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Sabine Hills

  • 6 Night Route

    Price From: £770
  • 5 Night Route

    Price From: £685
  • 4 Night Route

    Price From: £605

A walking tour of the Sabine Hills

Back to Routes
Fara in Sabina

Fara in Sabina

Sabine track

Sabine track

Cookery course, Casperia

Cookery course, Casperia

Olive groves

Olive groves

Exploring Casperia

Exploring Casperia

The Sabine Hills

The Sabine Hills

The pool at Mompeo

The pool at Mompeo

Sunset over Stefano's olive groves

Sunset over Stefano's olive groves

Cottanello

Cottanello

Price: £770
Nights: 6
Grade:
Walk: 4¾- 6 hr/day
Max. party size: 8

Travellers Reviews

Loved the location of the walk--an hour or so from Rome.

But it seemed like hundreds of miles away. Unspoiled and lovely countryside. Beautiful medieval villages. High standards of food and lodging. BTW-while walking each day we saw exactly NO other walkers. We like this. We also like the fact the trail was very well waymarked. We like walking on waymarked and numbered trails rather than on unmarked and random paths where the waymarks consist only of rocks, trees or streams. Stefano's work on the waymarking is great and very helpful

Ron Friedman, California

I would like to thank you all for your perfect organisation and the understanding of customers needs.

It is so clear that you know exactly what a true walking holiday should be like . Your professionalism gave us so much confidence throughout the holiday. You also know the holiday and have chosen accommodation that represents the real Italy we want
to know.

Carole Cotton, Sunderland

Stefano is an excellent representative and is obviously passionate about the countryside.

The walks that he designed, and the service that he and his wife Elisabeth provide as hosts to clients at their residence are testimony to that passion.

Andrew and Rosie Thomas, Hampshire

More independent feedback
About the Route

At a glance

6 nights (4 days walking plus Rome). The full route. Add extra nights in any accommodation.

How much walking?

Full days: 12-18 km per day, 4¾- 6 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-13km per day, 2¾-4½ hrs (with lifts)

Max. Grade:

Medieval villages and Rome, the Eternal City

Only an hour north of Rome rise the Sabine Hills: an ancient landscape, recognizable to the countrymen and women of Roman times.  Around the edge of the hills is an extraordinary richness of medieval building. Some of your overnight stays are in small pensions, where your hosts will cook wonderfully varied meals for you showing off the best of the local produce. The others include a delightful B&B, a beautifully converted palazzetta and – we feel – one of the best-kept secrets in Rome, Roberta de Palma’s wonderfully central yet quietly situated B&B.

Walked by On Foot staff:  Simon, Debbie (and Thomas), Emma and Mary

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.

Route Highlights

  • The fortified villages of Sabina
  • Wooded hills and high pastures
  • The palazzetta in Casperia
  • A Roman villa and one of the oldest olive trees in central Italy!
  • The Abbey of Farfa
  • Rome

We Recommend

Extra nights in Casperia (see below for cookery course), in Misciani to relax by the pool, at Mompeo for Stefano's gorge and Roman villa, and of course in Rome, at Roberta's B&B.

Eating and Drinking

In the Restaurant Terra di Pa’ in Contigliano, on your first night, Giorgio suggests their signature dish – “Terra di Pa” –  fresh vegetables of the season with small pieces of tender lamb, all sautéed with long or short pasta, paired with Montepulciano di Abruzzo – not a local wine but one he thinks works well with this dish, and also with a second course of meat or cheese.  Mauro and Ornella at Il Fienile say “Your guests appreciate a lot our home-made maltagliati (irregular pieces of pasta, made with spelt and wheat flour) with tomato sauce, olives and wild fennel; we propose our organic home-made wine: the white one is Grechetto and Trebbiano; the red one is Montepulciano di Abruzzo and Sangiovese. They like them (particularly the red one)!” Elisabeth at Le Mole sul Farfa says: “A typical ‘primo’ is stringozzi con pesto di mandorle e pacchino – fresh pasta with a pesto of almonds and garlic, served with cherry tomatoes. A good wine with it is Grechetto di Todi, a white wine from Umbria. A dessert that I often make and has always success: Torta di cioccolato e noci: chocolate cake with almonds and walnuts, served with fresh whipped cream.”

At La Torretta in Casperia, you can stay an extra day learning to prepare a traditional 4 course meal with an antipasto, a primosecondo and contorno, and dolce!  The primo is always pasta made from scratch (no machines) so slow pasta-making which is a lot of fun as well as a workout; with the fresh pasta you would then make stuffed ravioli, or fettucine or pasta alla chitarra, with a light fresh sauce. As members of the slow food movement they try to provide organic products with no food miles (or kilometres), which will therefore vary according to season; a light meat course will be served after the pasta with  local veg, and usually daughter Jennifer’s award-winning tiramisù for dessert. They serve good quality wines from Lazio with the meal, always D.O.C.  These cooking lessons are offered with a minimum of 4 (usually) participants, but you can normally join a group if necessary (supplement from €85 per person, including lesson, full 4 course dinner, wines and an after-dinner liqueur; courses subject to availability and participating numbers – minimum of 4).

How much Walking?

Full days: 12-18 km per day, 4¾- 6 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-13km per day, 2¾-4½ hrs (with lifts)

Walking on old hill paths and tracks. Highest point on route: 985m.

Medium: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 650m per day (450m-850m).
Easy-medium: CUSs 385m (250m – 550m) using shortening options and finishing final day at abbey.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops.  “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb.  See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk: April, May, June, September, October

Other possible months: July, August

These tree-clad hills offer a certain amount of shade, except on the higher reaches, where exposure can be high. The elevation tempers the otherwise fierce heat of the summer too, so we can offer this unique route for most of the walking year.

Use the calendar below to see in more detail the best times to walk.

Start Dates

Recommended
Possible
Unavailable

Weather Chart

 

Temperature and rainfall chart for Casperia

Itinerary

About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Contigliano

Arrive in Contigliano, a place of pilgrimage for the neighbouring Franciscan convents. It is a historic village with medieval stone buildings, narrow cobbled streets, all dominated by the 18th-century church of S. Michele Arcangelo. Inside this church is a beautiful set of late-Baroque frescoes, a monumental organ, and various paintings of the Neapolitan school from the 1600-1700s. Open Saturdays and Sunday mornings, on other days the opening hours are at the whim of the priest. A table has been booked for you at the excellent village restaurant, just opposite the church, for 20:00, unless otherwise arranged beforehand with Roberto and Viviana at Locanda Bellarmino. Late arrivals will not go hungry either.

Day 2 - Contigliano to Casperia

A dramatic start to your walking, straight up the steep sided Capoconate valley on narrow woodland paths to the peaceful meadows around the spring at Fonte Lallo – then a gentle descent through high meadows through the woodland to Montasola. A gentle valley track completes your walk to Casperia, the best of the hilltop towns, and a stylish Palazzetta. (Hard: 6 hrs, 19 km, CUSs 850m but lift available to Fonte Lallo, saving 2½ hrs: medium-hard: 3½ hrs, 13km, CUSs 400m)

Day 3 - Casperia to Misciani

A ride (though purists can walk this 5 km) from Casperia to the fine fortified village of Roccantica, which is definitely worth an explore and a coffee stop; then start walking – a gentle climb up the Valle de Galantina to a waterfall; then the high pastures around Osteria Faducchi. The day ends with a walk down cow tracks to your next overnight stop. (Medium-hard: 6 hrs, 16½ km, CUSs 750m, or Medium: 4½ hrs13 km, CUSs 550m assuming lift at start).

Day 4 - Misciani to Mompeo

A tough but short climb out of the village back to yesterday’s saddle (lift available if required), and on to a splendid view of the end of the route (and, in the right weather conditions, Rome). Hard or easier options follow to take you down to the valley leading to the twin hilltop villages of Salisano and Mompeo, behind which lies your next goal, route advisor Stefano and Elisabeth’s beautifully positioned organic farm. (Medium: 5¼ hrs, 13km, CUSs 450m, but (easy-medium) lift available to cut out steepest section).

Day 5 - Mompeo to Farfa

A day of (potentially at least) two abbeys. Down to the gorge for a quick paddle before your final day’s walking. Your chance to see Castelnuovo di Farfa, its quirky olive museum and old streets, before a final ascent to the Abbey of Farfa. Hardy walkers can bag the final hill of San Martino to see the ruins of Farfa’s would-be sister abbey on the top, and, who knows, a view of St Peter’s dome in the distance? Lift back to Mompeo for the night. (Easy-medium version ending at Abbey:  3 hrs, 8 km, CUSs 340m; medium version with final ascent/descent of San Martino 5 hrs, 12 km, CUSs 550m.)

Day 6 - Rome

Catch the train to Rome for your final night. Stay in Roberta’s wonderfully central B&B, close to the Campo di Fiori and Vatican City.

Departure day

Depart for home or spend further nights in Rome

Travel Information

ARRIVING BY AIR

The best airports are Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci) (including intercontinental flights) and Rome Ciampino.

Land by: 15:00 for public transport connections to Contigliano

Return flight earliest: No time limit if staying final night in Rome. If not, 11:00 for train connections from Mompeo (see transfer information below)

Land by/earliest return times not applicable if using pre-booked taxi.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.

ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Nearest railway stations:

Start: Contigliano

Finish:  Rome Termini (Fara in Sabina if missing out Rome)

Typical rail journey from UK via Paris and Rome (or Zurich and Milan): 

London: Eurostar to Paris (N) transfer to Paris Bercy for Palatino Artesia sleeper train to Rome Termini.  Change onto local train to Contigliano, changing at Terni. ~19.5 hrs.  Or take the Eurostar to Paris and the TGV to Zurich, overnight there with the prospect of a journey through the most fabulous scenery the next day via Milan. See www.seat61.com/Italy.htm for inspiration, and www.bahn.de for the final stretch on local trains.

Rome: As first option above but in reverse, making full use of another day in Rome to catch the sleeper to Paris.  ~17.5 hrs

 

Getting to the start of the walk

Getting to the start of the walk:
The first hotel is in Contigliano (near Rieti) and the last in Rome. Transfer times and methods are suggested for the two Rome airports below. For train arrival transfers see below.

Outward: from Fiumicino Shuttle train/train/train OR from Ciampino Bus/Bus 3 hrs, OR Pre-booked taxi transfer from either Rome airport or Rome city to first hotel
Return: Train direct to Fiumicino c. 1.5 hr; train to Rome and shuttle bus to Ciampino
OR Pre-booked taxi direct from final accommodation on walk (Mompeo) to either Rome airport or Rome B&B, and local taxi from Rome B&B to airport

For pre-bookable taxi costs, see “Prices”

Transfers from train stations:
Outward: Host will pick you up from Contigliano station (no charge)
Return: From Rome Termini, bus or local taxi to B&B, and same on return to station.

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

What a wealth of accommodation there is on this route – an old Locanda in the heart of an historic village, the minor palace in Casperia, a working organic farm and then Stefano’s olive grove agriturismo before returning to the civilisation of ancient Rome and Roberta’s excellently sited B&B.

Contigliano – Locanda Bellarmino (B&B)

Night 1

Contigliano – Locanda Bellarmino (B&B)

In the old town on the hill, a charming old B&B.

Casperia – La Torretta (B&B)

Night 2

Casperia – La Torretta (B&B)

An almost fabulous Palazzetta in the historic centre.

Misciani – Il Fienile di Orazio (Dinner, B&B)

Night 3

Misciani – Il Fienile di Orazio (Dinner, B&B)

Spectacularly located Agriturismo with pool.

Mompeo – Le Mole sul Farfa (Dinner, B&B)

Night 4 & 5

Mompeo – Le Mole sul Farfa (Dinner, B&B)

Charming vegetarian Agriturismo with swimming pool, run by the route designer. Holds coveted Ecolabel certification for meeting highest environmental standards.

Central Rome – B&B all’Orologio (B&B)

Night 6

Central Rome – B&B all’Orologio (B&B)

Stylish B&B in the old quarter.

Prices

Price: £770 for 6 nights

Total 6 nights in double/twin room, 3 evening meals, all breakfasts, 2 picnics, all luggage transfers, lift from Contigliano station to the first pension, from Casperia to Roccantica to start the Day 3 walk (if desired), from Farfa Abbey back to Mompeo (Day 5), and from Mompeo to Fara Sabina station (Day 6).

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated (e.g. for taxis), and may vary with exchange rate fluctuations – check with On Foot for your guaranteed price.

Savings and supplements

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £135

Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From  £125

Larger party saving (on identical itinerary) – £55 off per person (except first two)

 

Add Ons

Additional B&B nights in Rome: From £71 pp sharing double room

Taxi from Rome airports to first hotel: From £110 (1-3 pers); £182 (4-8 pers)

Taxi from Mompeo to Rome city centre: From £110 (1-3 pers); for larger groups contact On Foot Holidays

Taxi between Rome B&B and Fiumicino or Ciampino airports: From €60 payable to driver (including luggage)

Additional night in Casperia: From £46 pp sharing double/twin room, £23 single supplement

Additional half board night in Misciani: From £51 pp sharing double/twin room, £14 single supplement

Additional half board night in Mompeo: From £71 pp sharing double/twin room plus £10 single supplement

Guided day with Stefano: Ask On Foot

Travellers Reviews

Loved the location of the walk--an hour or so from Rome.

But it seemed like hundreds of miles away. Unspoiled and lovely countryside. Beautiful medieval villages. High standards of food and lodging. BTW-while walking each day we saw exactly NO other walkers. We like this. We also like the fact the trail was very well waymarked. We like walking on waymarked and numbered trails rather than on unmarked and random paths where the waymarks consist only of rocks, trees or streams. Stefano's work on the waymarking is great and very helpful

Ron Friedman, California

I would like to thank you all for your perfect organisation and the understanding of customers needs.

It is so clear that you know exactly what a true walking holiday should be like . Your professionalism gave us so much confidence throughout the holiday. You also know the holiday and have chosen accommodation that represents the real Italy we want
to know.

Carole Cotton, Sunderland

Stefano is an excellent representative and is obviously passionate about the countryside.

The walks that he designed, and the service that he and his wife Elisabeth provide as hosts to clients at their residence are testimony to that passion.

Andrew and Rosie Thomas, Hampshire

More independent feedback
Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Elisabeth de Coster & Stefano Fassone

Route designed by:

Elisabeth de Coster & Stefano Fassone

Elisabeth and her partner Stefano (and their children Marit and Theo) live and work on an organic agriturismo close to the Gorge of Farfa, for which they have recently obtained national protection.

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