 'other' path. They paths reunite anyway so no bother. There were no 'where are we' moments. The way does include a reasonable amount of made roads but is mainly wide unmade roads and paths. I'm a walking boot person but this route is perfect for the shoe wearer so long a you have good soles.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels are 'simple' but perfectly good and are clearly chosen because they are the best available. The Rome accommodation is also pretty good given its central position - more Airb&b than hotel. We generally set out each day just before 9.00 which gave us enough time to look around and rest at the end of the day. Rome was our goal and it's so endlessly fascinating that we easily filled 3 further days.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

The Road to Rome

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All those wild flowers in bloom, the fragrant jasmine, the sunshine, Italian food and wine. Hilltop villages and the beautiful crater lake Bolsena--the largest volcanic lake in Europe. And of course the delights of the eternal city.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable, this was self-guided.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, plenty of sunscreen--long sleeves and hat, sunburn is painful. Also, be aware that EVERYTHING shuts down between 12 and 4 pm, so it is best to SMS your accommodation an hour before your expected arrival. It also seemed to take an age for messages to get through via a UK network. In the villages, very little English is spoken. Make sure you can manage a few words of Italian--very rewarding. We did not really need services like pharmacy or banks, because we had gone prepared, but away from the big towns this could be problematic. If you enter into the spirit of the pilgrimage, it is far more enjoyable. We met loads of "pellegrini" who had journeyed for weeks, often solo, walking every day, a truly inspirational experience! We also bumped into them in Rome, and it was wonderful to exchange stories and to feel we had all managed our personal journeys there.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you like long distance point-to-point walking, good weather and good food, there should be nothing holding you back.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Francigena Way

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The range of flowers and their scents as we walked through quiet countryside.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A as it was self-guided.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A poncho was invaluable for keeping dry during intermittent heavy showers. We did not need the insect repellent that we packed.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thankyou to everyone at Exodus and Mandala.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
4/5

Walking the Francigena Way

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was no single moment but we lost count of the number of time that we opened a door of some undistinguished church in a small town to reveal a stunning interior. The rock-cut church of the Madonna del Parto, a former mithraeum in Sutri was extraordinary - not to be missed. Each of the towns seemed quite sleepy when we arrived mid-afternoon but being Italian, they came to life in the early evening. They all had architecture of interest and although (or possibly because) this is a less fashionable area of Italy, people were very welcoming and helpful, Getting our Testimoniums from the office just off St Peter's Square on the afternoon we arrived in Rome was extremely satisfying.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Self guided.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this is a moderate level walk, it does involve some hills and although we traveled in late September, the temperatures hit the 80s on a couple of days. Taking a litre and a half of water each was essential as there isn't necessarily the opportunity for obtain a drink along the route. along the way. We also bought simple food (bread, cheese, meat, fruit) each day for the next days lunch for the same reason. I would certainly recommend walking shoes or boots.; trainers will simply not be good enough. We took walking poles but these were not really needed and quickly ended up in our luggage. I agree that it is difficult to get lost, but equally, that an English version of the notes rather than what appears to be a translation would ensure best accuracy. If you do get wildly lost, there is a VIa Francigena app which shows where you are in real time.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would start each day before 09.00 and arrive at our destination by mid-afternoon allowing time to enjoy the walk without it becoming a route march. The prospect of an ice cold Peroni was very motivating. This allowed time to relax at the hotels before exploring the towns as they awoke in the early evening. Do not obtain your own Credenziale as we did - Exodus provide them in your travel pack. Learn some basis Italian phrases which is not difficult and is only polite. As these are not tourist towns, English is not widely spoken. Notably, the young owners of Enoteca da Ronko in Vetralla lived in England for a while and are happy to chat. If you have time, tag on a few days in Rome at the end of your walk.

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