La Via Francigena - the Roads to Rome
La Via Francigena
24 April - 10 May 2022
16 - day accompanied walk from Siena to Rome (± 250 km)
Cost: €1490 in shared rooms - €385 single supplement
Appril - May 2022
The group will start this walk in Siena, a wonderful, not-to-be-missed walled city in the north of Tuscany.
As some of the official stages are over 30 km we have split them into two, making 16 stages altogether.
One day in Siena, 14 days walking, two nights in Rome
Siena is connected by bus from and or train from Rome (3 hours and €12 - €15)
You can fly to Florence and take a bus or train from there.
24 April - 10 May
Day Place KM
1 Meet in Siena
2 Lucignano d’Arbia 22
3 Buonconvento/taxi to Montalcino 16
4 Bagno Vignoni 20
5 Gallina 10
6 Radicofani 16
7 Centeno/Taxi to Acquapendente 15
8 Bolsena 22
9 Montefiascone 17.5
10 Viterbo 18
11 Vetralla 17
12 Sutri 24
13 Campagnano di Roma 24
14 La Storta 24
15 Rome 20
16 Free day in Rome
In the Middle Ages multitudes of pilgrims, soldiers, merchants and travellers used a system of roads known as the “Via Francigena” – or roads of the Franks - to travel from England and other northern countries to Rome.
The archbishops of Canterbury used the road to travel to Rome to receive their pallium or stole of office from the Pope. In 994 AD Archbishop Sigeric’s clerks kept a diary of his return journey entitled 'From Rome to the Channel'.
In the 1990s the diary was rediscovered by Italian researchers and is now in the British Museum. The Archbishop's descriptions of places along the route proved to be very accurate and the discovery generated academic research, tourism promotion and restoration of the actual route for modern walkers.
In 1994 the Council of Europe designated the Via Francigena as a 'European Cultural Itinerary.' As religious and cultural tourism grows in popularity, modern day pilgrims once again walk the old pilgrim roads to Santiago in Spain, Jerusalem and to Rome.” Quote from ‘La Via Francigena, Five Pilgrims to Rome’
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**PLEASE READ THIS INFO BEFORE JOINING**
Travel writers always talk about the 'rolling hills' of Tuscany. 'Hills' is the operative word! Many villages are on top of hills and parts of the Via Francigena is a roller-coaster trail going up and down steep hills.
You need to train on hills! If there are no hills for you to train on, use the stairs in your local shopping mall, public buildings, underground or at the gym, on a treadmill or StairMaster.
The difficulty ratings for the stages are taken from the latest Italian Guide book published by the AEVF. There are 5 'Easy' days (short, flat trails) the rest being 'Medium' to 'Medium-Challenging'.
In our experience, the Medium to Challenging stages in guide-books refer mostly to the longer distance days so we have tried to reduce the distance of these stages to lower the difficulty to medium.
There is no technical hiking involved, you will need to be reasonably fit and able to walk 116 to 24km every day in 5 - 7 hours. Sunrise is around 05h50 which means you should arrive at your destination between 2pm and 3pm each day. The trail is on often on mountain tracks, stones, gravel, riverine trails and asphalt paths which, although not technically difficult, require a moderate level of fitness.
With this in mind, we have had many people between the ages of 60 and 75 walking to Rome in our groups. Its not an age thing! Its up to you to do the training.
Do not compare this walk with the Camino de Santiago!
If you have walked the Camino de Santiago you shouldn't have any trouble walking the Via Francigena. However, the Via Francigena today is probably like the Camino was 20 years ago. There are often no villages between start and destination, not many places to get water or stop for a coffee or food, fewer pilgrims, and churches are rarely open. Buses are few and far between and many places don't have taxis so there is no escape if you want to stop walking. (Our luggage transfer vehicle will come to your rescue if you are really desperate!)
Pilgrim passport and guide book
Lightfoot Guides – Paul Chinn and Babette Gallard
Via Francigena Pilgrim Trail - Sandy Brown
Italian (and English edition)
La Via Francigena 1000km a Piedi dal Gran San Bernardo a Roma : 2016