Via Francigena Review: Orvieto to Rome Walk

The magnificent St Peter's Basilica in Rome | Kerren Knighton
The magnificent St Peter's Basilica in Rome | Kerren Knighton

Via Francigena Review: Orvieto to Rome Walk

Incredible Walking Along Italy's Camino, the Via Francigena 

The last section of the Via Francigena in Italy is one of the most popular sections of this ancient pilgrim path. Starting from Orvieto, just over 100km from Rome, is sufficient for walkers to qualify for a ‘Testimonium’ of pilgrimage to the Eternal City of Rome. This is one of the reasons Kerren from our Auckland office chose this section. She tells us about her highlights and top tips for people thinking about completing the Orvieto to Rome Walk in this interview.

What were your highlights?

The beautiful towns that you visit along the way were the firm highlights of this walk. Orvieto, Bolsena, Montefiascone and Viterbo still have city walls surrounding their old, medieval towns. Orvieto and Montifiascone  are built on top of volcanic Tufa cliffs that give you wonderful views of the surrounding area. 
While not as high, Bolsena is a stunning town on the lakefront that you can stroll around with the locals and sample gelato. Being a volcanic lake, the water is pretty cold though! 
The Duomo of Orvieto is considered to be one of the best examples of Italian Gothic architecture |  <i>Kerren Knighton</i>
Italy's old towns are often home to the remains of an old castle begging to be explored, and ancient cobble-stone streets that are perfect for getting lost in. Viterbo's historic centre is considered one of the best preserved medieval towns in central Italy. Although every town in Italy seems to have an amazing church, the 14th Century Orvieto Cathedral is truly spectacular. 
Antipasto and wine in Italy

What was the food like?

There were so many food highlights on this walking holiday. Lake Bolsena is known for its Coregone, a white fish that we tried pan friend and thoroughly enjoyed. Orvieto's menus feature a lot of game, for example, wild boar sausages. At our farm stay near Sutri we had wild pork that had been caught locally and cooked by Mama in the kitchen. 
The 'classico' white wine in Orvieto is excellent, and Montefiascone is famous for its Est, Est, Est! wine - both go down extremely well after a day on the pilgrim trail. 
Agriturismo in Sutri, Italy

What was the most memorable place you stayed?

Overall, the accommodation was fantastic - a nice blend of 3-star hotels and farm stays. My favourite was our farm stay or 'agriturismo' near Sutri, which was a working hazelnut farm and had a pool. After our walk that day, a cold beer by the pool was a real treat. The farm stay was run by a mother, daughter and their golden lab, who all made us feel welcome (especially the lab!). Another highlight was staying in the wings of a 10th century monastery operated by Cistercian Monks in Rome.

How did you train for your walk?

Knowing that some of the towns are on hilltops, we did plenty of walks on hilly terrain. If you're preparing for a walk on the Via Francigena, ensure you do some walks carrying a day pack so you can get a feel for what it will be like. 
St Peter's Basilica in Rome

What are your tips for people planning to cycle or walk the final 100km into Rome?

While a tourist industry has sprung up around the Camino de Santiago, with restaurants offering pilgrim meal deals and plenty of cafes and shops, the Via Francigena is yet to be touched by mass tourism. This meant that on the first few days in particular, we had to take food with us as there wasn't anywhere to buy lunch. 
Our detailed trip notes advised which days we needed to pack food for the day. We tried to buy lunch supplies the night before, or failing that in the morning before we left the town we were based in. Italian supermarkets are great for this, with plenty of deli meats, cheeses and wonderful fresh produce on offer. I would recommend bringing a container and cutlery with you. Containers stop your food from getting squashed or spilling over things in your day pack. In my opinion, Italy was made for picnics! 

Watch the Inspiring Walk from Orvieto to Rome Along the Via Francigena

Orvieto and Rome are both fascinating towns that are worth extending your stay in. Orvieto is so picturesque and full of arty shops, the spectacular Duomo, interesting museum and 440 caves that you can visit on an underground tour. You could happily base yourself in Rome for a few days to explore its art, architecture, food and culture that contribute to it being one of Europe's most visited cities.
>> Find out more about the Self Guided Francigena Way: Orvieto to Rome walk 
>> Discover the differences between the Via Francigena and the Camino de Santiago in this blog post 
>> Find your Francigena walk in our helpful guide
Italy, Via Francigena, walking holidays

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips