120 km, 10 municipalities, 5 tracks and 1000 members: the numbers of the “World Francigena Ultramarathon 2019”

120 km, 10 municipalities, 5 routes and 1000 participants, including 560 outside the Region making it 20% more than in 2018: these are numbers of the new edition of "World Francigena UltraMarathon 2019". The event will take place on 12-13 October 2019 along the Sigeric’s route, the ancient path travelled by pilgrims since the Middle Ages.

A non-competitive 120 km trekking and Nordic walking hike is organised by the Tourism Department of the Municipality of Siena and by the Department of Sport and Tourism of Acquapendente, with the patronage of the European Association of Via Francigena Ways, the region of Tuscany and the region of Lazio, and the collaboration of the Municipalities of Monteroni d'Arbia, Buonconvento, Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia, Castiglione d'Orcia, Radicofani, San Casciano dei Bagni and Proceno. This slow pace journey between Tuscany and Lazio will allow you to discover the historic, cultural and environmental heritage along this important route and beyond.

The novelty of this year is the gastronomic exploration of the flavors of the territory at refreshment points along the route and a welcome party for all participants with tasting of typical products, to take place on Friday 11 October on 17.30 – 22.00 at Tartarugone in Piazza del Mercato in Siena.

"We are very satisfied because we have reached 1000 participants. It was a goal that we set ourselves and today we can say we have achieved it - said Tourism Councilor Alberto Tirelli, also underlining that about 600 participants arrive from outside the region and probably will remain in Siena for a few days even beyond the walk".

A success of the campaign is proved by web and social media visitations: "90.000 people  reached by the web during last month and 6.500 interactions with posts on Facebook and Instagram in the last week - said Tirelli and stressed that "for this edition we have prepared five possible routes because the World Francigena UltraMarathon is not a competitive event but an exceptional opportunity to discover our beautiful territory and its typical features. An enhancement that will also pass by the refreshment points where you will find typical products - panforte and ricciarelli - from Siena ".

The mayor of Acquapendente Angelo Ghinassi remarked "the exceptional success of the 2019 edition of the World Francigena UltraMarathon represents a great opportunity for the development of our territory - underlining the availability and organizational collaboration between all the actors involved that is at the base of the success of the event ".

The director of the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways Luca Bruschi explained that "the World Francigena UltraMarathon has been included among the good practices in the triannual evaluation dossier recently presented to the Council of Europe". He then highlighted "the important result achieved on the Sienese stretch of the ancient path of Francigena where, thanks to the work carried out in synergy between the municipal administration and the associations, the Via Francigena is being enhanced".

Siena-Acquapendente: the most challenging route of 120 km starts on October 12 at 10.00 from Piazza Duomo with the bib collection (in vicolo San Girolamo 4), also available on 11 October from 16.00 to 20.00 and on 12 October from 8.00 to 9.30.A stage of 35 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 finish of the Ultramarathon in Piazza del Comune.

Siena-Buonconvento: it is a 35 km itinerary that starts on 12 October at 10.00 from Piazza Duomo, (collection of bibs in Vicolo San Girolamo 4, 11 October 16.00 – 20.00 and on 12 October 8.00 - 9.30). The route retraces the key places of the first part of the Ultramarathon in the Val d'Arbia. 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.

Buonconvento-San Quirico d'Orcia: is the shortest route of this edition tracing 20 km. Starting from one of the most beautiful villages in the province of Siena, Buonconvento, it arrives at the gates of the Val d'Orcia, Unesco World heritage Site : San Quirico d'Orcia . The departure is October 12 at 15.00 from Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi in Buonconvento. The bib collection is at 14.00 – 14.00 at the Pro Loco stand.

San Quirico d’Orcia-Acquapendente: 65 km route that crosses the heart of the Val d’Orcia, to arrive in Lazio between fortified villages, endless panoramas, thermal places, valleys and rivers. It starts on Saturday, October 12 at 21.00 from San Quirico d’Orcia (Piazza Chigi). Same place for collecting bibs at 20.00-21.00.

Radicofani-Acquapendente: another challenging stage of 31.8 km. The appointment is on Sunday, 13 October at 9.00 in Piazza San Pietro in Radicofani, where bibs can be collected at 7.30 - 8.45. 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.

More informations on the site www.francigenaultramarathon.it

Press release Municipality of Siena

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