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Via Francigena 13/16: Lucca to Siena

Via Francigena 13/16: Lucca to Siena  map


Lucca_San-Michele-Foro2DAY 1 - Lucca (Arrival)

While in Lucca, try so see some of the main sights before starting your walk to Altopascio tomorrow: the Romanesque Church of San Michele in Foro, the Piazza Anfiteatro or the museum, Casa di Puccini. If you can't, then no problem, just relax and sample some of the local food and wine. That's always a great option!

Town: Internet, ATM, shops, all facilities.


Altopascio_church-san-jacopo-maggiore2DAY 2 - Lucca to Altopascio (4h 30m - 16km)

Leaving for Altopascio, the walk is gentle, mainly along roads and some grass tracks, not much stress at all. You will see beautiful churches on the roads and towns along the way, as well as the impressive Abbadia di Pozzeveri. Reaching Altopascio, have a rest and visit the Church of San Jacopo Maggiore. Also, remember to have a nice glass of wine or two in the city. Walking can be a very thirsty business!

Town: Internet, ATM, shops, all facilities


SanMiniato_duomo2DAY 3 - Altopascio to San Miniato (6h 10m - 25km)

Today's walk to San Miniato is a bit tougher as there is some hill-walking and it's a bit longer than yesterday's, but you will most certainly manage it. You do get to see the lovely Abbazia di San Salvatore. After passing through Fucecchio, there's one of two routes to choose from to get to San Miniato. Once you've picked a route and have done a bit more walking along grassy tracks and road, you will enter San Miniato. Here, take a deserved breather and some pizza or any of the local foods. If you like, you do some sight-seeing. The fantastic Duomo dell' Assunta and San Genesio is a main sight of San Miniato. Also, the Torre della Rocca is a recommended sight as it has a surrounding view of the whole beautiful countryside. San Miniato is also famous for its white truffles!

Town: Internet, ATM, shops, all facilities.


GambassiTerme_chiesa-di-santa-jacopo-estefano2Day 4 - San Miniato to Gambassi Terme (6h - 24km)

The walk to Gambassi Terme today is as challenging as yesterdays. The distance is similar and there are hills, gravel roads and grass tracks to traverse, but that just makes reaching Gambassi Terme that bit more satisfying - overcoming the obstacles. That being said, walking through the lovely countryside is quite peaceful and will help you relax along the way. After passing by the Church of Santa Maria of Chianni, you will enter Gambassi Terme a short while later. Since you've had such a long walk today, a nice glass of wine or beer would be the order of the day! Feel free to visit the brilliant Church of Santi Jacopo and Stefano while in the town.

Town: ATM, shops.


Colle-di-Val-dElsa_castello2DAY 5 - Gambassi Terme to Colle di Val d'Elsa (6h - 24km)

After walking through the gravel roads and over the hills, you will go through the town of San Gimignano. Quite a bit of walking will be done to get to here, so stopping for a rest and a drink would definitely be part of the plan. The route is a little tough due to the hills, grass tracks and gravel roads, however, it can certainly be done. Entering Colle di Val d'Elsa, you can relax here, see some sights where possible and treat yourself to some wine and pizza. The Museo Civico and the Castello are two standout sights to see if you get the time.

Town: ATM, shops, all facilities.


monteriggioni_chiesa-santa-maria-assunta2DAY 6 - Colle di Val d'Elsa to Monteriggioni (3h 35m - 10km)

A much shorter walk today than the previous three days, you have two options to choose form to get to Monteriggioni. One option is picturesque, going by the Abbadia a Isola, and the other option is less scenic and follows minor roads. After following one of the routes, the path becomes a series of grass tracks and gravel tracks, eventually leading into the walled town of Monteriggioni. There is some sight-seeing you can do - the wonderful Church of Santa Maria Assunta from the 13th Century is there, as well as the Romanesque Church of San Lorenzo a Colle Ciupi. However, firstly, relax and have a beer with some of the local food and rejuvenate after the day's walking.

Town: ATM, shops, all facilities.


Siena_Cathedral-Duomo2DAY 7 - Monteriggioni to Siena (5h - 17km)

The final push to Siena consists of walking through beautiful fields and by gorgeous olive trees. There is some hillwalking but it is not too strenuous. You will then have two routes to choose from: one route going along minor roads, by some traffic and the other route being longer, quieter and having more shade. After picking a route, it won't be too long before reach your destination. Now that you've arrived in Siena, feel free to check out the amazing sights that Siena has to offer. One of the main sights in Siena is the incredible Duomo (Siena Cathedral) from the 12th century. The Gothic Palazzo Pubblico and the standout Piazza del Campo are two other popular attractions definitely worth visiting.

DAY 8 - Siena, end of the walking holiday

After breakfast we bid you farewell.

Meals: Breakfast


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The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walk pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzanties. Both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which would connect the Kingdom of Pavia with southern cities. When the Franks conquered the Lombards, the route was renamed Via Francigena (French Way). During the first millenium Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem became the Holy places of Christianity and Via Francigena turned into a central hub for the Christian faith. Many pilgrims taking this route would reach Rome and then continue on to Jerusalem ? Holy Land. There are several different routes to take to Rome, for example, there are routes coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

This section starts in Lucca and ends in Siena. The walk consists of walking along roadsides, over bridges, hills, and numerous earth tracks but you will be surrounded by beautiful fields, woods and over streams in the stunning Italian countryside. It is challenging, a reasonable level of fitness is needed. But the walk is certainly doable, as there are many flat roads and tracks with intermittent hills and slight inclines, that can be traversed without to much difficulty. All along the journey there are plenty of magnificent sights to see such as churches, cathedrals, towers and castles, not forgetting the incredible landscape of Italy. This walk is very rewarding, as the countryside and towns provide a refreshing euphoria throughout the route and at the end of the journey.


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