fb track
Medici fountain, Radicofani
Photo ©Alessio Grazi

Via Francigena Leg 36: San Quirico d'Orcia to Radicofani

A challenging leg through the Val d'Orcia starring Bagno Vignoni and its thermal waters

This challenging 33 km leg of the Via Francigena begins in San Quirico d'Orcia and takes about 7 hours. It is characterized by ascents and descents on bare hills. You reach the small fortified village of Bagno Vignoni, with its panorama of Val d'Orcia, and then you head down to Bagno Vignoni, famous for its monumental thermal pool. It's worth a detour to visit the historic centre of Castiglione d'Orcia, with the tower belonging to the fortress of Tentennano.
 
After a long stretch of hills, the Orcia and Paglia rivers lead to the ancient hospital of Le Briccole. This is followed by a tough climb up to the end of the leg in Radicofani at 790 m. above sea level.
Water supplies and refreshments are available in Bagno Vignoni and Gallina (bar 500 m from the track, on via Cassia).
 
Total length (km): 33
Accessibility
: on foot or with mountain bike
Time on foot 
(h: min): 7.15
Climb in ascent
 (m): 908
Climb in descent 
(m): 532
Maximum altitude 
(m): 790
Difficulty
: challenging
Paved roads
: 44%
Dirt roads and driveways
: 56%
Mule tracks and paths
: 0%
Cyclability
: 99%
How to get to the departure point
:from Siena or Buonconvento railway stations or bus line 112

SIGHTS

Bagno Vignoni - The ancient village of Bagno Vignoni, located in the heart of the Natural Artistic Park of the Val d'Orcia, is one of the most beautiful places of Tuscany. Thanks to its close proximity to the Via Francigena (the main route used by ancient pilgrims going to Rome) the waters that flow in this area have been used since Roman times for wellness purposes. In the sixteenth century, in the beautiful rectangular basin located at the center of the village, St. Catherine of Siena and Lorenzo the Magnificent once bathed. The sunset and the slow rising of the water vapor gives this town a timeless feel.
 
Castiglione d'Orcia - The landscape of the Val d'Orcia, characterized by a formation known as "clay", is due to slow geological transformations that started a million years ago. The Crete are characterized by clay soils and the hills have sinuous shapes and form wide, rounded hills. The territory of the municipality of Castiglione d'Orcia is mostly mountainous and hilly. The mountain area, the slopes of Mount Amiata, is characterized by wooded areas and unstable ground. In the mountain area, you'll find the towns of Vivo d'Orcia and Campiglia d'Orcia, and at a lower level, Bagni San Filippo with its famous hot springs. In the hills you'll see Castiglione d'Orcia, Rocca d'Orcia, and the more isolated Ripa d'Orcia.
 
Worth a visit in Castiglione d'Orcia is the Town Hall, inside which is a fresco of the Sienese school, "Madonna with Child and Two Saints". It was taken from Rocca d'Orcia, the splendid Romanesque church of S. Mary Magdalene, with its 13th-century facade and 12th-century apse; the church of Saints Stephen and Degna, which was the most important religious building of Castiglione for the wealth of the works of art it contained, including "Madonna with Child" by Simone Martini and another by Pietro Lorenzetti; and the Aldobrandesca the ruins of the fortress, consisting of sections of walls, boasting a panoramic view Amiata and the Val d'Orcia.
 
Radicofani - On a hill nearly 900 meters overlooking the sea, Radicofani was for centuries one of the most important strongholds of Italy. La Rocca can be seen from dozens of meters away and seems to be hanging over the village. From here one can marvel over an incredibly vast panorama. Descending into the village, the most distinctive monument is the 13th-century Romanesque church of San Pietro, damaged in the last war and restored in 1946. The interior, with its low gothic arches, contains a splendid collection of Della Robbia terracotta and wooden statuary. On the main road lies the church of Sant’Agata, ex-convent of the Conventual Minors, which contains a splendid altar table by Andrea della Robbia and a large wooden 14th-century crucifix by an anonymous artist. The Palazzo Pretorio, built in 1255, lies in the upper part of the town. On the façade are the marble insignias of the Sienese magistrates at the time of the Republic. In front of the Palazzo is the large hospice which, for centuries, served as a refuge for pilgrims following the Via Francigena. Following along the Via Cassia, one comes upon the magnificent Medicean villa called “La Posta,” which was built by Buontalenti at the end of the 16th century, at the behest of Ferdinand de’ Medici.
&
Francigena and Spiritual Routes