An easy pilgrimage in Lazio, among woods and olive tree groves, between history and art; our destination: sweet e relaxing waters of Bolsena Lake!
  • Travelling time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Why we love it: The heart of this path is the Bolsena Lake: charming oasis of peace
  • Length: 22 km
  • Total Elevation Gain: 290 m
  • Way to travel: by foot
  • Cost: 0 €
  • Our Advice: There's only one refreshment stand in the middle of the path, so bring water and some snacks


The first track of Via Francigena in Lazio starts in Acquapendente, in province of Viterbo. It’s a nice village made of history, agricolture, artistic monuments and panoramic glimpses. In the entrance of the town, we suggest you to visit the Cathedral of Holy Sepulchre. The heart of the crypt and of the entire building is the small chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, located on a lower level. This structure is probably the first reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Inside the Cathedral  of Holy Sepulchre
Cathedral of Holy Sepulchre, photo by Riccardo Cuppini via Flickr

Through Porta Romana (“Roman Gate”) we leave the town, so we start our pilgrimage. After one kilometers or so, we find ourselves in the old Via Cassia (an important Roman Road). From here the itinerary goes without any difficulties, in the heart of the country of Viterbo’s area. We are halfway when we reach, after a flat path, the village of San Lorenzo Nuovo. Here we can stop for some rest in the big and suggestive octagonal square called Piazza Europa, where we can admire the Cathedral of San Lorenzo Martire that, with its 34m of hight dominates the square itself.

The square of San Lorenzo Nuovo during the famous festival of "gnocchi" (italian potato dumplings)
The square of San Lorenzo Nuovo during the famous festival of "gnocchi" (potato dumplings), photo by mararie via Flickr

We are at 503m of altitude, in the northern side of Mount Volsini. Just outside the town, we can admire the view of Bolsena Lake of which we’ll see different glimpses till destination. It’s the biggest lake of volcanic origin in Europe and it offers a various and uncontaminated natural environment; it’s very popular among the bird-watcher.

Bolsena Lake
Bolsena Lake photo by Martin Thomas via Flickr


We go on in unpaved streets for the remaining 11 km, among olive tree grooves and forests, till we reach Bolsena, our arrival point. The village deserves a tour, to discover its history, of which we see the sign in the Etruscan walls and in the ruins of roman town. In the sunny days you can’t miss a boat ride in the lake, to get close to the two islands, Martana and Bisentina, the pearls of the area.

Martana Island
Martana Island, photo by Jim Linwood via Flickr


Author: Chiara Marras

Cover image:Bolsena lake, Lazio, Italy