The Valley d’Orcia has a distinctive landscape, topped by fortified towns and villages and interspersed with conical hills. This unique landscape was inspired by many Siennese artists and their paintings demonstrate the beauty of this area. Begin walking through these amazing scenes this morning along unpaved trails and roads. See lovely views of the Ripa d’Orcia Castle and gorge. The last stretch of your path climbs steadily through Brunello vineyards.
As this route tries to remain as true to the original pilgrimage route as possible, you will not only walk on trails and unpaved roads but also on asphalt part of the way. The ‘traditional’ walk is alongside some busy main roads, which is why we give other suggestions (especially near Rome). Please take care when walking along roads and always be mindful of other road users. Pavements or paths should be used if provided and walk on the right-hand side of the road if there is no pavement or path. This way you can see oncoming traffic.
Italy is known to have long, hot summers with July and August being the hottest months. At that time of year, the temperatures can rise to 30 degrees Celsius during the day. Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. It is also advised to wear skin-protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen. We recommend you inquire about the day’s forecasted weather before setting out on your walks. A useful website for climate information specific to towns and countries is www.weather2travel.com or www.yr.no
Tips en hintsDue to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. If this is the case, you will always receive directions to and from the trail in your route notes. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days.
This depends on the time of year you are walking; if traveling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you. During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers. In the heat of the day, sun cream is essential and a sunhat is highly recommended. Otherwise normal hiking gear in a ~25-liter rucksack will suit. Either sturdy walking shoes or light hiking boots are suitable.
Other essential items are water, enough food and snacks to last between supply points, blister treatment and first aid kit, insect repellent, biodegradable toilet tissue, and a whistle and torch.