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Via Francigena Final Stage: Orvieto to Rome

Via Francigena Final Stage: Orvieto to Rome

Overview

Walk the final stage of the Via Francigena to Rome in 10 days and get your Testimonium of pilgrimage. If you are doing the previous stage of the Via Francigena that goes from Siena to Acquapendente, you will start this last section in Acquapendente. If you only do this last section, you will be starting in Orvieto, the town sitting atop a tufaceous cliff. Dug into the tuff are fascinating underground passages, some dating to the Etruscan period.

From Acquapendente or Orvieto, pilgrims continue down to the charming lake town of Bolsena, important because of the Corpus Domini miracle happened in 1236, then pass through Montefiascone, a medieval town also known for its great white wine, to finally arrive in Viterbo – the medieval popes’ favourite residence who built a palace next top the Duomo of San Lorenzo. Viterbo was an important rest stop along the Via Francigena for the Medieval pilgrims and is the last large town before making the final trek to Rome. After Viterbo the Via Francigena leads through chestnut woods and an old path passing by the Cistercian Abbey of St Martins in Cimino. Continue to Vetralla where a country road takes the pilgrims to the little Church of Santa Maria in Forcassi, mentioned by Sigeric. After this, the road leads to Sutri, Campagnano and then switching from the Via Cassia to the Via Trionfale you will finally reach Rome, the Eternal City.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Orvieto or Acquapendente

If you are coming from the previous stage of the Via Francigena that starts in Siena and ends in Acquapendente, you will start this last section in Acquapendente.

If your trip starts today and you only do this last section of the Via Francigena, you will be starting in Orvieto, beautifully perched on a cliff. Do not miss visiting Orvieto’s Duomo (Cathedral), with its mosaic facade, one of Italy’s best medieval architectural monuments.

Day 2: Acquapendente/Orvieto to Bolsena | 16-19 km

If you start in Acquapendente, you walk across a plain to reach the village of San Lorenzo Nuovo, located on a panoramic position on the edge of the crater that nowadays hosts the lake town of Bolsena. Continue the gradual descent towards the charming lake village of Bolsena. The whole itinerary is well marked by the Official signs of the Via Francigena.

If you are in Orvieto: the route starts from the Cathedral and crosses the old town. After a walk along the new town, you pass through a fascinating countryside with a recently discovered Etruscan necropolis. Part of the walk then is on secondary asphalted roads and brings you to the side of the ancient crater with an exceptional panoramic view of the whole Bolsena Lake.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hrs ↑535 m ↓525 m (19 km, 6 hours if you start in Acquapendente)
  • Accommodation: Agriturismo in Bolsena (Agriturismo Le Vigne or similar)

Day 3: Bolsena to Montefiascone | 18 km

Today you walk from Bolsena along the crest of the hills surrounding the east part of the caldera lake. Arrive in Montefiascone, a medieval Papal town sitting atop a volcanic ridge overlooking the caldera lake, the surrounding plain and the Cimini Mountains. The Fortress of the Popes in Montefiascone is worth a visit.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 5 hrs ↑600 m ↓330 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Montefiascone (Hotel Urbano V or similar)

Day 4: Montefiascone to Viterbo | 18 km

The route from Montefiascone is along a plain that divides the Bolsena Lake from the Cimini Mountains. There are no residential areas along the route, but there are some old drinking fountains. Arrive in Viterbo and take some time to explore the charming old town with its Papal Palace (Palazzo dei Papi), cathedral, quaint Medieval quarter and many churches and squares; stroll the narrow lanes and enjoy a cup of fresh Italian espresso.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 6 hrs ↑174 m ↓430 m
  • Accommodation: hotel in Viterbo (Hotel Palazzo Riario or similar)

Day 5: Viterbo to Vetralla | 17 km

Today, the Via Francigena trail again takes you through some beautiful and unspoilt Etruscan landscapes. Shortly after leaving Viterbo, you will come to the lovely abbey in La Quercia and Bagnaia with the fantastic gardens of Villa Lante. Avoiding the main roads, you will walk across gently rolling hills without any villages along the way before you reach your stop for the night: Vetralla.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6 hrs ↑290 m ↓310 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Vetralla (Antica Locanda or similar)

Day 6: Vetralla to Sutri | 26 km

Today’s route is quite long. From Vetralla you walk along the volcano side, which crater was occupied by the Lake Vico in the past. Continue across the Etruscan countryside until you reach the tiny village of Capranica. From here, you walk down to a tuff gorge by following the stream. The track is very striking, but sometimes it could be difficult because of the water flow. Finally, you arrive in Sutri, a lovely little town with the Etruscan tombs and Roman amphitheatre being the most notable sights.

  • Walking for the day: 26 km, 7 hrs ↑470 m ↓475 m
  • Accommodation: Agriturismo in Sutri (Agriturismo Montefosco or similar)

Day 7: Sutri to Campagnano di Roma | 25 km

From Sutri, you will continue your pilgrimage to Rome, walking across the beautiful and rugged Lazio countryside. The Francigena trail will pass an abundance of streams, waterfalls and ponds. The rivers have carved wonderful deep valleys, with lush vegetation, ideal for a rest. The first section of the route takes you across fields to Monterosi, then you reach the Monte Gelato waterfalls, a park where you can rest and have a bath. Then you walk along a panoramic excavated street leading to Campagnano di Roma doors. To shorten the day’s walk it is possible to pre-arrange a morning transfer (not included) to the picturesque village of Monterosi, from where you walk to Campagnano di Roma.

  • Walking for the day: 25 km, 7 hrs ↑380 m ↓400 m (shorter option: 15 km, 5 hrs)
  • Accommodation: countryside hotel in Campagnano di Roma (Albergo Benigni or similar)

Day 8: Campagnano to Isola Farnese | 22 km

Today you will walk in the Roma countryside. The itinerary is quite flat with dirt roads or country trails, with just some hills in the final part; across lovely wooded valleys and crossing a few streams. Along the way, you will reach the sanctuary of Sorbo and the archaeological site of Veii with the remains of an ancient Etruscan city.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 6-7 hrs ↑430 m ↓600 m
  • Accommodation: countryside hotel in Isola Farnese (Hotel Tempio di Apollo or similar)

Day 9: Isola Farnese to Rome | 22 km

The Via Francigena will take you from La Storta through Rome’s suburbs and into Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Part of the walk to the city is through the Insugherata park, a beautiful natural reserve a few steps away 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 can see a glimpse of Saint Peter’s dome before descending towards the city to finally reach Piazza San Pietro, your ending point. Once in Rome, make sure you claim your Testimonium certificate of pilgrimage. If you want to maximise your time in Rome, it is possible to skip most of today’s walk by taking a local bus or train.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 6 hrs ↑360 m ↓450 m
  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Rome (Hotel Domus Sessoriana or similar)

Day 10: Departure

Departure on your own or extra nights in Rome upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in selected 3-star hotels in towns and countryside hotels and agriturismi* in the villages. All rooms have en-suite facilities. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*What is an agriturismo? A combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian — It is a farm-stay, but it’s also much, much more. Typically, an agriturismo is an independently-owned farm that the owners have decided to use partially for accommodation purposes, in a way similar to English or American bed and breakfasts. One of the best parts of staying in a traditional agriturismo? The food. An Italian agriturismo will usually serve guests food that was prepared from raw materials – vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, and often wine and olive oil – produced on the farm or from other local merchants.

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included every day, as well as two picnic lunches and two dinners (Days 5 and 6). Remember to collect the packet lunch before starting the walk on the mornings of day 6 and 7. Where not included, packed lunches can be pre-ordered at the accommodations; you can buy products from local shops or have lunch at the restaurants along the way. For dinner, you will usually have plenty of options in the villages you are staying in.

Difficulty & terrain

The route is relatively easy and accessible due to low elevation gains. Some walks are quite long but can be optionally shortened using local public transport or private transfers. A good level of fitness is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades). Starting from the medieval town of Orvieto, you will follow Roman roads, paths, forest trails and dirt tracks across the undulating and green Lazio countryside. There are just some points where you need to cross a stream and can be more difficult in case of overflow. The route is well marked with the official signs of the Via Francigena (white-red markings and yellow sign with the Pilgrim symbol on it). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

You can start your holiday every day between the beginning of March and the end of October. Spring and autumn months are a preferred travel period if you want to avoid the summer heat of July and August. In September – October, you will enjoy pleasant temperatures.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Rome Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino Airport. Alternative airports are Perugia and Florence.

By train or bus

From the airport, you can take a train directly to Orvieto (1-1.5 h). For train schedules, please check the Trenitalia website or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 9 nights in selected 3-star hotels, countryside hotels and agriturismi
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 2 packed lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • Luggage transfers on all walking days (only 1 piece per person up to 15 kg; there is a supplement for each additional bag)
  • Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route notes and maps (digital copy sent by email and a hard copy delivered at the first hotel)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • 7 lunches and 7 dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘Included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights

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