It is said that the first to “plough” through the Via Francigena in the valley of Paglia were the Lombards, followed by the Romans. Today, this ancient path is anything but abandoned. The road is still accessible by foot, in bike or by horse, as it accompanies pilgrims from Radiofani to the gates of Lazio.
Leaving behind San Quirico d’Orcia, the journey begins with breath-taking views over the valleys behind the Rocca di Radicofani. Travellers should not miss the impressive thirteenth century Romanesque church of San Pietro that was damaged by the war and then restored in 1946. The path along the Via Cassia meets the grand Villa Medicea, also called “La Posta”, commissioned by Ferdinando de’ Medici and constructed by Buontalenti at the end of the sixteenth century.
The road then descends into the valley of the Rigo stream, which gives its name to the bridge near to where the waterway forks with the Paglia River.
At Ponte a Rigo- part of the town of San Casciano dei Bagni, in the province of Siena- is the last stopping point in Tuscany where weary travellers can rest in a parish uniquely dedicated to pilgrim hospitality.
Afterwards, pilgrims enter Lazio via Acquapendente.
What to eat
In the lands of Siena, a variety of delicacies may be enjoyed during the trip. Apart from the cheeses, wines and pici, other excellent choices are handmade ravioli, honey and local meats.