World Francigena Ultramarathon
From the City of the Palio to Jerusalem of Europe
Walking along the dirt roads of the Val D'Arbia and Val D'Orcia
THE FIRST ULTRAMARATHON IN ITALY
An event exclusively for walkers
A Trekking and Nordic Walking journey along the ancient route of the Via Francigena.
Organised by the Sports and Tourism Department of the Municipality of Acquapendente, with sponsorship from the European Association of Via Francigena, and with the collaboration of Siena, Monteroni D'Arbia, Buonconvento, Montalcino, San Quirico D' Orcia, Castiglione D ' Orcia, Radicofani, San Casciano dei Bagni and Proceno, the event will take place Saturday 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017 along the old route of the "Sigerico".
The event is being promoted nationally and internationally to highlight an area that's rich in the natural and artistic beauty that typifies the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of towns the route passes through.
A stage of 32 km begins in Siena. A challenging course along the roads of the Val d'Arbia, with panoramic views characteristic of the Siennese countryside, leading to Grancia di Cuna, an old fortified farmhouse owned by the hospital at Santa Maria della Scala. Continuing along the foothills of the Crete Senesi, you get to Monteroni and finally reach Quinciano. A short distance away is the fortified village of Lucignano d'Arbia, with the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista. After a stretch along the railway line, we reach Ponte d'Arbia and subsequently Buonconvento, the finishing line of the alternate route.
A stage of 32 Km sets off from Buonconvento. After an initial flat section, it travels uphill to reach Buonconvento, with its perfectly preserved village. You then climb the Ombrone valley, walk along a stretch of the Cassia to Montalcino, with the Brunello vineyards covering the hill.
Then, along the country roads until you reach Torrenieri, with the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, cited by Sigerico. From here, you enter the Orcia Valley panorama, with a climb up to the collegiate church of San QuiricoD'Orcia
From San Quirico d'Orcia, a very challenging stage of 32.7 km begins (which starts in the evening), with climbs and descents along relatively barren hills. You reach the small fortified village of Vignoni, with its view of the Val d'Orcia, and then descend to Bagno Vignoni, which is famous for its monumental thermal bath. A long stretch up and down in the valleys of the rivers Orcia and Paglia brings us to the ancient hospital at Le Briccole. From here a tough climb up to the finishing line begins, ending at Radicofani, some 790 metres above sea level.
From Radicofani, there is another challenging stage of 31.8 km. The journey begins with an 8 km descent along the ridge, with views of the valleys that stretch toward the Lazio. Around you as far as the eye can see are hills and Monte Amiata, behind the Rocca di Radicofani. Once in Ponte a Rigo, the course runs along for several kilometres before entering Lazio, and then proceeds along a dirt road with views of the River Paglia valley, ending at Proceno. The course descends to Ponte Gregoriano, before undertaking a final steep climb to the Ripa gate, entrance to the City of Acquapendente (The Jerusalem Of Europe), and the start of the Ultramarathon in Piazza del Comune. The event, approved and insured by the F.I.A.S.P. (Italian Federation for Popular Amateur Sport), falls under playful mobile leisure activities, and is admittedly a "non-competitive walk." It will be possible not only to start the course from Siena, but also from San Quirico D'orcia and Radicofani, with the possibility of choosing the pathway best suited to an individual participant's capacity. For organisational purposes, each participant will be asked to choose which section of the route they want to follow when they register. The route will be fully supervised.