RADICOFANI

Leg 14: San Quirico d'Orcia to Radicofani

Thermal waters along the Francigena

This challenging 32.7 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): 32.7
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
San Quirico d'Orcia
- Located in the heart of the Val d'Orcia, this is an ancient village, probably of Etruscan origin, located 424 meters above sea level and nestled in a landscape of hills, olive groves, vineyards and oak woods. Here you can visit the Horti Leonini, which date back to around 1581 on land that Francesco I de 'Medici had given to Diomede Leoni, named after the owner. The gardens are kept up to date with the original structure, forming a well-preserved example of the classic Italian garden.

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.
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