This is part 3 of my Via Francigena Toscana. Here I will share my detailed Via Francigena itinerary from Lucca to Rome.
This is part 3 of my Via Francigina journey which mostly goes through the Tuscany part of the Via Francigina.
Via Francigena is one of the most important roads in Europe. In the Middle Ages, it led pilgrims from England through France and Switzerland to Rome, and the route progressed from village to village immersed in the world-famous Tuscan landscapes.
If you haven't heard about the Via Francigena or want more information, check out my travel guide to the Via Francigena.
The stage between Lucca and Rome is perfect for people who love intoxicating landscapes, haunting picturesque towns, and Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
There is a lot to see and do, there is enough time for visits to the attractive sites on most days, including the beautiful and ancient medieval villages such as Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, San Miniato, Siena and the icing on the cake, Rome.
The route crosses the landscapes of Tuscany that have hardly changed for hundreds of years, with a stunning view of hills quickly changing between vineyards and forests and rows of cypresses that lead to distant farmhouses. The walk from Lucca to Rome is an unforgettable experience!
The route between Lucca and Rome takes about 400 kilometers and about 18 days on average.
This stage is considered the most popular in Via Francigena and perhaps the most beautiful!
I started my Via Francigena in Lausanne.
This blog is a direct continuation of my Via Francigena itinerary. Because this is the most popular section, I wanted to dedicate its own blog for those who would like to know details only about this part of the Via Francigena.
My Via Francigena itinerary divided by 3 parts:
Distance: 18 km
Time: 4 hours
Lucca is a beautiful city. It is better to arrive early to experience the city during the day and at night.
After discovering Lucca, we have a day that is probably better to forget.
From the beautiful town of Lucca to Altopascio, the walk is quite boring, urban, and not very interesting, but at least much worse than leaving Piacenza.
This is one of the few days I hardly took any pictures because there was nothing to take. Completely flat walking in a very urban section on asphalt, almost always on roads and terrible industrial areas.
There is not much to add about this day, try to finish it as soon as possible.
There is an option to stay in the old monastery of Badia, and that's where I stayed. The monastery is located about 2 kilometers from the town of Altopascio.
The hostel is 20 euros with breakfast. If you want dinner, it costs 12 euros. If you are not interested in dinner, the nearest restaurant is a 20 minutes walk.
More accommodation in Altopascio
Distance: 29 km
Time: 7 hours
Today we begin to enter the heart of Tuscany.
This is a day that has a little bit of everything. Extensive forests, ancient roads, tracks on river embankments, a bridge, historic towns like Fucecchio, and at the end of the day, the typical Tuscan town of San Miniato.
On the first part of the day at Galleno, we walk on the paving stones of the ancient Via Francigena.
We head towards Ponte a Cappiano, with its recently restored Medici bridge. Here we follow the banks of the Usciana Canal before going through some ancient marshes and then climbing up to the old town center of Fucecchio.
Fucecchio was founded around the 10th century by Counts Cadolingi. Equidistant from some of the major cities (Pistoia, Lucca, Pisa, and Florence) and at the intersection of important roads (such as the Via Franciscana) and waterways.
Fucecchio is famous for being the birthplace of the famous Italian journalist Andrew Montanelli and for its Palio, second only to the Palio di Siena.
The services are well distributed along the route, so we will have no problem purchasing products if you need them.
What can be noticed is that you can see more and more pilgrims. It makes sense because the hills of Tuscany are magnetizing.
A little before San Miniato, we came across a place for pilgrims that a local woman who lives across the street is doing voluntarily for the pilgrims. You can find cold drinks, homemade cookies, a book of memories, as well as a stamp for the pilgrims' passports.
A lovely initiative that makes the heart feel good.
As I've already said, the section between Lucca and Rome is the most popular on the entire Via Francigena route, you can see it in places like this, as soon as you enter Tuscany you feel much more like pilgrims, whether it's in the awareness that the locals have or in the stops along the way that are specially intended for pilgrims.
After crossing the Arno River, we follow its banks and soon reach the wealthy and powerful medieval town of San Miniato, still perfectly preserved.
In San Miniato, you can visit the town's citadel, an abandoned 13th-century citadel built on behalf of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor.
The ancient citadel offers a spectacular view of the hills of northern Tuscany, the Apennines, and the cities of the Arno Valley.
In the heart of the citadel, the tall tower is named after Frederick II, Frederico in Italian.
There is a quite new hostel in San Miniato with a beautiful view.
More accommodation in San Miniato
Distance: 24 km
Time: 6 hours
Today we entering a more mountainous area. My day started relatively rainy but improved towards noon.
After walking for an hour, we take an extraordinarily beautiful trail along the hill ridges of the Elsa Valley, dotted with the castles, forts, hospitals, and large abbeys that originated with the passage of the Via Francigena.
Following in the footsteps of Sigeric, we can find two of his Submansiones or halting places: the Parish Church of Coiano, with its steep flight of stone steps, and the Parish Church of Santa Maria at Chianni, rebuilt in the 12th century.
In the last part of the day, there is a steep ascent until you reach Gambassi and its thermal waters, where the route ends at the Church of Cristo Re.
The walk from San Miniato to Gambassi is stunning in an indescribable way. You are in the heart of Tuscany with a dreamy and intoxicating view.
Today I realized why this section of the Via Francigena between Lucca and Siena is so popular. It's no wonder that many people do this section of the Via Francigena with such amazing Tuscan scenery and charming little towns.
Gambassi Terme may not be as impressive as San Miniato or San Gimignano, but it is a charming town with a tiny and ancient center.
There is a hostel for pilgrims about 2 kilometers before Gambassi Terme. In our case, due to the season it was closed.
Honestly, in retrospect, I'm glad I didn't stay there because it's in the middle of nowhere. There's a charm in Gambassi Terme and the old and central square so I'm glad I stayed here and could experience it that way.
I stayed in Casa Del Principe. A small and cozy B&B with 2 double rooms with a well-kept and beautiful yard and a spectacular view. There is no kitchen but they prepare a refreshing breakfast with handmade jams that they make.
More accommodation in Gambassi Terme
Distance: 13.5 km
Time: 3.5 hours
A beautiful and short day. At the end, we arrive at San Gimignano, with its medieval towers, one of the most visited places in Tuscany, and one of the symbols of Via Francigena.
The advantage that this day is short is that you can spend time in the town and devote enough time to it because there is a lot to see.
Throughout the day, like yesterday, there is no place to stop to sit or drink something.
Today's route is as beautiful as yesterday's. The hills alternate with valleys, the orchards with larger than-ever extensions dedicated to olive groves and vineyards. Here we are in the production area of famous wines and oils, with the wineries and their fabrics that express the landscape.
About 2 kilometers before you reach San Gimignano, there are ups and downs, respectively with a not-so-comfortable section where you walk on a road until you are at San Gimignano.
Some would say San Gimignano is the pearl of Tuscany. I can understand why it is a spectacular medieval town nestled between the mountains. A location that is simply a dream.
The town developed during the Middle Ages mainly due to its location on the historic pilgrim route Via Francigena.
On a personal note, however, I felt a bit like a stranger when I entered the town.
You have to understand that this is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany, no doubt, but it just felt too touristy and commercial to me, and especially after you travel for a long time, you get used to and fall in love with the locals and the simple, small places.
That's why I suddenly felt so strange and different in San Gimignano.
I see many groups of tourists who come to visit the town, luxury restaurants, or full of souvenir shops.
For me, it was a little different, you could say a bit of a shock from the number of tourists. I feel at home in the small, unknown, and authentic towns.
Nevertheless, San Gimignano is stunning in its beauty!
In San Gimignano, I stayed at a place for pilgrims near a church called Foresteria del Monastero di S. Girolamo. A good and cheap place to spend a night in town.
Foresteria del Monastero di S. Girolamo - 20 Euros | 9 Bedrooms | 33 Shared Beds | No Free Kitchen | No WiFi | Check-In: From 9:30 - 12:00 & 15:30 - 17:30 | Telephone: +39 0577 940573 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Location: Via Folgore da S. Giminiano, 32, 53037 S. Gimignano SI, Italy
More accommodation in San Gimignano
Distance: 30.5 km
Time: 7.5 hours
A new day and one of the most beautiful in Via Frangicana. Today's segment passes through the town of Monteriggioni.
A beautiful walk through the open spaces of Tuscany, a dreamy view. The walk is indeed long but not particularly difficult. The highlights of today are the route itself and the ascent to the small and picturesque town that is located similar to San Gimignano on the mountain.
Monteriggioni is built around walls, smaller than San Gimignano but no less beautiful.
A long walk of 30 kilometers in many towns to stop in the first part of the day.
Today you will have 2 options for the route, the shorter one that goes through Colle di Val d'Elsa, this is a more urban road for those who want to get to know the town.
I chose the classic and longer route through the town of Quartaia.
Towards the end of the section, you pass through the beautiful town of Strove and the walled monastery of Isola which gives you the feeling of going back in time to the Middle Ages just before reaching Monteriggioni.
Monterigioni is located on top of a hill with an intact turreted wall. Well, this is another place that symbolizes Tuscany, and therefore very touristy and expensive! (Although a bit less touristy than San Gimignano) but it has a nice accommodation place for pilgrims.
It is important to note that the town is tiny. There is nowhere to buy groceries if you want to cook in the pilgrims' hostel because there is a kitchen that you can use. The few restaurants in the town are terribly expensive!
If you want to save costs and cook, I recommend that you do your shopping ahead of time in the small town of Strove or even before.
Monterigioni has a limited number of expensive restaurants and bars in the central square.
For those who still want to eat or drink beer at a reasonable price, I must recommend a place that is only about an 8-minute walk from the town. A lovely bar with a great atmosphere. The bar is open both during the day and at night, where you can drink or eat something at significantly cheaper prices.
In general, it's not just because of the price, the place is cozy, and many locals come to it. So if you want to eat out, it is admittedly a little far away, and you have to go down 8 minutes and go back up to the town, but it's worth it. The place is called bar dell orso.
What's more, in this town I experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets you can see in the photo. A crazy pink sunset in front of the view of Tuscany, just an unbelievable sunset and experience!
I stayed at Casa Per Ferie Santa Maria Assunta for 20 euros per night.
A comfortable bed. The place includes a kitchen where you can prepare dinner. Because the town is tiny, there aren't many accommodations, but it's a great place to stay for pilgrims.
More accommodation in Monterigioni
Distance: 20 km
Time: 5 hours
Another day between Monteriggioni - Siena, a relatively short day, 20 kilometers and something like 5 hours of walking without stops.
A beautiful day of walking that passes through forests and a beautiful Tuscan landscape. Passing mainly through olive groves, vineyards, wheat fields, and pastures. No big towns, just scattered villages, houses, and farms.
A 6.5-kilometer walk to La Villa, a tiny place. Take a break at Marcello, a charming local guy who hosts the pilgrims. Marcello does everything voluntarily and gives free drinks, snacks, and homemade cake. Of course, he has a small box where you can leave a donation. The small donation helps him to continue providing the pilgrims with supplies. I also recommend writing a few words in his book.
These small breaks at Marcello and the day before are part of the experience of the Camino. It was more common on the Camino Frances that I hiked last year, probably because it is more popular.
You notice that the part of Tuscany is the most popular part of the Via Francigena. Not because of the number of travelers but mainly because the signage and route markings are much better, the paths are well maintained, and some resting points for pilgrims by charming locals who open their hearts for us.
After the stop at Marcello's, there is a 13-kilometer walk until you reach Siena.
Siena is the heart of Tuscany. The city center of Siena has been declared a UNESCO heritage site for good reason. The city is famous for its food scene, impressive sites, and medieval and Renaissance art that spills over every corner.
I decided to stay in Siena an extra day and rest after not doing any rest days until today. I stayed in Siena for 2 nights.
It was an excellent decision because I also gave my body a rest after so many days of walking and could also get an impression of the city.
It was my first time in Siena. One day is enough time to visit the best places in Siena.
I stayed at Foresteria San Clemente. A cheap and excellent place. The accommodation is inside a church and has several rooms and beds. Basic but excellent value for the price.
More accommodations in Siena
Distance: 25.5 km
Time: 6 hours
I woke up in the morning to a heavy rainy day, one of the rainiest days I've had on the entire route. The day started with pleasant weather but changed quickly, In the first part of the day, we return to the silence and through a landscape of hills and cypresses. As we get closer to Isola d'Arbia, we walk into an industrial area that reminds us a little of the entrance to Piacenza, the one that is better to forget.
After that, the rain got stronger and didn't stop, it made it very difficult to walk in the very slippery and muddy terrain. I walked in heavy rain the remaining 12 kilometers until I reached Ponte d'Arbia
I arrived at Ponte d'Arbia, soaked in water from the rain, cold and wet, just wanting a hot shower.
Luckily in Ponte d'Arbia, there is an excellent hostel for pilgrims. A hostel managed by a Christian association.
Excellent hostel in a green environment with a good atmosphere, thanks to the volunteers.
More Accommodations in Ponte d'Arbia
Distance: 27 km
Time: 6.5 hours
Today we return to the pure and beautiful Tuscany. For the view of the hills with the wheat fields, the vineyards, and the cypresses, you pass through the area where the prestigious wine, Brunello de Montalcino, is produced, which you can taste while driving. In addition, Valdorcia has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004.
The weather changed and improved considerably during the day. Because it was raining all day yesterday, the first section of the walk, the first 5 kilometers to Buonconvent, was not easy at all due to yesterday's heavy rain creating crazy mud, so pay attention to that if it rains. I just sank into the mud at every step, but It is part of the pilgrim's way.
After Buonconvento, the route is much more comfortable. 14 kilometers to Torrenieri. The walk is on a comfortable and wide path. Although cars pass alone, walk in a spectacular panoramic view along the entire 14 kilometers, one of the most beautiful routes I remember.
The last section of the day is a smooth walk on asphalt until you reach San Quirico d'Orcia. As I said, I walked the path in the fall, but if you walk the Via Francigena in the summer, take a lot of water with you in this section because there is almost no shade. The heat will require you to make an extra effort.
One of the most beautiful and magical days walking in the heart of Tuscany and discovering the peak of the glory of this spectacular region.
In San Quirico d'Orcia, I stayed at Foresteria Palazzo del Pellegrino for 22 Euros. For this price, I expected there to be a kitchen as well. The place is basic but looks new and clean.
For dinner, you can find a menu for pilgrims, which is quite rare in the Via Francigena. 14 euros, a first course, a second, a bottle of water, and wine. The "La Torre" restaurant is the first and perhaps the only time I have had a special menu for pilgrims similar to the Camino de Santiago.
More Accommodations in San Quirico d'Orcia
Distance: 18.5 km
Time: 4.5 hours
Today according to the official website, is supposed to be one long and concentrated day of 33 kilometers, that includes ascents until you reach the town of Radicofani. One of the most challenging days in the Via Francigena.
I chose to split this day and stay at Gallina. A town in the middle of the stage.
In my opinion, this is the best decision I have made.
I did it not because of the difficulty, but because it is a beautiful day and so that I can fully enjoy Tuscany and the walk properly without stress with the possibility of stopping a lot on the way.
In the first town after San Quirico d'Orcia, you reach a tiny town with a thermal bath called Bagno Vignoni.
Because we decided to split the long day into two, we took a long break at Bagno Vignoni, explored the magical area, stopped for a drink, and enjoyed the sunny weather.
Many miss the small and picturesque medieval town "Banio Vignoni" which, unlike other villages and towns, instead of a square you will find a natural pool of mineral water in the center.
Although you will not be able to enter the pool, bring a bathing suit and a towel with you, and go for a swim in the Parco dei Mulini (for free), which is also a pool with natural warm water. And this was actually the role of the town over the years: a relaxing corner for passers-by, pilgrims, and pilgrims a leg on their way to Rome and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For me, the route itself is more important than the final destination. If I can split the walk every now and then or stay to rest for one day as I did in Siena to experience Tuscany properly, it's worth everything to me. After the stop, we continued walking to Gallina. A small town, you could say a collection of a few houses with a cute local bar and one restaurant.
In Galina, I stayed in a B&B called Affittacamere Albafiorita.
A very charming and homely place costs 60 euros for 2 persons for a double room including wifi and most importantly it has a kitchen because there aren't too many options to eat outside so it's essential to have a kitchen.
Just keep in mind that if you choose to stay in the town and If you want to cook, you will have to buy the ingredients in San Quirico d'Orcia because there is no supermarket along the way.
The town is tiny so there are only 2 possible places to stay. A hostel for pilgrims that was closed, probably because of the season, and the place I stayed at.
If you choose to split the day, you should reserve a place to stay at least a day or two in advance.
As mentioned, most people walk in one long and tiring day to Radicofani. I highly recommend splitting this day. The views you will see in this section are simply unreal!
Distance: 14 km
Time: 4 hours
Quite a short day from Gallina to Radicofani. This is the day that, as mentioned, I decided to split, and it is good that it is so, although it is only 14 kilometers, most of it is a challenging uphill but with a spectacular view until you reach the town on the hill of the mountain Radicofani.
Even today, the view never ceases to surprise me. Walking in Tuscany with all the green hills in front of you is simply an indescribable experience.
Because this day is short, I had the opportunity to walk around and get an impression of the town. You should visit the Radicofani citadel and experience this charming little town.
Radicofani is a charming medieval town that sits on the remains of an ancient volcano. On one of the sides of the mountain, you can find an impressive descent of huge basalt stones. According to belief, Saint Agatha protects the city from volcanic eruptions.
Incidentally, this is one of the reasons I wanted to split the long day into two, not because of the difficulty or the distance, but mainly to use up this beautiful area as much as possible.
In Radicofani, I stayed in the Ospitale dei Santi Pietro e Giacomo, located right in the center of Radicofani. The place, like many places, works voluntarily so there is a donation box intended for pilgrims.
More accommodations in Radicofani
Distance: 23 km
Time: 5.5 hours
The weather was so bad, and it rained throughout the day.
Today, after many days, we leave Tuscany to enter Lazio, through the Etruscan territory of Tusia. The hilly landscape gives way to flat terrain through the Paglio Valley. The population is changing, and the care for the environment, and the cleanliness, will not be so great.
From Ponte a Rigo, you can choose whether to follow the shortest route, which coincides with Via Cassia, or the longer, quieter, and more forested version of Proceno.
I chose the short one because it was rainy. The distance difference is 8 km.
Whichever way you take, you will get to Acquapendente. I couldn't explore the place too much due to the heavy rain.
I stayed in at Alloggio 76. Excellent place in a good location with a well equiped kitchen and great view from the roof terrace.
More accommodations in Acquapendente
Distance: 23 km
Time: 6 hours
A beautiful walk in the second part from the town of San Lorenzo to Bolsena with a spectacular view of the lake all along the way.
The arrival at Lake Bolsena, and the beautiful historic town that gives it its name, make this stage one of the most attractive of the Via Francigena.
The sun came out and warmed us after yesterday's rainy day.
At the beginning of the day, you leave the town and walk on asphalt until the path crosses the sr2 road to avoid the industrial area. The path passes on a flat agricultural level near an abandoned farm. The avenues are cultivated with grains and sunflower seeds. The route makes a sharp turn, and we are back on the road and into the town of San Lorenzo.
In San Lorenzo, we stopped to rest and drank coffee and beer. This is the only point during the day when you can stop to drink or eat something if you are hungry.
After the town, there is another 12 kilometers of simply beautiful walking when you can see Lake Bolsena on the horizon, the walk through olive groves and farmland, bordering the large volcanic crater to Bolsena Castle.
Bolsena really impressed me. Go for a walk in the evening to get an impression of the old houses and buildings and wander the beautiful streets. I've already passed through so many small towns in Italy but I'm always fascinated by how beautiful they are.
Lake Bolsena, with an area of 115 square kilometers, is considered the largest lake in Lazio, and the fifth largest in Italy. It is the largest lake in Europe, created by a volcanic eruption. It is considered one of the cleanest lakes on the continent and is suitable for swimming and fishing.
If you are walking the Via Francigena in summer, you can end the day by jumping into the lake.
More accommodations in Bolsena
Distance: 18 km
Time: 4.5 hours
A beautiful and short day but not easy with many ups and downs, but the view rewards accordingly. If in Bolsena, we were right on the shore of the lake. Today you will admire it from a panoramic view as you ascend toward Montefiascone.
The path leaves the town, and the beautiful view of the lake accompanies us until the route continues through the fruit and olive groves.
After that, the landscape changes, and we enter a forest that is crossed by a beautiful path that ends in a large and shady picnic area in Turona Park.
We pass by the white chapel of Madonna di Torrone and go down to the river - over the cascades, cascades, and pools in it through a dense forest. Up the hill, we leave the forest between vineyards and olive trees, then between cereal areas and scattered oaks, to the farm Podere della Guardata.
A simply beautiful and comfortable walk. Here you can see the sign indicating that we are entering the last 100 kilometers to Rome. Seeing the sign was strange and exciting at the same time.
The path returns back to the road where we have to walk along it for about 400 meters and then turn left and start climbing again where on one side you can see the view of the lake and on the other Montefiascone which is in front of us on the horizon on the top of the hill.
A little before reaching the town there is an excellent viewpoint on the side of the road. We made a short stop there to admire the panoramic and beautiful view.
I stayed at Foresteria del Monastero di San Pietro. It's an old and basic place. Good location in the center. The view from the accommodation is lovely.
There is an option for dinner at the place for a fee of 10 euros, which includes a first course - pasta, a second course - meat including wine, bread, and fruit. A good meal concerning the price.
More accommodations in Montefiascone
Distance: 18 km
Time: 4.5 hours
This is one of the days I realized how unstable the weather is in autumn. I can say that most of the time, I had simply great weather with a few days of rain. This day was the rainiest during my entire Via Francigena. I couldn't even take photos. I just wanted to get to Viterbo.
We leave Lake Bolsena behind, and the day begins with a descent to the Montefiascone train station.
After that, the path is flat on a dirt track parallel to the railway. Continue walking between farmhouses and patchy areas until you reach the Bagnaccio Baths, the entrance is located 80 m from the road.
In my case, the whole day was rainy and I was drenched in water. I just wanted to get to Viterbo, but in different weather, I believe I would have stopped at the baths.
From there, it is another hour's walk until I reached Viterbo and a hot shower.
Viterbo is an untouristed city with beautiful medieval monuments, including the Palace of the Popes, the Cathedral, and the old quarter of San Pellegrino with its towers and the wall.
The accommodation for pilgrims in Viterbo was closed due to the season, so we stayed in an apartment for 25 euros per person.
More accommodation in Viterbo
Distance: 31.5 km
Time: 7 hours
Today we decided to walk more than the "official stage" indicated in the book or on the official website. The stage is between Viterbo to Vetralla. It is a total of 15 kilometers without any particular difficulty, especially in favorable weather, there are many reasons why you should continue walking to Capranica, and I will expand on them later.
So after yesterday's heavy rain, today the sun came out and smiled at us with perfect weather for walking. It turned out great because we knew we had a long day of 31 kilometers.
A walk of about 16 kilometers directly to Vetralla. Along the way, no towns or services such as a cafe or restaurants. A lot of fields and a highway that makes the path a bit uncomfortable halfway through.
After the town of Vetralla, the path passes through a beautiful area due to the abundance of forests and walnut plantations.
The highlight of the day for me is the town of Capranica. Beyond the fact that it is a small and beautiful town from the Middle Ages, it is mainly thanks to the kind hospitality of Travis, who runs a warm house for pilgrims. I want to tell you a little about him because you must meet him and stay in his place.
Travis is an American who has been living in Italy for several years. He is hosting pilgrims in his house. The hostel Road to Rome is Non-profit organization of young volunteers who aspire to open various reception points for pilgrims along the Via Francígena.
There is a room in the house with 6 beds where you can sleep. He does everything completely voluntarily, and he is a wonderful host.
In addition, he cooks dinner and also checks beforehand if there is anyone who is vegetarian or cannot eat something because he wants to take care of each and every one.
Do not miss this place. I highly recommend staying in Capranica. You will receive warm hospitality, and you will feel at home.
You can read more detail about his project on his official website. In general, he has a lot of information, so you can contact him, and he is always happy to help.
It was one of the most fun evenings in my Via Francigena!
Road to Rome Hostel - Price by Donation | 1 Bedroom | 6 Beds | Free Kitchen | Community dinner | Telephone: +39 348 359 5971 | E-mail: email@example.com | Location: Vicolo Del Ponticello, 39, 01012 Capranica VT, Italy
Distance: 31 km
Time: 7 hours
I started the day lazy and tired after a long evening with a lot of wine but without a doubt one of the experiences I will remember the most.
Between Capranica and Sutri, there are about 7 kilometers of walking in a beautiful dense forest until you reach Sutri.
Sutri has a surprising archaeological area consisting of an extraordinary Etruscan necropolis and a Roman amphitheater, all integrated into a natural park. This is a fascinating place for lovers of history and everything related to antiquities.
The Colosseum here is much smaller than what Rome has to offer but is unique because it is carved entirely from natural stone in the Etruscan tradition.
You can walk along the cool dark corridor that surrounds the space. Let your imagination run wild about what it might have been like thousands of years ago. There is also a place where you can climb a dedicated staircase and look out over the large open grass area and get a sense of the perspective that audience members had.
After that, we enter the province of Rome, but still without reaching the metropolis of the capital.
It is possible to notice a changing landscape, such as hills of volcanic origin, forests, hazelnut plantations, and other crops alternating with meadows. To
The arrival at Campanino, bordering the Veio Natural Park, is simply beautiful.
Before reaching the town, there is a sharp but very short ascent at the end of which you reach the town and discover a wonderful view.
I stayed at Ostello parrocchiale di San Giovanni. The place is big and very basic, but the bathroom was brand new and spotlessly clean. There is no kitchen, and the supermarkets nearby were not particularly well furnished either, so keep that in mind.
In the evening, we met again with Travis. He came with a car from Capranica, and we had dinner in an excellent restaurant.
More accommodations in Campagnano di Roma
Distance: 23 km
Time: 6 hours
We are almost at the gates of Rome. We leave Campagnano di Roma behind us and start walking. The walk begins with a sharp but short ascent. Then descends down the slope of Monte Razzano, following a rustic wooden path along various local roads. From there, you enter the Di Veio Natural Park, a beautiful park where the path goes through forests and meadows.
The path goes back up and down, and we reach the town of Formello. Formello has a beautiful historic center surrounded by a wall. A church with a bell tower from the Middle Ages and the town hall stands in the Mertz square.
We took a break for about an hour and sat in a local bar in the main square.
From Formello, there is a walk of about 14 kilometers until you reach La Storta. A not particularly impressive walk, in the last part of which you walk on the sidewalk next to the road with a lot of traffic. With all the noise, the traffic, and the people, I began to understand that we were already in a big city and almost in Rome.
I stayed at Casa nostra signora. A big place with many rooms suitable for pilgrims.
Distance: 19 km
Time: 4.5 hours
This is it, the last day of the Via Francigena!
In a few hours from now, I will finish my journey, when I started in Switzerland, Rome seemed to me like something so far away, and now I'm right here, a step away from Rome!
I woke up in the morning with a strange feeling. This will be my first time in Rome.
No pain, no glory. This motto, like on the Camino de Santiago, applies to the final stage of the Via Francígena. This does not mean that this day is particularly difficult.
The main difficulty is the transition between the long days in which I walked through beautiful landscapes, small and quiet villages, in total pastoralism compared to entering a large and bustling city, and Rome is not Santiago de Compostela, not similar in any way, not in size, not in the number of people and in general, Rome is Rome!
Luckily, the day is spent on a comfortable walk in a beautiful nature reserve. Then on Monte Mario, a mountain from where you can see the spectacular dome of San Pietro's Basilica and get a beautiful view of Rome before entering the Vatican.
Monte Mario has several vantage points that provide panoramic views of the city along Paseo de la Gaudzia, located at the foot of the astronomical observatory. From here, all that remains is to go down a zigzag paved path to the park gate.
From the park gate, crossing the soulless Piazzale Maresciallio Giardino, finally reaching Via Angelico, Piazza del Risorgimento, and already when Via di Porta Angelica enters through this passage into the Vatican complex.
This is how we arrive at the monumental and always dazzling Piazza di San Pietro, whose Berninska colonnade precedes us, it is impossible not to admire the basilica so impressive and powerful that it left me speechless.
The entrance to Piazza di San Pietro was personally accompanied by different emotions. Exactly a year ago, I finished the Camino Frances, and I remember exactly how it was when I got to Santiago. It's really not the same, not similar in any way.
In Rome, you simply blend in with the crowds of people and tourists, but no one shares the "achievement" with you. No one at all knows where you came from, how far you walked, or even knows the name Via Francigena. For a moment, I felt like a stranger among all the people.
I sat on the floor in front of the church, which is customary in Santiago De Compostela, and here nobody sits on the floor. I sat there for long minutes while looking at the stunning basilica. I smiled to myself and said that's it, I did it, I finished the crazy journey. I thought how fun it was that I had the privilege to walk this ancient road that pilgrims walked even hundreds of years ago, the Via Francigena.
Tip: Don't wait in the long line to get the Testimonium. When you arrive at Piazza di San Pietro, you will see a long line of tourists waiting to enter the basilica. You don't need to wait in line. Ask one of the police or security guards and explain that you are pilgrims in the Via Francigena and he will let you in through a side entrance without waiting in line.
You can read more detail about how to get the testimonium in Rome in my Beginning guide for the Via Francigena blog.
Just on the last day, I stayed in a very weird place that I can't recommend in any way, and neither did my friends.
I will say that this is only my personal opinion. Everyone else may experience it differently.
Most pilgrims come to the Spedale della Provvidenza di San Giacomo, a big place intended only for pilgrims.
The place has some strange rules. You need to return to the hostel at 10pm because they close the gate and you cannot enter after that.
I've experienced the Camino before and slept in many places, especially on the Camino de Santiago, which closes the gates at night, but by the time you reach Rome after walking more than a thousand kilometers or even 200 or 500 kilometers, it doesn't matter, sometimes you want to celebrate the moment and you can't when you're restricted.
Rome is considered as the last stop for most pilgrims, a time for everyone to relax and enjoy the end of the experience.
Beyond that, even before 10pm, if you want to walk around Rome, you cannot leave the hostel, the gate is always closed and locked.
You cannot open it from the inside, when you want to leave the hostel, you have to ask the reception to open the gate for you (and there is not always someone at the reception).
It gave me the feeling as I was in a prison where you can't get out if the guards don't open for you.
I only expected that when I arrived in Rome, I would feel free and not imprisoned in a place that did not allow me to go out freely.
The next morning I had an early train at 7:00. I had to be at the train station, and as the gate was locked, I could not leave.
I informed the person at the reception the night before that I needed someone to be here at 6:30 in the morning to open the gate for me, or at least explain to me how I can open the gate myself, they laughed and said they were still asleep at that time. In the morning I got up and had to wake them up to get out of there and get to the train on time.
I'm an honest person and not petty. I have no problem sleeping anywhere if it's a tent, an uncomfortable bed, etc. I have no special requests for a place to stay for pilgrims but this place was not worth it, especially because this is the last day.
Do yourself a favor and look for another place to stay because there are many decent hostels in Rome. Ostello Bello Roma Colosseo is the best hostel in Rome! Even if it's more expensive, in my opinion, it's worth it. You deserve it after A long walk.
This is a long and fascinating journey. I recommend it to everyone to experience.
You don't have to go the whole way. You can walk a section of it, but without a doubt personally, I enjoyed every moment of this long journey, whether it's from the beautiful views, the charming locals and pilgrims I met along the way, the small and unfamiliar places along the way, the food And the Italian coffee.
Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer and help.
Here are some websites I use whenever preparing for my next journey anywhere around the world.
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