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Via Francigena in Tuscany: Siena to Acquapendente 28

Via Francigena in Tuscany: Siena to Acquapendente

Overview

The Southern Tuscany section of Via Francigena starts in the medieval town of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its imposing walls, narrow cobblestone streets and magnificent palaces. The route will take you through the most beautiful Tuscan countryside, dotted with wonderfully preserved hilltop villages such as Montalcino (where the world-renowned Brunello red wine is produced); San Quirico with its Horti Leonini, a perfect example of an Italian garden, and Vignoni Alto, a tiny hamlet with a beautiful castle. Rolling hills, cypress-lined back roads and the Crete Senesi (the area south of Siena where grey crags give an impression of a lunar landscape) will be the background for your walks, making this trip an unforgettable experience.

Highlights

  • The spectacular landscapes of the Southern Tuscany countryside
  • The medieval city of Siena
  • The hilltop villages of Castiglione d’Orcia, San Quirico d’Orcia and Radicofani
  • Delicious Tuscan culinary specialities

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Siena

Your journey will start in Siena, one of the most beautiful towns along the Francigena, famous for its palio: you will be able to spend the day walking through its paved streets, looking for coats-of-arms on the walls of the contradas, or climbing the Torre del Mangia to enjoy a unique view over the roofs of the town; not to be missed is a visit of the Duomo (cathedral), which will impress you with its amazing black and white columns. In the evening you can sit down at a table in Piazza del Campo to enjoy a plate of pici all’aglione for dinner, admiring the illuminated Palazzo Pubblico.

Day 2: Siena to Lucignano d’Arbia | 21 km

After breakfast, you start your wonderful Via Francigena trip along the astonishing Tuscan countryside. Walking alongside cultivated meadows, with its colours changing from the greens and yellows of spring and summer to okras of Autumn, you will pass through the medieval village of Cuna, just a few hundred meters before entering the town of Monteroni d’Arbia, with its famous watermill. The last part of the walk leads you to the fortified hamlet of Lucignano d’Arbia, along its characteristic cypress tree-lined entrance.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 7 hrs ↑307 m ↓467 m
  • Accommodation: hotel in Lucignano d’Arbia (Hotel Borgo Antico or similar)

Day 3: Lucignano d’Arbia to Buonconvento | 14 km

Today’s walk is through a series of rolling hills and wheat-cultivated meadows in the heart of the “Crete Senesi”, a clay area that never ceases to amaze the passerby, with the distinctive grey-coloured soil that makes it look like you’re on the moon. Your destination for today is the walled town of Buonconvento, rightly considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hrs ↑259 m ↓293 m
  • Accommodation: hotel in Buonconvento (Hotel Ghibellino or similar)

Day 4: Buonconvento to San Quirico d’Orcia | 22 km

Today your journey will take you towards San Quirico, over dirt roads and some asphalted ones: these, however, will be compensated by the beautiful views of the Val D’Orcia, among hills tinted with charming shades and scattered with vineyards and cypress trees. In San Quirico you will stand enchanted before the gate of the Collegiata, trying to recognize the various architectural styles that blend into its decorations, before enjoying a rest among the green hedges of the Horti Leonini, a fifteenth-century garden.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 7 hrs ↑500 m ↓400 m
  • Accommodation: country hotel in San Quirico d’Orcia (B&B Locanda del Sorriso or similar)

Day 5: San Quirico d’Orcia to Castiglione | 9 km

You will continue your journey across the fabulous landscapes of the Val D’Orcia: just beyond San Quirico you will enter a timeless world visiting Vignoni Alto, and you will be able to enjoy a reinvigorating rest in the thermal waters of Bagno Vignoni, with its pool in the middle of the main square. The other pearl of the day is Castiglione, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, which you will pass close by as you travel across one of the most beautiful panoramic sections of the whole Via Francigena.

  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 4 hrs ↑200 m ↓300 m
  • Accommodation: gueshouse in Castiglione (B&B Il Vecchietta or similar)

Day 6: Castiglione d’Orcia to Radicofani | 21 km

Today you will test your strength with a demanding section of your journey which will take you as far as Radicofani, but you will enjoy the opportunity of seeing the magnificent view from the Radicofani fortress. You will also be able to visit the Pieve di San Pietro, a little jewel dating back to the thirteenth century, and take an evening walk in its old town centre, admiring the magic of the illuminated Fortress.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 7 hrs ↑900 m ↓300 m
  • Accommodation: agriturismo in Radicofani (Agriturismo La Selvella or similar)

Day 7: Radicofani to Acquapendente | 31 km

The longest walk of your trip is also one of the most rewarding, thanks to the astonishing panorama you will be offered. A short car transfer will lead to the main square of Radicofani: the imposing Rocca (the castle) is dominating the entire valley, giving a view stretching out for kilometres over the Tuscan hills and Monta Amiata. Walk along the old consular road Via Cassia until you reach the final stage of the trip in Acquapendente (you will have a short transfer from Centeno to Ponte Gregoriano to avoid a section with car traffic).

  • Walking for the day: 31 km, 12 hrs ↑516 m ↓972 m or shorter option: 25 km, 10 hrs
  • Accommodation: hotel in Acquapendente (Albergo Toscana or similar)

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own or extra nights upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in selected 3-star hotels in towns, agriturismi* and inns in the villages and the countryside. 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. Some hotels have a swimming pool and indoor restaurants.

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 one dinner (Day 6). Packed lunches can be pre-ordered at the accommodations or you can buy products from local shops. For dinner, you will usually have plenty of options in the villages you are staying in. Throughout the trip, there are plenty of opportunities to taste both the great local food and a wide array of prestigious wines of the region.

Difficulty & terrain

The route is moderate to demanding, but there are no particularly steep ascents. Some walks are quite long but can be optionally shortened using local transport or private transfers. A good level of fitness is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades). The whole itinerary is mainly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), there are some sections on asphalted roads, especially on the first and last walking days. The whole itinerary is well marked by the official signage 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 April 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 (If you’d like to catch the famous Palio di Siena, you will have to travel in July or August, however). In September – October, you will enjoy pleasant temperatures and might also be able to catch the regional wine harvest.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended arrival airports for this holiday are Florence and Pisa. Other Italian airports are also well connected to the area.

By train or bus

Arrival in Siena
From Pisa Airport (PSA), you can take a bus, a taxi or a train to Pisa Centrale Train Station, then take the train to Siena. There are many daily trains from Pisa to Siena (always with a change in Empoli) and the ride takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Price is about 10.50 EUR per person, one way.

From Florence Airport (FLR), there are many direct trains from Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station (reachable by bus or taxi from the airport) that take from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Price is about 9,00 EUR per person, one way.
A faster way to get from Florence is Siena is by bus, trip lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes (www.sitabus.it). Price is about 7,00 EUR per person, one way.

Departure from Acquapendente
The closest train station to Acquapendente is Orvieto, about 30 km away. There are 2 buses running from Acquapendente (check www.cotralspa.it) from Monday to Saturday, the trip takes 1 hour and the price for a one-way ticket is about 2,80 EUR.
There are no buses running on Sundays, so you have to take a taxi to reach Orvieto.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in selected 3-star hotels and agriturismi, private en-suite rooms
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner on Day 6
  • Transfer on day 7
  • 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) & pilgrim passport
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches and 6 dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Local tourist tax & entry fees (payable on the spot)
  • 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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