Via Francigena Self Guided Holiday | Load off Your Back
Walking the Via Francigena
A Pilgrimage route through Tuscany
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The ancient pilgrimage trail of the Via Francigena stretches from Canterbury to Rome and has been designated a European Cultural route. Our section of the path in Italy takes in the sweeping Tuscan countryside with its gentle rolling hills, vineyards and fields of sunflowers. Old towns, made wealthy by passing pilgrims, such as San Miniato and San Gimignano still stand today and the renaissance architecture of Siena is a highpoint on which to end your holiday.

At the end of the 10th century the Archbishop of Canterbury, followed what was to become the Via Francigena to Rome to be consecrated by the Pope, and he documented his journey. Depending on the time of year, political situation and relative popularity of the shrines of saints along the route, travellers may have used any of three or four routes which, unlike Roman roads did not connect cities, but relied more on abbeys.

About the Route

Facts:

This 97km route of the Via Francigena from San Miniato Alte to Siena, takes you a through beautiful countryside and into medieval villages such as Monteriggioni and San Gimignano. Daily average walks of 20kms, in sometimes hilly areas over stony tracks. Reaching Siena, the landscape is of open rolling hills where you’ll find large farm houses medieval fortified tower houses as well as picturesque landscapes.

Highlights:

  • Rolling Tuscan scenery
  • Medieval hill top villages
  • Siena renaissance architecture
  • 13th century walled village of San Gimignano with its distinctive towers
  • The nature of the trail:

    The trail is described as moderate with an average daily walking of 4-6 hours on average and is best enjoyed from April through to October. Pathways are a mix of undulating cobbled paths and dirt tracks in sometimes, hilly and mountainous areas.

    Via Francigena - 6 Days

    6 days walking
    7 nights accommodation
    60 miles /97km
    Twin/Double room per person from:
    £671  Per Person
    Single room per person from:
    £895 Per Person
    Solo Traveller per person from:
    £923  Per Person
    Season:
    spring, summer, autumn

    Itinerary

    Arrival - Arrive in San Miniato

    Arrive in San Miniato from Pisa or Florence airports (Please refer to the How It Works tab for arrival transfer options).

    Day 1 - Walk from San Miniato Alto to Gambassi 15.5m (25 km)

    From the hill top village of San Miniato, a paved road brings you to a spectacular route crossing the typical countryside of the Val d'Elsa. Dinner is included at the accommodation tonight in Gambassi.

    7 hours, 15.5m/25 km, 781m ascent, 654m descent

    Day 2 - Walk from Gambassi to San Gimignano 11.1m (18 km)

    Before arriving at the peculiar villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole, why not visit the Holy Mary Sanctuary in Pancole, with its spectacular views. If you arrive early, take some time to visit the famous town of San Gimignano with its charming medieval atmosphere.

    6 hours, 11.1m/18 km, 595m ascent, 540m descent

    Day 3 - Walk from San Gimignano to Gracciano 13m (21 km)

    Perhaps one of the more beautiful stretches of Tuscan countryside, you'll cross Tuscan hills, seeing vineyards, olive groves, fields and woodlands. Along the way, you can make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Conero dating from the XI century.

    6 hours, 13m/21 km, 209m ascent, 204m descent

    Day 4 - Walk from Gracciano to Monteriggioni 8m (13 km)

    From Gracciano, crossing the Pieve a Elsa you'll find the ancient Etruscan Thermae (hot baths) of Caldane. At Strove, with its beautiful Romanesque Church, and the Romanesque Abbey of St. Salvatore at Badia a Isola you'll reach the medieval town of Monteriggioni, surrounded by its crown of towers.

    4 hours, 8m/13 km, 132m ascent, 57m descent

    Day 5 - Walk from Monteriggioni to Siena 12.4m (20 km)

    Leaving Monteriggioni, dirt tracks take you along the Montagnola Senese, the main hilly area in the region. Passing the medieval suburb of Cerbaia, that appears abandoned, and across woodland, you reach the Castle of Chiocciola. At the end of the Renai forest, you arrive at the beautiful town of Siena.

    6 hours, 12.4m/20 km, 224m ascent, 245m descent.

    Day 6 - Day at Leisure in Siena

    Reward yourself with a day in Siena with its glorious renaissance architecture. Perhaps visit Piazza del Campo with its Palazzo Pubblico and impressive Duomo.

    Departure - Departure from Siena after breakfast

    Depart after breakfast.

    Notes

    Please be aware that slight variations to these itineraries may have to be made due to availability of accommodation. Please note that the quoted daily mileage does not include distance from the path to your overnight accommodation.

    Our prices are based on two persons sharing a room. If you are travelling with others and require your own room, the single price applies.

    If you are walking the route by yourself, the Solo Traveller price applies If you wish to add rest days into the itinerary please contact us for details.

    ACCOMMODATION ON THE ROUTE

    Wherever possible, we will reserve rooms with ensuite or private bathrooms. There may be locations or times of the year when accommodation with only shared facilities are available.

    If you wish to add rest days into the itinerary please contact us for details.

    Included in the holiday arrangements and package cost:

  • 7 night's accommodation, 1 San Miniato Alto, 1 Gambassi, 1 San Gimignano, 1 Gracciano, 1 Monteriggioni and 2 nights Siena.
  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 dinner in Gambassi
  • Luggage transfers on Days 2 to 6
  • Transfer from Fucecchio train station to accommodation in San Miniato Alto
  • Destination manual for the area and route
  • Route Notes with full details on the daily routes
  • Map of the region
  • GPS tracks
  • 24 hour English speaking contact number for emergencies

  • Not included in the holiday arrangements and package cost:

  • Flights
  • Transfers to Fucecchio or from your last accommodation (these can be arranged at an additional charge)
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fees
  • City tax of approx. eur1,50-eur2,50 per person per night, paid locally
  • Lunches or dinners (unless specified)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers etc. Any items that have not been specifically mentioned in the program

  • Optional Services:

    Arrival and Departure

    The nearest airports for this holiday are Pisa and Florence, which are served by numerous airlines.

    Arrival and departure transfer information, via public transport, can found on the following links:

    Pisa and Florence to Fucecchio train station by train or bus. You can find current train schedules at www.trenitalia.com and bus schedules at www.tiemmespa.it A transfer is included from the station to your first accommodation.

    You may also find www.viefrancigene.org a useful website for information on reaching the trail and for getting the most out of your trip.

    If you wish to add rest days into your itinerary or add extra nights in Siena, please let us know.


    Travel Advice

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