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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's
Meals
  • 1 Dinner
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£885GBP

Overview

Trip Code: FR6

Trip highlights


  • Stage 6 of the Via Francigena in Italy
  • Walk the historic town walls of Lucca
  • Following in the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries ago
  • Being immersed in the classic Tuscan countryside of vineyards and picturesque rolling hills
  • Visiting the charming UNESCO towns of San Gimignano and Siena
  • Staying in comfortable and welcoming hotels and charming B&Bs
  • Feasting on culinary delights and tasting superb Chianti wines
  • Exploring the round walls of Monteriggioni

Spectacular landscapes, fascinating Tuscan countryside full of vineyards, charming UNESCO towns and picturesque rolling hills are just some of the highlights on this section of the Via Francigena. Northern Tuscany has so much to be discovered, especially for those travelling on foot. Starting in Lucca, you can spend a day visiting its beautiful gardens and villas, or discovering some of the nearly one hundred churches that characterise this beautiful town. The first part of this walk takes you through the open and flat lands of the Val d'Elsa. You then enter the Tuscan Hills. The second half of the tour takes you back in time, exploring narrow streets and buildings of some of the most renowned medieval towns in Tuscany, including San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. As you reach Siena the landscape surrounding you is full of open, green rolling hills. Stay in comfortable, family-run accommodation where you can sample the delicious culinary delights of Tuscany.

Countries:

Italy

Starting Point:

Lucca

Finishing Point:

Siena


Make your own way to the first hotel in Lucca. If you arrive early you can enjoy a stroll through the town including its splendid gardens and the impressive Piazza Anfiteatro, a 2nd century Roman amphitheatre, or climb the majestic bell tower. You can also walk along the tree-lined walls of its perimeter, which were built in the 16th century.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you’re free to explore the wonderful town of Lucca. You can visit the Cathedral of San Martino, home to the famous Holy Face 'Volto Santo' of Lucca, a venerated wooden crucifix that may have been carved by Nicodemus. It features in the town's Holy Cross celebrations held in September. This afternoon you will take the train to San Miniato-Fucecchio (via Pisa or Empoli, takes approx 1.5-2 hours) where you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in San Miniato Alto.

Meals:  B

Today you start walking, following a paved road across the spectacular countryside which is typical of the Val d'Elsa region. Following in the footsteps of Archbishop Sigeric, who walked between Rome and Canterbury in 990, you will pass two “Submansiones” (Sigeric’s “stopping places”), Pieve di Coiano and Pieve a Chianni. Continue to Gambassi Terme, where you stay overnight. Ascent: 781m/2562ft. Descent: 654m/2145ft.

Meals:  B,D

The walk today will lead you through wonderful landscapes of the Via Francigena. En route to San Gimignano you will pass the Sanctuary in Pancole and the tiny villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole. On arrival in San Gimignano we recommend exploring the town on foot to appreciate its charming medieval atmosphere and perhaps enjoy a 'Vin Santo' aperitivo. Ascent: 595m/1952ft. Descent: 540ft/1772ft.

Meals:  B

Today the Via Francigena will lead you up and down through the Tuscan hills. It’s a picturesque walk crossing vineyards, olive groves, fields and woods as you head towards Gracciano. Along the way you can make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Conero, dating from the 11th century. Continue to your hotel in Colle Val d'Elsa/Gracciano. Ascent: 209m/686ft. Descent: 204m/669ft.

Meals:  B

Today you will cross Pieve a Elsa, which was once a large, ancient parish frequented by pilgrims. You can also visit the ancient Etruscan Thermae (hot pools) of Caldane. Later in the day you will reach Strove and its beautiful Romanesque Church. From here you'll continue via the medieval village of Abbadia a Isola before reaching Monteriggioni, whose famed crown of towers you'll see as you approach. Once you’ve checked into the hotel in Monteriggioni you can spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating town. Ascent: 132m/433ft. Descent: 307m/1007ft. Note: The evening accommodation is located about 1.6km from the walled village of Monteriggioni. If you would prefer to stay inside the town walls, this is possible but a supplement is likely. Please request at the time of booking.

Meals:  B

Leaving Monteriggioni you will walk on dirt roads along the Montagnola Senese, the main hilly area of the district. You will pass the ancient medieval suburb of Cerbaia which currently appears to be abandoned. Walking through woods you will reach the Castle of Chiocciola and ascend to Poggio di Riciano. From here you will start your descent, walking along the river of Pian del Lago. The Renai forest will give way to the beautiful medieval city of Siena, which you'll enter via the Porta Camollia. Overnight in Siena. Ascent: 224m/735ft. Descent: 245m/803ft.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes in Siena this morning, after breakfast. Please ask for our rates if you want to stay an extra night, or you can continue along the Francigena Way into southern Tuscany to Acquapendente.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner: Breakfasts are usually continental and can vary from breads, pastries, tea, coffee & juices, to hot cooked breakfast, cold meats, cheeses, yogurts and fruits. The included dinner in Gambassi Terme is a 3 course experience, usually starting with a salad or pasta dish, followed by either a chicken, red meat or fish dish with seasonal vegetables & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo / B&B's on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Digital information pack including smartphone app with maps plus a route book per room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece, max weight 20kg and max size 60 x 50 x 40 cm per person). Supplement applies for excess
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Transfer from San Miniato Basso train station to your hotel in San Miniato Alto
  • Credenziale - pilgrim's passport

  • Travel to Lucca and from Siena
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Excess luggage
  • Train ticket day 2 from Lucca to Fucecchio (allow approximately EUR8)
  • Tourist Tax - allow approximately EUR2 per day - payable directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined. The walking is mostly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), with some sections on asphalt road. The route is quite easy due to low differences in altitude on most days. Often the towns are on hilltops. You should be able to walk for up to 7 hours a day in hot sun (at times). The trail is well-marked with official signs of the Via Francigena. A good level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure. Note: the walking time and distance are calculated from city centre to city centre and may vary depending on the accommodations booked, to a maximum of 2km.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 31 Oct

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
Note:
High season is 11 Jul to 19 Sep, mid season is 29 Apr to 10 Jul and 20 Sep to 3 Oct, supplement applies
Note:
Black out period 22 - 26 Jun, Palio Horse Race, Siena

Priceper person from

£885GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplementGBP£420
  • Solo traveller supplementGBP£530
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Walking Lucca to Siena | Italy's Via Francigena | UTracks