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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • B&Bs and hotels
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1330USD

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Overview

Trip Code: HTI

Trip highlights


  • Discovering some of Italy's most impressive, carefully preserved hilltop towns
  • Visiting three regions in one trip: Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany
  • Walking through ever-changing natural and built landscapes
  • Experience a special pocket of Italy just waiting to be discovered

There is something magical about towns perched atop hills and cliffs that dominate the surrounding countryside with their castles, fortresses and stone-houses. This specially crafted self guided walk uncovers Italy's most impressive hilltop towns which have been carefully preserved, unscathed by mass tourism. The trip takes you on a journey of discovery through three different regions, along steep valleys, dense forests, rivers and lakes, and via Italy's legendary eroded clay slopes or “badlands”. Each day a different hilltop town: from Civita di Bagnoregio, the “dying city” overlooking the sea of Calanchi (badlands) to Bolsena, nestled amidst soft hills overlooking its namesake lake. As you walk between medieval masterpieces like the Etruscan Pitigliano, with its charming laneways and dramatic views, pass by farmhouses set amidst olive groves, vineyards and fig trees, thermal baths, ancient Roman roads still used by farmers and experience the Etruscan “Vie Cave”, roads carved into the rock. This small pocket of southern Tuscany bordering Lazio and Umbria is a gem waiting to be discovered.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Orvieto, one of the oldest towns in Italy. It sits atop a tufaceous cliff, on the border between Umbria and Lazio. If you arrive early you can enjoy a stroll through this former centre of Etruscan civilization and visit its impressive cathedral and St Patrick's Well, an engineering masterpiece built at the time of the Sack of Rome in 1527 to ensure the city's water supply in the event of a siege. To celebrate the start of your trip, why not enjoy a glass of the local great wine over dinner at one of the many restaurants in town.

Meals:  Nil

On your first day of walking you will cross the border between two regions, leaving the gentle hills of Umbria on your way to Lazio. First thing in the morning, a transfer takes you to hilltop Civita di Bagnoregio, at 443m. Civita is also called “the dying city”, as the tufa hill it sits atop is being eroded at the base by the continuous flow of the two streams in the valleys below, and the effects of rain and wind. The only way in or out is by footbridge. From Civita di Bagnoregio you can choose to take a shuttle bus to avoid all or part of the asphalted road to Lubriano. In Lubriano you can visit an interesting Naturalist Museum. From the viewpoint of the Madonna del Poggio church you can enjoy the impressive, lunar-like landscape of Calanchi – the Lazio badlands - with Civita di Bagnoregio overhanging the valley. From Lubriano you continue on foot along tarmac and gravel roads, crossing back into Umbria to Orvieto. Whilst the route is along roads, it is a pleasant walk with impressive views. Overnight in Orvieto. Walking: 5 or 15km, ascent 120m or 406m, descent 84m or 510m

Meals:  B

Today you walk Orvieto to Bolsena, enjoying the change of scenery: from the harsh Calanchi landscape to the soft and fertile lake valley.The further you walk from Civita, the richer nature becomes. Following unpaved roads and country paths you catch your first glimpse of Lake Bolsena, a crater lake originally formed by the eruption of the now dormant Vulsini volcano. Continue along dirt tracks, alternating thick woods with meadows scattered with olive trees, before reaching Bolsena. If you're curious to know more about the miracle of the Corpus Domini, for which Bolsena is famous, head to the Cappella del Miracolo to see the blood-stained marble slabs. For dinner you can enjoy some typical cuisine by the lake, such as Sbroscia, a local soup made from lake fish and tomatoes. Walking: 16km, ascent 535m, descent 526m

Meals:  B

A private transfer takes you into Tuscany, to the Etruscan Necropolis of Sovana archaeological area. The site houses several types of tombs, from simple cave-like excavations to the tomb of Hildebrand, a monumental temple named after the 11th century pope who was born in Sovana. You then start walking through vineyards, olive groves and pastures towards Pitigliano, which rises dramatically from a tufa ridge and is surrounded on all sides by a deep ravine. Just before reaching Pitigliano, you walk across an Etruscan Via Cava, a deep and narrow cut in the tuff cliffs that was used as an efficient defensive system against invaders. Walking: 8km, ascent 274m, descent 199m

Meals:  B

Today you have two choices, depending on how energetic you feel. You can take an easy walk along the most renowned Vie Cave of Pitigliano, visiting an archaeological park on the way. Alternatively, you can take an optional transfer (not included) to reach an Agriturismo just out of town, walking back to Pitigliano through the beautiful Maremma countryside, passing Etruscan tombs and “tagliate” on your way. Walking: 7 or 14.5km, ascent 160m or 436m, descent 170 or 419m

Meals:  B

The destination today is Sorano, an enchanting hilltop hamlet also known as 'the Matera of Tuscany' because of its conformation of stone houses perched atop the imposing tufa rocks. The Orsini fortress overlooks the town, an impregnable castle that once belonged to the ancient and noble Orsini family, and where you will spend the next two nights. Walking: 13.5km, ascent 319m, descent 229m

Meals:  B

Waking up in your hotel perched on the hill, catch the sunrise with the sweeping views and magical colours. For your last walking day, explore the surroundings of Sorano with an easy walk through the Archaeological area of Vitozza, a series of caves first inhabited in the 11th Century. From here you have the option to take a detour to visit the ruins of a Medieval castle and church. Overnight in Sorano. Walking: 12km, ascent 224m, descent 290m

Meals:  B

The trip concludes after breakfast.

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

  • 7 breakfasts: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 7 nights in 3-4 star hotels and B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €15)
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per room booked, App for navigation
  • Luggage transfer on days 2, 3, 4 & 6
  • Transfer from Orvieto to Civita di Bagnoregio and Bolsena to Sovana
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Orvieto and from Sorano
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax - allow approx EUR15pp, payable directly to the hotel

Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2 This is an introductory to moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked. You should be able to walk for up to 5.5 hours a day in sometimes hot sun on stony tracks. There are some steep hills, but nowhere could the terrain be described as mountainous. The classic landscape with small (although sometimes steep) hills traversed each walking day. A reasonable level of fitness is required and prior walking experience is advisable. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging - two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

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

$1330USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$320
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$690
*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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