This trip takes in the northern part of the Via Francigena in North Tuscany. Walking in Italy we start in Lucca where you can spend a day visiting its beautiful gardens and villas, or some of its nearly one hundred churches that characterized this beautiful town.
Lucca owed a great part of its wealth to the trade along the Via Francigena. Coming from the flat lands the town could be easily reached along with one of two parallel roads, the “via de supra” and the “via de subtus”. The famous wooden crucifix, known as Volto Santo, work of Nicodemos as the legend goes, a sculpture with reliquary kept in the cathedral of San Martino, was the first thing the pilgrims bound for Lucca went to see. Inside the town, many Hospitals which are attached to the main churches provided shelter and food for the thousands of pilgrims
This stage of the Via Francigena from Lucca to Siena initially goes through the open and flatlands of the Val d’Elsa.
In the second part you will dive deep into a medieval atmosphere, evoked by the narrow streets and the buildings made from the local sandstone of some of the most popular medieval villages in Tuscany, such as Monteriggioni and San Gimignano that, with its thirteen outstanding towers, became a UNESCO world heritage in 1990.
Reaching Siena, the landscape is made of open rolling hills with grey crags of the beautiful and picturesque Crete Senesi. An almost lunar landscape where the grey clay soil represents an area once covered by the Pliocene sea millions of years ago.
We try to follow the waymarked route as closely as possible. However, we will deviate from this route along long stretches of tarmac or where the path has degraded (deemed unsafe to walk). You will walk mostly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche).
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Enjoy a visit to the town, explore its splendid gardens, majestic bell tower and impressive Piazza Anfiteatro, a 2nd century Roman amphitheatre. Don’t miss a walk along the tree-lined walls of its perimeter. Also recommended is a visit the wooden crucifix known as the Holy Face (“Volto Santo”), famous statue-reliquary in the Cathedral of Saint Martin and legendarily carved by Nicodemus.
In the afternoon take a public train to Fucecchio where you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in San Miniato Alto.>
From San Miniato, a paved road brings you to a spectacular route crossing the typical countryside of the Val d’Elsa. Following the Sigeric’s path, you meet two “Submansiones”: Pieve di Coiano (XXI, Sce Peter Currant) with its steep stone staircases and Pieve a Chianni (XX, Sce Maria Glan), rebuilt in the 12th century. Arrive in Gambassi famous for its thermal waters where you can revive after today’s walk.
Today you will enjoy a slightly shorter day in the wonderful surroundings of the Via Francigena. Before walking up to the peculiar villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole, stop for a visit to the Sanctuary in Pancole. Finally, climb to the hill where the 15 towers of San Gimignano reveal themselves and onto one of the most popular destinations in Tuscany. If you arrive early, take some time to visit the famous town of San Gimignano and enjoy its charming medieval atmosphere.
On today’s walk, we follow a gorgeous section of the Via Francigena. Going up and down the Tuscan hills, crossing vineyards, olive groves, fields and woods, you finally reach the town of Gracciano. Along the way, you can make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Conero from the XI century.
Starting at Gracciano, crossing Pieve a Elsa and pass the ancient Etruscan Thermae (hot pool) of Caldane. After reaching Strove and its beautiful Romanesque Church, continue walking along the particular complex of Abbadia a Isola. You will shortly reach the medieval military town of Monteriggioni, surrounded by its peculiar crown of towers.
Leaving Monteriggioni, you walk on dirt roads along the Montagnola Senese, the main hilly area in the district. You pass the ancient medieval suburb of Cerbaia that appears currently abandoned. Across the woodland, you reach the Castle of “Chiocciola” and go up to Poggio di Riciano. Descend the old river of the Pian del Lago (or skip Poggio di Riciano to arrive directly from Chiocciola to Pian del Lago). At the end of the Renai forest, you will enter the beautiful town of Siena
Depart after breakfast.
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|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|LUCSiena(7 Nights)||from £782||Book Now|