Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage trail from Canterbury to Rome is getting increasingly popular among modern wayfarers for a reason. Crossing through the heart of Italy, the path reveals amazing sceneries, cultural heritage and history, providing many opportunities for enriching adventures.
We offer you a walk in the heart of Via Francigena that combines the famous towns and villages such as Siena and San Gimignano with beautiful hamlets such as San Miniato, allowing you to discover the very best of the Tuscan Via Francigena in a single trip.
The route starts in San Miniato, one of the hidden gems of Via Francigena, continuing along a path of extraordinary beauty: from the thousand-year-old Pieve di Chianni to the crenellated towers of the Monteriggioni Castle and the fascinating region of Siena. You then continue along the legendary pilgrim paths of Siena, among fortified hamlets where time seems to have stopped, finishing at Buonconvento.
Besides the amazing landscapes, you will also be able to taste the genuine Tuscan kitchen in its entire variety, from the precious white truffle of San Miniato to the tasty pici of Siena, not to mention the yellow gold of San Gimignano: the saffron.
- The fascinating Tuscany countryside full of vineyards and the picturesque rolling hills of Crete Senesi
- The historic fortified village of Monteriggioni
- The charming UNESCO towns of San Gimignano and Siena
- Small, comfortable, family-run accommodations offering delicious Tuscan culinary specialities
Day 1: San Miniato Alto
Your travel starts from San Miniato, the jewel of Via Francigena. Depending on the time of your arrival you have the rest of the day for exploring the cultural sites of the city such as the Seminary, from which the main square takes its name.
- Accommodation: Hotel San Miniato
Day 2: San Miniato Alto to Gambassi Terme
Starting your walk, a paved road brings you to a spectacular route crossing the countryside of the Val d’Elsa. On the route you pass through two “Submansiones”: Pieve di Coiano and Pieve a Chianni, arriving at your place for overnight. Dinner is included at the accommodation tonight.
- Accommodation: Agriturismo Tenuta Sant’Ilario
- Walking for the day: 24 km, 7 hrs, ↑780m ↓650m
Day 3: Gambassi to San Gimignano
Today you enjoy the wonderful surroundings of the Via Francigena. On the way to the authentic villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole, you can 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. Dinner is on your own in one of the many restaurants in town.
- Accommodation: Hotel La Cisterna
- Walking for the day: 18 km, 6 hrs, ↑595m ↓540m
Day 4: San Gimignano to Gracciano
Today you start your walk going up and down the Tuscan hills through vineyards, olive groves, fields and woods, reaching your accommodation in Gracciano. Along the way, you can make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Coneo of the XI century.
- Accommodation: Hotel Il Pietreto
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hrs, ↑209m ↓204m
Day 5: 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, you continue walking along the particular complex of Abbadia a Isola until you reach the medieval town of Monteriggioni, surrounded by its peculiar crown of towers.
- Accommodation: Hotel Borgo Gallinano
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 4 hrs, ↑132m ↓57m
Day 6: 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 and descend along 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 enter the beautiful town of Siena for its ancient pilgrim’s access of Porta Camollia. Dinner is on your own in one of the many restaurants in town.
- Accommodation: Hotel Chiusarelli
- Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hrs, ↑224m ↓245m
Day 7: Siena to Lucignano
After saying goodbye to Siena, resting on the hills on the horizon, you travel along the typical dirt roads of Siena as far as the fortified village of Lucignano, with its fine Church. At the gates of Monteroni d’Arbia, you will be able to admire the impressive Grancia di Cuna, a fortified farm which held the reserves of wheat for the republic of Siena.
- Accommodation: Hotel Borgo Antico
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hrs, ↑307m ↓467m
Day 8: Lucignano to Buonconvento
From Lucignano you continue your journey through the Valle dell’Ombrone to Buonconvento. Once you cross the gate of the walls, entering the fine old town centre of the village, you will discover why its name means “happy fortunate place”: you walk through the picturesque streets, where life is lived quietly following the slow rhythms of a provincial village, and if you love art, you will be able to admire the works of some of the most famous Sienese painters in the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia.
- Accommodation: Hotel Ghibellino
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hrs, ↑259m ↓293m
Day 9: Departure
Departure on your own or extension upon request.
Accommodation is in selected 3-star hotels and agriturismi*. Some of the places chosen have a swimming pool. 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.
*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, dinner is included only on day 2. Throughout the trip, there are plenty of opportunities to taste both the great local food and a wide range of the prestigious wines of the region.
From Pisa Airport, you can take a bus, a taxi or a train to Pisa Centrale Train Station, then take the train to San Miniato. There are many daily direct trains from Pisa to Lucca, but sometimes you have to change in Empoli. The ride takes from 30 to 50 minutes depending on the train you take. Price varies from EUR 4,50 to EUR 6,10, one way depending on the train you take. You can check the updated timetables on this website.
From Florence Airport, take a taxi or the public “Vola in bus” to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station. There are several daily direct trains from Florence to San Miniato. The ride can take from 40 to 55 minutes depending on the train you take. Price is about EUR 5,50 per person one way, depending on the train you take.
NOTE: You must call the hotel in San Miniato Alto to inform them about the time of arrival in San Miniato-Fucecchio, so they can come and pick you up at the train station to take you to the hotel.
To Pisa Airport: There are no direct trains running from Buonconvento to Pisa, therefore you will need to change train once or even twice (usually in Empoli, Siena or Grosseto). The ride can take from 2hrs. 20 minutes up to 3hrs. 15 minutes and price varies from EUR 12 to EUR 30 (or more) per person one way, it all depends on the train you take. From Pisa Centrale, you can take a bus, train or taxi to reach Pisa Airport.
To Florence Airport: There are no direct trains running from Buonconvento to Florence, therefore you will need to change train once or even twice (usually in Empoli or Siena). The ride can take 2 – 2.5 hours s and price is approximately EUR 12 per person one way, it all depends on the train you take. From Florence Santa Maria Novella you can take a bus or taxi to reach Florence Airport.
Airport transfers by public transport are recommended for this trip, as they are much cheaper and faster compared to car transfers. You can also book a private airport transfer with us.
Hotel to hotel luggage transfer is included.
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. Currency: 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.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
The route is relatively easy and accessible due to low elevation gains of the daily walks on average you will walk 5 hours per day. The whole itinerary is mostly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche). A basic level of fitness is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades).
The route is well marked with 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. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
You can start your holiday every day between early April and 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 25 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. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or 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)
- 8 nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismi
- 8 breakfasts
- 1 dinner
- 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)
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- 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
Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates.
Options and Extras
- Private airport transfers can be arranged upon request
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Airport train and bus fares
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights, trains or buses wherever necessary
- Lunches & dinners
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- City tourist taxes
- Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme