Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Architecture of Town Assisi-Italy-2186838_1920_processed_P

Italy Hiking – Umbria’s Via Francigena

REI Adventures
4.4 . Great
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
8 days
From: $ 2,999 $ 375 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Follow the Via Francigena’s ancient pilgrimage route from Assisi to Viterbo
  • Hike past picturesque stone farmhouses, olive groves and Roman ruins
  • Savor culinary specialties and world-renowned regional wines
  • Learn to prepare handmade Italian pasta from an agriturismo chef
  • Visit ancient abbeys, Etruscan catacombs and charming, medieval hilltop towns

Short Description

Spend eight days following the Via Francigena route through some of Italy's most striking countryside.

Follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims on our journey, winding through picturesque landscapes, tranquil olive groves and thick oak forests. Experiencing Italy’s beautiful countryside—hiking through stunning scenery and spending evenings in charming hilltop towns—is an unforgettable experience.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Assisi
End City Rome

Destinations

Italy

Cities & Attractions

Assisi Perugia Rome

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • Double-occupancy accommodations for 7 nights; 
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary; 
  • Wine at included dinners; 
  • All transfers noted in the itinerary; 
  • One group transfer on Day 8 to Rome’s FCO airport; 
  • Expert English-speaking guides; 
  • Professional tour guide for St. Francis Basilica guided visit; 
  • Perugia city tour; 
  • Underground Etruscan catacombs tour; 
  • Wine tasting on Day 5; 
  • Cooking class in Viterbo on Day 7; 
  • Entrance fees and taxes as required to support the itinerary.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Meeting in Assisi, we tour the Basilica of St. Francis.
Arrive at our group hotel in the medieval city of Assisi, Italy by 12pm today. Assisi can be reached via direct rail connections from Rome. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Assisi's finely preserved marble buildings and scenic location on the slopes of Monte Subasio contribute to its reputation as one of the most beautiful towns in Umbria. This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour to see the Basilica of St. Francis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We also visit the 53 Romanesque arches of the Friary of St. Francis, the Cathedral of San Rufino and the Rocca Minore fortress which forms part of the Assisi city wall. Dinner included.

Walking: 2.5 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain/loss: 440’.

Day 2: Follow St. Francis's footsteps on a hike through the Vale of Spoleto.
Today’s hike begins in Eremo Delle Carceri. This small hermitage, located in Monte Subasio Natural Park, served as a spiritual retreat for the young St. Francis and is still home to a small group of Franciscan monks. We follow in the footsteps of St. Francis, hiking through the Vale of Spoleto's rolling hills, verdant valleys and thick oak forests. Our destination is the quiet village of Spello with its beautifully intact pink-stone medieval center. Time permitting, we stop to view Pinturicchio's superb Renaissance frescoes in Spello's church of Santa Maria Maggiore before heading back to Assisi. All meals included.

Driving: 20 minutes; Hiking: 8 miles, 5 hours; Elevation gain/loss: 1,100'.

Day 3: Explore Perugia, known for its artistic traditions, and travel to Orvieto.
The medieval hill town of Perugia was founded by the Etruscans more than 2500 years ago and conquered by the Romans in 309 BC. We tour Saint Lorenz Cathedral and view paintings of the Renaissance master Pietro Perugino, one of Umbria's native sons and Raphael's teacher. A short transfer brings us to Panicale, a tiny architectural gem set amongst rolling hills with vineyards and olive groves. We stroll through narrow cobblestone streets and enjoy lunch. Next, we visit Orvieto which stands high above the Paglia valley on a crag of soft limestone called tufa. We walk through cobblestone streets and visit the town’s unusual black-and-white banded marble cathedral. This Gothic building has an intricate and colorful façade made up of both mosaic and sculptural elements. After a guided tour of the labyrinth-like underground Etruscan catacombs, we have free time until dinner. All meals included.

Driving: 3 hours; Walking tour of Perugia: 2.5 hours; Orvieto catacombs tour: 1 hour.

Day 4: Discover the ancient streets of Orvieto; hike to volcanic Lake Bolsena.
Departing Orvieto, we follow the Via Francigena pilgrimage route through woodlands that are home to wild boar. Our destination is Bolsena, a village on the eastern shores of Europe’s biggest volcanic lake. This ancient Roman town has a rich history. Archeologists have identified Roman baths, temples, a small theater and amphitheater to be from the 3rd century AD. The surrounding landscape is equally rich with black volcanic sands and beaches stretching for miles. Our waterfront hotel lies below la Rocca Monaldeschi dell Cerva. This impressive historical building has been a fort, castle, prison and now houses a museum. All meals included.

Hiking: 10 miles, 5 hours; elevation gain: 1,500'; elevation loss: 700'.

Day 5: Hike a ridge trail to Montefiascone and sample local wines.
Tuscia Laziale is an agricultural region known for its volcanic lakes, flower-filled fields and olive groves of rare beauty. Our path heads south as we hike along a scenic ridge trail overlooking Lake Bolsena. We follow a stretch of the ancient Via Cassia en route to Montefiascone, the next stop in our modern-day pilgrimage along the Via Francigena. This important Roman road once connected Rome with Italy's northwestern coast. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Montefiascone and nearby Viterbo became safe havens for numerous popes. This was during a period when the papacy had difficulty asserting its authority over Rome. Today, the town's historic buildings, churches, and piazzas allow us to imagine what medieval life might have been like for its former inhabitants. Upon reaching Montefiascone we enjoy a tasting of famous wines of the region. All meals included.

Driving: 15 minutes; Hiking: 8 miles, 4.5 hours; elevation gain: 2,000; elevation loss: 1,500’.

Day 6: Hike to the thermal baths of Bagnaccio, then explore in Viterbo.
From Montefiascone's Rocca dei Papi, the old Papal summer residence, we begin our walk among orchards, stone farmhouses, and stands of cypress trees. Our hike ends at Bagnaccio Terme near Viterbo in the Lazio region. It's geothermally heated waters are known for their restorative effects. They have been visited by pilgrims and local residents for hundreds of years. After transferring to our hotel in the fortified town of Viterbo, we spend the afternoon exploring. We visit the city's papal palace San Lorenzo Cathedral and the thousand-year-old rock walls juxtaposed against the nearby green hills of the Monti Cimini. Dinner is on your own tonight, and your guides have excellent recommendations. Breakfast and lunch included.

Driving: 20 minutes; Hiking: 8 miles, 4 hours; elevation gain: 330’; elevation loss: 1,300'.

Day 7: Following our final hike we learn to make a typical Italian meal.
Our countryside hike passes through a forested section of the Cimini Regional Park. It provides views of Lago di Vico, which occupies the old crater of the Cimino volcano. We continue through chestnut, hazelnut, oak and beech groves which are divided by old dry-stone walls. Our trail ends on the shores of Lago di Vico (1,673'). This horseshoe-shaped lake lies in the shadows of Mount Venere (2,792’), a small volcanic cone that emerged after the volcano’s last eruptive phase over 100,000 years ago. We return to our hotel in Viterbo to freshen up, then transfer to one of the area’s most celebrated restaurants for a cooking class with the head chef. We learn to make a classic Italian meal, then dine on our creations to celebrate a week of exploring with new friends. All meals included.

Driving: 40 minutes; Hiking: 6.2 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain: 1,300'; elevation loss: 1,480'.

Day 8: Transfer to Rome's Fiumicino airport and final farewells.
Following an early breakfast, we transfer to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino (FCO) airport. Departing flights can be book after 11:30am. If you are extending your stay in Rome, you will transfer independently by taxi or train to your next destination. Breakfast included.

Driving: 1.5 hours.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,999
Price Per Day: $ 375 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 499

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9 REI Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 1
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.4
Guide
4.4
Activities
4.4
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.4
Meals
4.4

Italy Hiking – Umbria’s Via Francigena

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Trip of a lifetime

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I loved this trip. The equipment was in very good condition. The fjords are awe strikingly beautiful. The water is clear and the Norwegian people were incredibly nice and hospitable.

Our guides were top notch. They worked very hard to make our trip the best it could be for us. Lots of personal service from REI Adventures. I have to look back at my pictures to make sure I actually took the trip. It was a life altering experience for me.
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Great way to see a country with a group

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Meals4.0
REI's tour groups are a blast. You're able to see much more of the country than you would if you were on your own. The trips are very organized and you never feel bored or too rushed. There's a wide variety of tours to pick from based on region and activity.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 14

Trip ID#:

ItaFraReiAdv

Trip Excludes

  • Transportation to and from Rome, Italy; 
  • Dinner on Day 6; 
  • Optional museum and site entrance fees not included in the itinerary; 
  • Optional guide gratuities, items of a personal nature, costs of obtaining a passport, any other services not mentioned in the itinerary.

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