"A pilgrimage from the Alps to Rome"
The Via Francigena walking tour follows one of the three most important religious medieval pilgrimage routes, together with the Camino de Santiago and the way to Jerusalem. It is the road which starts in Canterbury, passes through France and Switzerland and leads to Rome. On this walking tour we work our way through the heart of Italy, starting in the Alps and heading towards the Holy City. Our journey begins in the Alpine mountain valley of Susa, enters the beautiful city of Turin and crosses the Po Valley (Pianura Padana) rice fields. We then climb over the Apennines and descend into the walled city of Lucca. ,From here we can enjoy the unique landscape of Tuscany, its medieval hilltop towns, from San Gimignano to Siena and Montalcino, while strolling through picturesque vineyards, olive groves and cypress tree lanes. We climb Monte Amiata and head to Rome across the magical Val di Tuscia, enjoy breathtaking views of the Bolsena Lake and sojourn in the ancient papal city of Viterbo.
Our journey ends as we enter Rome, cross the gates of the Vatican City, and gaze at the Basilica of Saint Peter.
per person shared occupancy
Included in the Tour:
♦ All accommodation
♦ All meals – except one lunch
♦ Wine, water & coffee with meals
♦ All transport within the tour
♦ Everything except postcards, stamps and phone calls
♦ No hidden extras!!
| DAY 1 | Turin – Superga Basilica
Pick up at 13.00 at Turin airport and travel into the ancient city, once the capital of Italy.
A short afternoon stroll to stretch our legs takes us to the Basilica of Superga for an incredible view on the city of Turin.
(You may wish to arrive a couple of days ahead to recover from jetlag)
| DAY 2 |PIEMONTE: Exilles Fortress – Susa
Our first days walk starts in the quaint mountain village of Exilles. We head up to the fortress and then continue along a path which criss-crosses vineyards and fields. After our picnic lunch we descend into the city of Susa through the arc of Augustus passing by an old roman amphitheater.
| DAY 3 | PIEMONTE: Chiusa di San Michele – Avigliana
We walk the ancient path which leads to the 11th century Sacra of Michele abbey, (cult of St Michael archangel) for a quick visit and stunning views of the alpine valley of Susa. In the afternoon we walk down to Sant Ambrogio , passing by the lake in Avigliana and return towards the city of Turin.
| DAY 4 | LOMBARDY: Gropello Cairoli – Pavia
A pleasant walk, mostly along the river Ticino as we approach the peaceful city of Pavia. The views are mostly of endless rice paddies and cereal fields. The extent of these are reminiscent of of the high plains of central Spain known as the Mesetas.
| DAY 5 | EMILIA ROMAGNA: Terenzo – Berceto
We now start to climb up into the Apennine mountain range, which stretches for miles forming the spine of Italy. We ascend along an old roman road through woodland and small mountain villages with stone houses – the views are breathtaking.
| DAY 6 | ENTERING TUSCANY: Passo della Cisa – Pontremoli
Leaving from the mountain town of Berceto, we climb up the final leg of the apennines along a path which was first laid out by the Longobards in the 8th century, and then descend to the small city of Pontremoli, famous for its bridges over the river Magra
| DAY 7 | TUSCANY: Pontremoli to Lucca
After the previous day’s more rigorous crossing of the mountains, today’s walk is more relaxing with long stretches of the river Serchio to enjoy before walking into the walled city of Lucca. We make a circuit of the city’s renaissance walls, taste delicious gelato and soak in the charming views. There is usually a chance to listen to some opera singing in this charming town.
Free afternoon to explore and the evening is totally casual with traditional oven-baked pizza in the square!
| DAY 8 | TUSCANY: Gambassi Terme – San Gimignano
We are among the rolling hills of Tuscany, tramping through grape vines, olive groves and wheat fields. The walk takes us to the hill top town of San Gimignano, born because of its strategic location along the Via Francigena.
| DAY 9 | TUSCANY: Monteriggioni – Siena
Setting off from the quaint fortress village of Monteriggioni we head along one of the most spectacular and picturesque sections of the pilgrimage route. The day ends in the city of Siena were we can enjoy explore the streets and square where the world famous Palio medieval horse rase takes place.
| DAY 10 | LAZIO: Aquapendente – Bolsena
We leave Tuscany and enter into the Val di Tuscia, our destination now just round the corner. The morning’s walk is accompanied by incredible views of the lake of Bolsena, so big that for a while it seems like the sea. We enjoy a relaxing evening aperitif and dinner on the water front.
| DAY 11 | LAZIO: Viterbo – Casaletto
We set off from Viterbo, known as the city of Popes, in honour of the period when it used to be the home of the papacy. The walking here is lakeside and under the shade of woodland.
| DAY 12 | Rome – Vatican City
We have arrived at the end of our pilgrimage, the holy site which people have been traveling to for centuries. We stroll into the city from Mons Gaudi, a hill from which we get a perfect view of the Vatican and from whence we are but a few hours walk from St Peters. We then stroll along the cobbled roads of Rome where we are surrounded by history at every corner. The perfect way to end our journey.
| LAST DAY| Departure from Rome Aiport
After breakfast at 9a.m. we head to Rome airport.
The secret of our small group walking tours lies in choosing exciting itineraries and turning them into relaxing vacations for others to enjoy. A journey with us is like a chapter in a good book you cannot put down, a discovery trail of treasures, an active vacation outdoors where you meet like-minded people and create wonderful memories to take home.
• WHAT WE OFFER YOU •
We offer you the luxury to relax, be carefree and totally immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, making the most of your precious time.
We take care of all the logistical arrangements and tiny details you would hope to think of if only you had the time.
• VALUE FOR MONEY •
Our priority is to give you a tour of the highest standard and excellent value for money; prices are fully inclusive with no hidden extras. We believe you will only need to buy postcards and the occasional cappuccino.
• WE ARE UNIQUE •
We are unique through our personal devotion to your tour. We don’t rely on others to provide the quality and service we expect, we make sure it happens ourselves.
We spend a lot of time finding attractive walks and seeking the best places to visit. We take small groups and guide all our own tours employing local experts where detailed knowledge is beneficial.
Other small group tour ideas:
The sun-blessed heel of the Italian peninsula boasts monuments like the Trulli houses and Matera’s cave dwellings, where a traveler exploring on foot can enjoy breathtaking sea views, rugged coastal scenery and vast expanses of ancient olive groves seemingly untouched by time.
Walking and hiking among wild flowers, figs and caper bushes cascading onto the tombs of settlers from 6000 years ago. A historical and mythological journey among seven volcanic islands, the sleeping giants of the emerald blue Mediterranean.