San Casciano dei Bagni

Leg 15: Radicofani to Acquapendente

The last section of the Via Francigena in Tuscany

From Radicofani begins a difficult leg of 31.8 km, which takes about 7 hours worth of hiking. The walk begins with a descent of 8 km along the ridge, with a view over the valleys that stretch towards Lazio. With hills all around as far as the eye can see, Monte Amiata lies behind the Rocca di Radicofani.

Having reached Ponte a Rigo, continue along for a few kilometers before entering Lazio, and then follow along the unpaved road with its panorama over the Paglia river valley, until getting to Proceno. Go down to Ponte Gregoriano, before tackling the last steep ascent toward the church of Santo Sepolcro, stopping point for Acquapendente.

Refreshments may be found at Ponte a Rigo and Proceno, as well as water at Ponte Gregoriano.

Total length (km): 31.8 km
Accessibility: on foot or with mountain bike
Time on foot (h. min.): 7 hours
Climb in ascent (m): 352
Climb in descent (m): 752
Maximum altitude (m): 780
Difficulty: challenging
Paved roads: 51%
Unpaved roads: 49%
Mule-tracks and trails: 0%
Cyclability: 100%
How to get to the departure point: from Chiusi train station and the Autolinee Ferroviaria Italiana bus (tel. 0578-31174).

SIGHTS
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.

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Casciano dei Bagni is a town situated in the Valdichiana, in the province of Siena. Its history is tied to the presence of thermal waters, which caught the attention of the gentry over the centuries. In the course of the 20th century, the thermal baths fell into step with the times thanks to the construction of a spa complex and hotel of excellent quality. The religious sites worth visiting are numerous: the great church of San Leonardo, the principal church of San Casciano, the church of Sant’Antonio, the early Christian church of Santa Maria della Colonna—which was built over the remains of a pagan temple—and the church of San Michele Arcangelo.
 
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