Overview for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to Siena
The Northern Tuscany section of Via Francigena starts in the medieval town of Lucca with its beautiful gardens and villas. The first stage of the tour is through the open and flatlands of the Val d’Elsa. Then you will explore the 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 site in 1990. Reaching Siena, you will enjoy a landscape made of open rolling hills with grey crags of the beautiful and picturesque Crete Senesi.
- The spectacular landscapes of the Tuscany countryside
- The historical fortified military village of Monteriggioni
- The charming UNESCO towns of San Gimignano and Siena
- Delicious Tuscan culinary specialities
Itinerary for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to SienaGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive Lucca
Arrive in Lucca. If you arrive early, 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. Dinner is on your own in one of the many restaurants in town.
- Overnight in Lucca (Hotel Rex or similar)
Day 2: Arrive San Miniato Alto
After breakfast take some time to 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.
- Overnight in San Miniato Alto (Hotel San Miniato or similar)
Day 3: San Miniato Alto to Gambassi
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 diary, you meet two “Submansiones”: Pieve di Coiano (XXI, Sce Peter Currant) and Pieve a Chianni (XX, Sce Maria Glan), then you arrive at your accommodation. Dinner is included at the accommodation tonight.
- Walking for the day: 25 km, 7 hrs ↑781 m ↓654 m
- Overnight in Gambassi Terme (Agriturismo Tenuta Sant’Ilario or similar)
Day 4: Gambassi to San Gimignano
Today you enjoy the wonderful surroundings of the Via Francigena. Before walking up to the peculiar villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole, stop for a visit at the Sanctuary in Pancole. If you arrive early, take some time to visit the famous town of San Gimignano and enjoy its charming medieval atmosphere.
- Walking for the day: 18 km, 6 hrs ↑595 m ↓540 m
- Overnight in San Gimignano (Hotel La Cisterna or similar)
Day 5: San Gimignano to Gracciano
Today you walk a gorgeous path of the Via Francigena. Going up and down the Tuscan hills, crossing vineyards, olive groves, fields and woods, you finally reach your accommodation in Gracciano. Along the way, you can make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Conero of the XI century.
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hrs ↑209 m ↓204 m
- Overnight in Colle Val d’Elsa (Hotel Il Pietreto or similar)
Day 6: Gracciano to Monteriggioni
From Gracciano cross Pieve a Elsa and meet the ancient Etruscan Thermae (hot pool) of Caldane. After reaching Strove and its beautiful Romanesque Church, continue walking along the complex of Abbadia a Isola till you reach the medieval town of Monteriggioni, surrounded by its peculiar crown of towers.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 4 hrs ↑132 m ↓57 m
- Overnight in Monteriggioni (Hotel Borgo Gallinaio or similar)
Day 7: Monteriggioni to Siena
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 wood, 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, enter the beautiful town of Siena for its ancient pilgrim’s access of Porta Camollia.
- Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hrs ↑224 m ↓245 m
- Overnight in Siena (Hotel Chiusarrelli or similar)
Day 8: Departure
Departure on your own or extra nights in Siena upon request.
Hotels for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to SienaGo to top of page
Accommodation is in selected 3-star hotels in towns and agriturismi* and inns in the villages. All rooms have en-suite facilities. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Some hotels have a swimming pool.
Sample hotels: Hotel Rex, Hotel San Miniato, Agriturismo Tenuta Sant’Ilario, Hotel La Cisterna, Hotel Il Pietreto, Hotel Borgo Gallinaio, Hotel Chiusarrelli
*What is an agriturismo? A combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian — It is a farm-stay, but it’s also much, much more. Typically, an agriturismo is an independently-owned farm that the owners have decided to use partially for accommodation purposes, in a way similar to English or American bed and breakfasts. One of the best parts of staying in a traditional agriturismo? The food. An Italian agriturismo will usually serve guests food that was prepared from raw materials – vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, and often wine and olive oil – produced on the farm or from other local merchants.
Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included every day, as well as one dinner (Day 3). Packed lunches can be pre-ordered at the accommodations or you can buy products from local shops. For dinner, you will usually have plenty of options at the villages you are staying in.
Travel for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to SienaGo to top of page
The best way of getting to Lucca is by flying to Florence or Pisa Airport.
Transfers from/to the airports
Arrival in Lucca
From Pisa Airport (PSA), you can take a train to Lucca with change in Pisa Centrale station.
From Florence Airport (FLR), take a public bus to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station, and then a train to Lucca (with change in Pisa Centrale).
Departure from Siena
To Pisa airport PSA: you first need to reach Florence by bus. Once in Florence, you need to take a train to Pisa Central Station. From there, you can reach the airport by either bus or train.
As an alternative, you can catch a bus from Siena station to Pisa aiport: www.tiemmespa.it/index.php/Viaggia-con-noi/Altri-servizi/Lunga-percorrenza/Siena-Firenze-Pisa-Aeroporto.
To Florence airport FLR: you first need to reach Florence train station Santa Maria Novella by either bus or train (both direct). Once in Santa Maria Novella, you can reach the airport by either taxi or bus.
- Train timetables are available on www.trenitalia.com
- Bus timetables on www.busfox.com/timetable (Florence-Siena)
Hotel to hotel luggage transfer is included on all walking days.
Language: Italian. In big cities and resorts, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. You can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems. Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs. We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit. Up-to-date travel advice on Italy is available here. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.
Trip Info for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to SienaGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
The route is relatively easy and accessible due to low elevation gains. Some walks are quite long but can be optionally shortened using local transport or private transfers. A good level of fitness is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades).
The route is quite easy due to low differences in height. The whole itinerary is mostly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), even if you will find some sections on asphalted road. Some walks are quite long but can be shortened if requested in advance. The whole itinerary is well marked by the Official signs of the Via Francigena – white-red markings and yellow sign with the Pilgrim symbol on it. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to Go
You can start your holiday every day between the beginning of April and the end of October.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Via Francigena in Tuscany: Lucca to SienaGo to top of page
- 7 nights in selected 3-star hotels and agriturismi, private en-suite rooms
- 7 breakfasts
- 1 dinner on Day 3
- Transfer from San Miniato train station to the hotel
- Luggage transfers on all walking days
- Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route notes and maps (digital copy sent by email and a hard copy delivered at first hotel) & pilgrim passport
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost
Options and Extras
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Train and bus fares if you want to optionally shorten a walk
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights and airport transfers
- Lunches and dinners not listed as ‘included’
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- City tourist taxes
- Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
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