Via Francigena Tours offers Guided Tours across the four countries of the pilgrimage. Guided Tours are led by our experienced guides who know all the tips and tricks of walking the pilgrimage. They will give you explanations of the history and culture of the main sites along the way. Our Guided Tours include comfortable hotel accommodation – no shared dormitories! We use our detailed knowledge of the pilgrim route to ensure that the walking distances are comfortable with well timed rest and refuelling stops. In the evenings we indulge in the local food and wine and reflect together on the day’s journey.
This tour gives you the opportunity to explore the heart of the Via Francigena pilgrimage. You will truly walk in the footsteps of pilgrims’ past and achieve your goal of walking to the tomb of St Peter in Rome. We begin walking by the shores of Lake Bolsena and then explore the ancient city where the feast of Corpus Christi originated. Then we walk through fields and forests to Montefiascone to start our 100 km walk to Rome. Next we walk to Viterbo, the City of Popes. Then on to Vetralla passing through historic Etruscan cliffs. At Sutri we visit an Etruscan necropolis and Roman amphitheatre. Then on to Campagnano di Roma, La Storta and Rome for our testimoniums!
13-21 September 2020
Tour Start Location
Tour End Location
We meet in our Hotel by the Lake in Bolsena. And in the afternoon we have a guided tour of the ancient city and a welcome get to know you dinner in the evening.
Our day begins at the Basilica of Santa Cristina and continues uphill into forested areas. There are several steep sections and an elevation gain of 650 m. We walk through forests and fields with distant views of Lake Bolsena. The highlight of the walk is arriving in Montefiascone, 100 km from the tomb of St Peter in Rome. There are many historic sites to visit in Montefiascone, especially the Rocca dei Papa garden at the end of the walk.
We start our day’s walk at Rocca dei Papa with stunning panoramas of the surrounding landscape. Then we make our way through the ancient streets of the pilgrim route to the city gate. The day’s highlight is walking through olive groves along ancient Via Cassia paving stones. After 12 km we arrive at Terme del Bagnaccio for a pilgrim’s break. Then we continue through fields and pastures to the outskirts of Viterbo. We enter the city portal and make our way through the historic streets to Piazza del Plebiscito. In the evening we take a walking tour through the UNESCO listed city absorbing its long history and why it is called ‘The City of Popes’.
We leave Viterbo from Piazza del Plebiscito and walk to Porta di Valle. We walk along Strada Signorino through magnificent towering columns of tufa limestone dug out by the Etruscans. Then we continue through fields, pastures and olive groves. After 14 km we take a pilgrim break at a picnic area and enjoy the panoramic vistas. Then we continue a further 6 km and to Vetralla where we relax and dine for the evening.
We walk to Piazza Umberto I and then begin our walk to Sutri. We walk through the streets of Vetralla and then continue through oak forests. Next there is a 4 km walk through hazelnut orchards and a visit to the Torri d’Orlando ruins. We continue a further 8 km along roads and trails to Capranica where we visit the historic city and stop for a rest. Then we walk through a dense forest along a fast-flowing stream for 7 km. Finally, Sutri emerges on the hilltop in a setting of Etruscan tombs and a Roman amphitheatre. We relax for the evening in the hilltop city and dine on the local cuisine.
We leave Sutri from the ancient Roman amphitheatre and walk 11 km along sealed roads and trails to Monterosi. Then we take a pilgrim’s rest in a bar. The next stage of our walk takes us through streets and fields to Monte Gelato Cascades for a lunchtime rest. Then we continue a further 7 km to Campagnano di Roma along unsealed roads surrounded by woodlands. Finally, the outline of the ancient city of Campagnano di Roma appears sprawled across the cliff face. It is a very steep ascent to the medieval city where we rest and dine for the evening.
We depart from Porta Romana in Campagnano di Roma and walk along the streets to the countryside with its olive groves and distant panoramas. After walking 6 km we stop and visit the Sanctuary of Madonna del Sorbo. Then we continue a further 5 km to Formello with its medieval city streets and we take a pilgrim’s break. Net we walk through woods and fields to Veio Park. It is a steep climb through pastures to Isola Farnese with its archaeological sites and a spectacular waterfall. In La Storta visit the tiny church where St Ignatius had his vision and dine at the restaurant nearby.
The final walk to Rome begins at the church of the Sacred Heart and then continues for 6 km along Via Cassia to Insugherata Park. We follow a narrow trail which descends into a valley for 3 km and then steeply ascends through open fields. Then walk 4 km through busy streets to Monte Mario Park with its spectacular views of Rome and the Vatican. Then we have a very steep descent into Rome. It is an exciting moment to begin walking the final stretch to St Peter’s Basilica where our Testimoniums await us! We spend the evening enjoying the sunset in Rome and reminiscing about our adventures over our farewell dinner.
Out tour ends after breakfast and we say our final goodbyes and bid fond farewells!
Eat, drink, sketch, photograph and walk your way through Tuscany. It includes classes in sketching, photography and cooking in Tuscany’s most picturesque locations.