San Quirico d’Orcia to Radicofani
Breathtaking views and thermal springs along the Via Francigena
The stage from San Quirico d’Orcia is a challenging 33.02 km and takes around 7 hours, with climbs and descents through the typical hilly country of the Val d’Orcia.
You travel through open countryside to Bagno Vignoni, a small fortified town famous for its vast thermal-spring bath. With a small detour you can get to Castiglione d’Orcia, whose historic centre is certainly worth a visit.
A long stretch of climbs and descents through the valley of the Orcia and Paglia rivers takes you to the old hospital of Le Briccole. From here there’s a steep climb to Radicofani (the end of the stage), 790 metres above sea level.
Bagno Vinoni is an old town in the Val d’Orcia Artistic and Natural Park, one of the most famous and impressive places in Tuscany. The thermal springs here have been used since Roman times for medicinal purposes. It is thought that Saint Catherine of Siena and Lorenzo the Magnificent bathed in the beautiful sixteenth-century bath in the centre of town.
Bagno Vinoni – Credit Antonio Cinotti
In the middle of the beautiful Val d’Orcia, surrounded by the clay foothills of Monte Amiata, is the comune of Castiglione d’Orcia. On the hillside are Vivo d’Orcia and Campiglia d’Orcia and lower down is Bagni San Filippo famous for its thermal springs. Higher up are Rocca d’Orcia and Castiglione d’Orcia.
Radicofani, on a hill about 900 metres above sea level, has been one of the most important strongholds in Italy for centuries. You get a fabulous view from the Rocca and down in the town you can see the Romanesque church of St Peter, damaged during the war and restored in 1946. In the upper part of town is the Palazzo Pretorio, with the great Hospice opposite that has welcomed pilgrims on the Via Francigena for centuries.