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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 8 NIGHTS IN 3 STAR HOTELS AND B&BS
Meals
  • 2 Dinners
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$1850USD

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Overview

Trip Code: VF3

Trip highlights


  • Exploring the renowned cities of Siena and Rome
  • Admiring the sunset over Lake Bolsena
  • Cycling on the old Via Cassia and to ancient Etruscan roads
  • Discovering the thermal pool in Bagno Vignoni, the amphitheatre of Sutri, and the pilgrim district in Viterbo
  • Enjoying delicious Italian delicacies along the way

As you cycle this section of the Via Francigena you will feel like you're cycling in a postcard. Each day you will marvel at the passing scenery - from the vineyards and rolling hills of Tuscany, to the fascinating villages of Umbria, to the beauty of Lake Bolsena, and finally the magnificent Eternal City of Rome. Beginning in the historic town of Siena you will cross the Val d’Arbia and the Val d’Orcia, both icons of the Tuscan landscape. You will continue to Bagno Vignoni, with its enormous thermal pool in the centre of the square, and Radicofani, whose fortress dominates southern Tuscany. As you make your way towards Rome you will be amazed by the beauty of Lake Bolsena, and charmed by the ancient paving stones of the Via Cassia, still intact after 2000 years. You will be enchanted by the medieval center of Viterbo, which has an entire district dedicated to the pilgrim. You will cycle to the ancient Etruscan roads and to the Roman amphitheatre of Sutri. The last cycle day brings you along a beautiful cycle path straight into the heart of Rome, to your final destination of St. Peter's Square. You will also be able to appreciate the true Italian flavours, sampling delicacies of the vineyards of the Brunello di Montalcino, the cheese produced in the zones of the cacio di Pienza, and the famed extra-virgin olive oil produced between Bolsena and Montefiascone.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your own way to the first hotel in Siena. Siena is one of the most beautiful towns along the Francigena. 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 town. A visit to the Duomo is not to be missed and you will marvel at its black and white columns. If you are lucky you will be able to witness a festival in one of the contradas, and see the work of the skilled flag-throwers, before sitting down at a table in Piazza del Campo to enjoy a plate of pici all’aglione for dinner, admiring the illuminated Palazzo Pubblico square.

Meals:  Nil

The cycle today over the Crests of the Val d’Arbia offers unforgettable views. You will start the day cycling along the typical dirt roads of Siena, pedaling as far as the fortified village of Lucignano, with its fine Church. At the gates of Monteroni d’Arbia you can admire the impressive Grancia di Cuna, a fortified farm which held the reserves of wheat for the republic of Siena. From Lucignano continue through the Valle dell’Ombrone to the well preserved 14th century village of Buonconvento, the most important centre in the Val d’Arbia. You will cross the gate of the walls and enter the fine town centre, discovering why its name translates to “happy fortunate place”, before getting back on your bike and cycling to San Quirico over a mix of dirt and asphalted roads. The final section includes beautiful views of the Val D’Orcia, and the route is scattered with vineyards and cypress trees. Arriving in San Quirico you will be enchanted by the gate of the Collegiata. This evening you can enjoy a rest among the hedges of the Horti Leonini, a 16th century classic Italian garden. Ascent 650m/2132ft, descent 490m/1608ft

Meals:  B

Today your journey continues with fabulous views of the Val D’Orcia. Just beyond San Quirico you will enter a timeless world, visiting Vignoni Alto. You can also enjoy a reinvigorating dip in the thermal waters of Bagno Vignoni. You will test your strength with a short but demanding section which will take you to Radicofani. Stick it out, because when you admire the view from the Radicofani Fortress, tired but satisfied, you will be thankful for your efforts. You can also visit the Pieve di San Pietro, a little jewel dating from the 13th century, and take an evening walk in the old town centre, admiring the magic of the illuminated Fortress. Ascent 650m/2132ft or 650m/2132ft, descent 455m/1493ft or 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,D

From Radicofani you will head towards one of the most exciting sections of the Via Francigena, leaving the Fortress behind you and travelling along the old Via Cassia, surrounded by scenery of infinite hills dominated by Monte Amiata. You can walk in silence in the Romanesque crypt beneath the Basilica del Santo Sepolcro, among decorated capitals and arches where, according to tradition, some stones bathed in the blood of Christ have been kept. Your journey continues gently as Lake Bolsena comes into view. From here you descend into a volcanic crater and continue along dirt tracks. The landscape alternates between thick woods and meadows scattered with olive trees as you head towards Bolsena. If you are curious to see proof of the miracle of the Corpus Domini, for which Bolsena is famous, visit the Cappella del Miracolo, where marble slabs stained by the blood pouring from a Host in the 13th century are kept. Or if you are more interested in the typical cuisine, try some local delicacies including Sbroscia, a typical soup made from lake fish and tomatoes. Ascent 620m/2034ft or 840m/2756ft, descent 610m/2000ft or 610m/2000ft

Meals:  B

Today you will cycle through woods and olive groves, on a route that will offer constant views of the lake. You will cross an area famous for the production of extra virgin olive oil, which we recommend you sample on a piece of fragrant local bread. Arrive in Montefiascone, where the climb up to the Rocca is not to be missed for panoramic views. On descent from the Rocca, you can go into a typical wine bar and taste a glass of wine from the famous Est!Est!!Est!!! region of Montefiascone. If you want to spoil yourself a little more, you can enjoy a pleasant break at the spas of Bagnaccio and recharge your batteries in its thermal waters, before cycling towards Viterbo, your destination for today. In honour of the history of the Via Francigena, do not miss visiting the picturesque pilgrims' quarter, before admiring the splendid Palazzo dei Papi and enjoying the silence of the Longobard cloisters of Santa Maria Nuova. End the day on a sweet note by celebrating your journey with the delicious local frittellacce. Ascent 545m/1788ft, descent 420m/1378ft

Meals:  B

From Viterbo the journey continues towards Vetralla. This is Etrurian territory, stomping ground of the ancient Etruscans, who left their mark in tomb cities throughout the region. Just outside Vetralla there are some fascinating necropoli. Continue pedaling through the Lazio countryside before arriving in Sutri, a small town rich in attractions. The Roman amphitheatre, dug from the tufa, is not to be missed. Here you can sit on the terraces or even walk onto the stage. As you leave the amphitheatre remember to sign the visitors’ register as it is very important to the custodian, and if he is there he will invite you to do so. Afterwards you can proceed to the church of Santa Maria del Partro, where the tufa walls are decorated with beautiful frescoes. Be sure to look for the group of pilgrims among the images, who are depicted in prayer with their sticks in their hand. Ascent 420m/788ft, descent 510m/1673ft

Meals:  B,D

From Sutri you will cycle towards Campagnano and then Formello. During today’s ride you will pass the Mount Gelato waterfalls, where you can stop for an invigorating dip (weather permitting). Continuing along the panoramic road of the Veio Nature Park will bring you to the gates of Campagnano. Here you can rest in the Venturi Park, home to a 300 year old Yew tree which the locals call the “Tree of Death”. But don’t worry, you can sit in its shade without any danger! Continue through the Veio Nature Park, with its woody hills, before entering the enchanting Valle del Sorbo. You can admire the sanctuary of the Madonna del Sorbo before later arriving in Formello, with its medieval buildings. Ascent 534m/1759ft, descent 590m/1936ft

Meals:  B

Today marks the last cycle of the trip, with just 34km between you and the Eternal City. This morning you will continue across the countryside of Lazio, which you would never guess lies so close to a metropolis. You will need to cross a brief section of trafficked roads to reach the cycle path of River Tevere, an enchanting slow path which will lead you to the gates of Vatican City. Your cycling journey ends in St Peter's Square. Don't forget to take a triumphant photo in front of the Basilica to celebrate the end of your journey! Tonight you can sample some delicious local food - we recommend the spring lamb (in season), pecorino romano cheese, and perhaps a delicious maritozzo with cream. Ascent 155m/509ft, descent 280m/919ft

Meals:  B

Arrangements conclude after breakfast. Extra nights can be arranged in Rome.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • 8 nights in charming B&Bs and 3 star hotels (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10)
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per room booked, plus app to download and navigate the route
  • Luggage transfer from day 2 to day 8 (max 1 piece per person) - excess charges apply
  • Emergency hotline
  • Hybrid 21 speed rental bike with front bag map holder, odometer, pannier, lock, repair kit and helmet
  • bike theft insurance
  • pilgrim passport

  • Travel to Siena and from Rome
  • Lunches and dinner daily (except dinner on day 3 and 6) and all beverages
  • Entrance fees to museums, parks and archaeological sites
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Hotel taxes (allow €14)

Bike information


Grading

moderate  

This trip involves 7 days cycling with daily distances between 33 to 55km/20.5 to 34mi. The cycle route is mainly along well-asphalted country and secondary roads. As you approach larger towns you will cycle on roads with more traffic. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. *For safety reasons we insist that helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is 1 Apr to 30 Jun and 25 Aug to 31 Oct and a supplement applies.
DN4
Prices valid to 31 December 2021

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1850USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Electric bike supplementUSD$150
  • single supplementUSD$400
  • single traveller surchargeUSD$440
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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