Via Francigena Proceno to Acquapendente is an alternative route in Stage 37. There are many reasons for choosing this variant. Firstly, it avoids Via Cassia traffic. Most importantly, the well-preserved family owned Castle is a highlight of the medieval town. Also, along with Acquapendente, it is an entry point of the Via Francigena to Lazio. Proceno Castle warmly welcomes Via Francigena pilgrims with accommodation in the Castle and cooks delicious meals using the Castle’s recipes. Then there is a delightful tour of the Castle in the morning. The views over Tuscany from the Castle turrets are amazing and extend to the far distant horizons. In addition, the Castle has one of the few drawbridges still in working. And after that, a peaceful and scenic 8 km walk to Acquapendente.
Via Francigena Proceno to Acquapendente
A visit to the 13th century Church of San Martino is the starting place for Via Francigena Proceno to Acquapendente. Visit the church and then after a short distance turn left into a forest trail running beside Torrente Stridolone. It is an easy downhill walk through the tranquil forest to Strada Provinciale Procenese. This road heads towards the busy Via Cassia meeting at Chiusarelle. The section of Via Cassia from Chiusarelle to Acquapendente is very busy. Fortunately, Via Cassia is avoid by taking a sharp turn to the right to continue along minor roads. After 2 km you arrive back at Via Cassia and walk a short distance to a trail leading to Porta della Ripa and your first views of Acquapendente.
Arriving in Acquapendente
There is much to see in Acquapendente! Go to the right to visit the Convent and Church of S. Chiara once a fortress known as ‘La Cittadella’. To the left is the Church of S. Francesco with a beautiful cloister and many artefacts within the church. Then continue along Via Roma to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This church is famous for its crypt which has a model of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. In 1099 crusaders returned home with stones stained with the blood of Christ during the Passion. So visit, the crypt to see the stones. Also, Acquapendente is famous for its ceramics. There is a fine example near the altar in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Also, the Town Museum has many fine examples.
Most importantly if you happen to be there in May don’t miss the the Pugnaloni Festival! Best of all is the hospitality, food and wine in the Piazza Fabrizio!