VIA FRANCIGENA: CYCLING 9 DAYS

FROM LUCCA TO ROME

Trip Style

Rolling Hills

Availability

March to October

Highlight

Church of San Michele, Museo Civico in Colle di Val d’Elsa, Siena Cathedral

Price from

1120 EUR

 

Grade

VIA FRANCIGENA: CYCLING 9 DAYS

 

FROM LUCCA TO ROME

 

The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walking and cycling pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzantines as both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which would connect the Kingdom of Pavia with southern cities. When the Franks conquered the Lombards, the route was renamed Via Francigena (French Way). During the first millennium, Santiago de Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem became the Holy places of Christianity and Via Francigena turned into a central hub for the Christian faith. Many pilgrims taking this route would reach Rome and then continue on to Jerusalem – The Holy Land. There are several different routes to take to Rome, for example, there are routes coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

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This cycling tour takes you from Lucca to Rome and the Vatican City. Along the way, you will hit towns and cities like Acquapendente, Viterbo, and Sutri. Most of the cycling will be over hills, alongside roads and gravel tracks. The scenery along the track will surround you with stunning Italian countryside, including beautiful fields, woods, vineyards, and various natural streams. You will also be exposed to numerous churches, cathedrals, towers and castles.

 

There is a certain level of fitness required since you will be cycling over 250 km; however, the route is very doable. The tour is very rewarding, since you will be immersed in the Italian countryside, the peaceful environment and local gastronomy. The tour ends in Rome, where you can take in all of the city’s art, history, and culture, not to mention the spectacular Vatican City.

PACKAGE DETAILS

Day 1: Lucca (Arrival)


While in Lucca for the first day, try to enjoy some of the major sites before starting your cycling tour to Gambassi Terme. Some of these major sites include the Romanesque Church of San Michele in Foro, the Piazza Anfiteatro, and the museum, Casa di Puccini. You can also relax and try the local food and wine before starting your tour the next day.

Day 2: Lucca to Gambassi Terme (5h 30m – 65km)


From Lucca, you will begin by cycling along gentle roads and grass tracks. Along the roads and towns, be sure to check out the churches and the impressive Abbadia di Pozzeveri. You will pass through Altopascio, so stop and take a break. If you have time, visit the Church of San Jacopo Maggiore and enjoy a glass of local wine before continuing your cycling tour.

 

After a short break in Altopascio, your cycle will be a little bit more difficult, because the terrain will shift to hills. Try to take in as much of the scenery as possible! On this leg, you will pass Abbazia di San Salvatore and much more of the Italian countryside. There are two possible routes to follow, so choose your path and continue along the cycling tour. Once again, when you reach San Miniato, take a breather and grab a glass of wine and a bite to eat and indulge in the famous San Miniato white truffles.

 

The last leg of your first day of cycling will take you to Gambassi Terme. The path for the last bit of the day will include both hills and grassy tracks, so be prepared. The peaceful countryside will accompany you for the entirety of this leg, so be sure to relax and enjoy the quiet. Before you reach Gambassi Terme, you will pass the Church of Santa Maria of Chianni, so stop and take it in. Soon after that, you will reach Gambassi Terme, where your accommodations are for the evening. Explore the town and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Day 3: Gambassi Terme to Siena (4h 30m – 51km)


The second day covers a shorter distance and will take you from Gambassi Terme to Siena. Once you leave Gambassi Terme, you will travel over gravel roads and hills. Soon after you set off, you will pass through San Gimignano, so you can stop if you would like or continue cycling. You will also pass through Colle di Val d’Elsa, so feel free to take a break here, grab a snack and maybe visit the Museo Civico or the Castello, before heading back onto the track.

 

From Colle di Val d’Elsa, you will have two paths to choose from. One option is picturesque, going by the Abbadia a Isola, and the other option is less scenic and follows minor roads, both routes eventually leading into the walled town of Monteriggioni. In this town, take a break, grab lunch and do a little sight-seeing. Some of the major sights include the wonderful Church of Santa Maria Assunta from the 13th Century as well as the Romanesque Church of San Lorenzo a Colle Ciupi.

 

On the last leg of the day, you will pass through beautiful fields and groves of olive trees. There will be some cycling over hills, so be prepared. Once again, you will have two routes to choose from one route that goes along minor roads, by some traffic and another route which is longer, quieter and has more shade. A short while later, you will arrive in Siena, so be sure to enjoy the sights that the town has to offer. Siena houses the incredible Duomo (Siena Cathedral), the Gothic Palazzo Pubblico and the standout Piazza del Campo.

Day 4: Siena to San Quirico Dorcia (4h 30m – 51km)


On the third day of the cycling tour, you will travel from Siena to San Quirico d’Orcia. The first part of the day will include more hilly terrain, but there is a chance to stop and rest in Isola d’Arbia. After a short break, you will continue to cycle and the path will lead you through Quinciano, where you can break once more. If you have time, visit the Church of San Albano before continuing your tour.

 

The track then changes from hills to gravel roads, so the trip will be easier. The easy track will lead you to Buonconvento, a remote town surrounded by beautiful farmland. Stop for a breather and treat yourself to some pizza.

 

From Buonconvento, the route will take you to San Quirico d’Orcia. There are different routes to choose from, both feature a more hilly terrain, so it will be a bit more challenging. The scenery will make the ride worth it, however. Once you reach San Quirico d’Orcia, try to visit the Collegiate church of San Quirico and the impressive Palazzo Chigi, which is a wonderful public park.

Day 5: San Quirico Dorcia to Acquapendente (4h 30m – 52km)


The fifth day of your cycling tour will take you from San Quirico d’Orcia to Acquapendente. The day will start out much like the previous day, with a hillier ride. There are parts of the track that feature gravel roads, so be ready for that shift in track. You will pass through Bagno Vignoni, where there is a thermal spa, or if you choose, you can follow a route that follows the Via Cassia. After a bit of cycling, you will pass through Gallina, so stop for a rest and relax in this local town.

 

Once you have explored Gallina, you will begin the journey to Radicofani, which will take you along gravel and grassy tracks. At times, the route will take you across small rivers, so make sure you are ready to cross there. The whole route will feature beautiful Italian nature and several hilltop views. Radicofani is a hilltop town, so make sure you stop and take in the view from the town. In Radicofani, there is also Rocca castle and the Romanesque church of Santa Agatha.

 

The rest of the day will consist of more uphill and downhill cycling. You can choose between the historic route along the road, or taking the loop around Via Cassia to reach Acquapendente. Once in Acquapendente, do some sight-seeing, including stops at the fantastic Basilica del Santo Sepulcro and the Torre Alfina. Enjoy a glass of wine and local produce, maybe even a pizza!

Day 6: Acquapendente to Viterbo (4h 45m – 57km)


Today, you will be cycling from Aquapendente to Viterbo. The start of the day will feature the beautiful countryside, while you are cycling along grassy tracks. You will pass through San Lorenzo Nuovo, so stop for a bit and grab a quick snack. From there, the track will be a mixture of gravel roads, tarmac roads and hilly fields. The route will then take you through the town of Bolsena, which is situated by Lago di Bolsena. If you have time, we recommend that you visit the Castle of Bolsena and the Church of Saint Cristina.

 

After leaving Bolsena, you will cycle up and down several hills, but there are moments of gravel track to break up the hilly terrain. While cycling, you will pass rivers and lush woods, so enjoy the scenery. You will pass reach the great Church of San Flaviano, and enter into the city of Montefisacone. Take a break here, grab lunch and maybe do a bit of sight-seeing.

 

Once you leave Montefisacone, you will cycle along more gravel tracks and earth roads. There are natural hot thermal baths along the way, so if you need a break, try to find one. After more cycling, you will enter Viterbo, which is where the day will end. Rest, relax, and pay a visit to the incredible Papal Palace, before heading to bed for the evening.

Day 7: Viterbo to Campagnano di Roma (4h 45m – 57km)


Day seven of your cycling tour will take you from Viterbo to Campagnano di Roma. The first leg of the journey will traverse country lanes, and you will pass countless vineyards and olive groves. The ride will be smooth, crossing fields and woods, taking you through Vetralla. Take a short break in Vetralla, which is a fortified town in the heart of the ancient Etruscan territories.

 

After you finish your break in Vetralla, you will pass through a forest and by the Church of the Virgin of Loreto. The trail will then lead you through hazel groves, oaks tree forests, and lead you to the ruins of a monastery. Once you pass the ruins, you will go through the charming town of Capranica and onward to Sutri. Stop here for lunch, before heading on to the final stop of the day.

 

The last leg of the day’s cycling will take you through Monterosi. After passing a beautiful water-lily filled lake, you will come to the Monte Gelato waterfall. Feel free to take a dip in the water before continuing on the trip. You will enter the protected area of Veio Park, just before you head into the hilltop town of Campagnano. Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine while you decompress from the cycling of the day.

Day 8: Campagnano di Roma to Rome (3h 30m – 40km)


The last day of your cycling tour is considerably shorter, so take your time! You will travel from Campagnano di Roma all the way to the eternal city of Rome. Taking easier paths, you will pass through the beautiful countryside of Lazio and Veio Park, where you can visit the Sanctuary of “Madonna Del Sorbo”. You will pass through the town of Formello, and then follow the path through a field until your hit the river Valchetta.

 

The river Valchetta will lead you to charming Isola Farnese and onwards to La Storta, where you can take a break before continuing to Rome. The last bit of your trip will take you through the suburbs of Rome to the heart of the city. You will also cycle through the Monte Mario Park. Make sure you take in the amazing view of Rome before continuing.

 

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the eternal city! While you are here, take in as much of the history, art, culture and tradition. The top destinations include the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.

Day 9: Rome, end of walking holiday


At breakfast, we bid you farewell. We do, however, recommend that you spend a little extra time in the eternal city. While here, take in as much of the history, art, culture and tradition. The top destinations include the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.

INCLUDED AND NOT

  • 8 nights in 3* hotels
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • Detailed Walking Notes
  • Francigena Holiday Pack
  • Luggage Transfer
  • Bike Rental
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Entrance fees (museums, monasteries)
  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Extra night stays
  • Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation
  • Dinner

Access

Way in:


Fly In: to Lucca
Closest international airport to Lucca is Pisa international airport. Take a train from Pisa Centrale train station to Lucca. You will then need to make your way to the train station via taxi.

Trains are frequent. Can book train tickets on Trenitalia – www.trenitalia.com

Way out:


Fly Out: from Rome

Rome is serviced by two airports. Leonardo da Vinci Airport at Fiumicino which is used by major airlines, and Ciampino Airport which is used by the budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair.

There is an express train from Rome Stazione Termini to Fiumicino airport, the Leonardo Express, which runs every 30 minutes between 6.30am and 11.30pm and tickets cost €11, all tickets must be validated on the platform before boarding.

It is also possible to get a taxi to the airport, make sure that it is an official taxi which is white with ‘taxi’ lights on top and has a taxi license number displayed. There is a set fare from the city centre to Fiumicino which is €40. Further up to date information on getting to and from Fiumicino airport can be found on the following website here.

To Ciampino airport you can get a taxi or bus and more information can be found on the following website here.

We can also arrange a private transfer from your hotel in Rome to either airport, please get in touch for prices.

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