Via Francigena Tours offers a Lucca to Siena 10 day tour through the heart of Tuscany. It covers a distance of 125 km through the heart of the Tuscan landscape with overnight stays in hilltop towns like San Miniato, Gambassi Terme, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. Highlights are the Tuscan food and wine and the amazing history and culture of the region. So sign up for a tour anywhere between April and October.
The walk from Lucca to Siena is rich in history and culture. Each day you walk in the footsteps of pilgrims’ past. The stages are designed to follow the path taken by Archbishop Sigeric in 990 AD. There is a great deal of satisfaction knowing that you are now part of this pilgrimage history. Then, there is the excitement of spending the night in one of Italy’s famous hilltop medieval cities. In addition, enjoy the food and wine produced where you have just walked. Best of all is the Chianti wine!
It is a very enriching pilgrimage for those on a spiritual journey. Firstly, it is fun collecting stamps in your pilgrim passport. Then, there are heaps of ancient medieval churches filled with amazing art works. However, for many people being immersed in nature and forgetting about everyday life is very uplifting!
Walking Via Francigena Stages 28 to 33 from Lucca to Siena is quite a physical challenge. So, to reduce lengthy walks some stages are covered over two days. Also, minor roads and forest trails are used to avoid busy roads. However, the walking conditions vary enormously. There is everything from easy mountain ridge trails with amazing Tuscan panoramas to challenging creek crossings and muddy sections.
The Lucca to Siena tour begins with a visit to the highlights of Lucca. This includes a walk around the enormous city walls, a visit to the Roman amphitheatre, and several historic Cathedrals and towers. It was Sigeric’s XXVI stopping place known then as Luca. Don’t miss the Cathedral of San Michele and the Cathedral of San Martino with the historic Volto Santo. Also, not to be missed is the local food and wine!
Lucca to Altopascio is an easy, level 17 km walk. It begins in the Piazza San Michele and continues to Porta Elisa (1.5 km). The hotel is outside the city walls and begins along busy Via Romana and then scenic minor roads to Capannori (5 km). Stop for a rest break at a bar and visit the Romanesque Santi Quirico e Guilitta Cathedral. Then continue along minor scenic roads except for a short walk in an industrial waste area to Porcari (11 km). Take a rest break at a bar and view the impressive Cathedral. Porcari once had a castle and Sigeric described it as ‘submansio XXV’, Forcri. Walk through a built-up area to Turchetto and then into a pleasant forest trail (13 km). Arrive at Badia Pozzeveri with vineyards and ruins of the Abbey of St Peter in Pozzeveri (15.5 km). Continue along sealed roads to Altopascio (17 km).
Altopascio to San Miniato is a 29 km demanding walk. So it is best walked over two days. Leave Altopascio along a sealed road to a forest trail (1.5 km). It is a pleasant forest walk to Villa Campanile and a rest stop at a bar (3.5 km). Then continue through the forest to a short section of busy road (6.5 km). After that another forest section crossing the Bridge at Greppo. Then a steep walk along ancient paving stones to Galleno for a rest stop at a bar (8 km). Next a steep uphill walk through the Cerbaie Reserve which features a variety of bird life, flowers and rare oak trees. Arrive at a short section of a sealed road leading to a steep descent through a forest into Ponte a Cappiano (14 km). So, visit Cappiano and rest at a bar. Then continue to the Hotel. (16 km).
Leave the hotel and go straight ahead along Viale Cristoforo Colombo to Fucecchio. Then walk along a trail and some steep stairs leading up to Piazza Vittoria Veneto. Here you can enjoy the views from the Abbey of San Salvatore, visit the Church of San Giovanni and admire the fresco of St Christopher (2.5 km). After that continue to the Piazza Giuseppe Montanelli for food and water supplies. Leave Fucecchio and continue to the Bridge over the Arno (5 km). Then follow a variety of trails to San Miniato Basso (10 km). Take a rest stop at a bar near the Chiesa dei Santi Martino e Stefano. Next, follow the path beside the Church leading to a playing field. Then turn left and walk along a grass mound to Via Torta. This road begins the steep ascent into San Miniato. (13 km)
San Miniato to Gambassi Terme is a 24 km walk of average difficulty in good weather and demanding in rain. Begin walking along sealed roads with amazing views to Calenzano with the only bar for the entire journey (3km). After a short distance turn into a forest with white gravel trails. Here you can stop at the Pilgrim’s rest spot and visit the 20 years to Rome memorial (9 km). Continue along gravel trails to Coiano, Sigeric’s submansio XXI, Sce Peter Currant (13 km) where there is no shelter or places to visit. Then continue along the mountain range with amazing Tuscan landscapes finally arriving at SP46 (20 km). Next continue to Borgoforte along a mountain ridge trail with amazing panoramic views (23 km). Here stop and visit the Church of Santa Maria in Chianni. The walk ends at Sant’Agostino (24 km) with a further 1 km to the hotel.
Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano is easy with a short distance, but difficult due to several steep gradients. It begins with a slow descent along sealed and white gravel roads with spectacular scenery (3 km). At the lowest point cross a stream and turn into a narrow gravel trail that winds uphill (6 km). At the peak the scenery is spectacular surrounded by the Monte Chianti vineyards, cypress trees and distant panoramas. Then there is a sealed section at La Piazetta with the Church of Santo Pietro and a visit to the Sanctuary of Pancole (7.7 km). Continue along the road admiring the first panoramic views of San Gimignano. Then arrive at the Monastery at the Pieve di Cellole and stop for a visit (9.7 km). After that walk to the main road leading to a roundabout (12.5 km). Finally, walk a short distance to San Gimignano (14.0 km).
Leave San Gimignano through Porta San Giovanni. Walk along sealed roads with panoramic views to Santa Lucia (3 km). Turn into a gravel trail that continues downhill through rough terrain with 3 river crossings (6.5 km) to Aiano (Sigeric’s XVIII Sce Martine in Fosse). Then the gravel trail continues uphill to SP 68 with the last views of San Gimignano (8 km). Continue along the sealed road leading the Colle di Val d’Elsa (12 km). Enter the medieval hilltop town through Porta Nova and walk to Piazza San’Agostino (13.5 km). Leave the town and begin walking in a park running beside the River Elsa (14.5 km). It is a scenic park but has several rivers crossings (17.5 km). Leave the park and walk through Gracciano d’Elsa to a forested area leading to the hotel (20 km).
Leave the hotel and walk through fields along a narrow gravel trail (2.6 km). Then turn right and walk along a white gravel road surrounded by colourful fields to Strove (4.3 km). Strove is a small ancient village with the medieval Church of San Martino and a rest stop in a bar. Leave Strove and continue to Castel Petraio and stop for a visit (5 km). Then the road enters a rough, muddy trail running through a forest (7 km). Turn left into a white gravel road leading to Abadia Isola and visit the Abbey (7.5 km). Leave the Via Francigena trail a short distance from the Abbey and continue along the main road to the Hotel (9 km).
It is a short walk from the hotel to Monteriggioni (1.3 km). Leave Monteriggioni through Porta Romea and walk downhill to a forest trail. Continue through the forest passing several farms to Podere Cerbaia (6 km). Then turn left into a trail that is muddy in wet weather leading to Chiocciola Castle near Villa (7.5 km). Visit Villa and stop for a rest at a bar. After that continue to the Pian del Lago which is a reclaimed marshland making it difficult walking in wet weather (9.7 km). Then there is a section walking beside a canal (11.6 km). Continue along sealed and unsealed trails to Convento Vecchio and the first views of Torre del Mangia (14.3 km). Then there is a steep climb to the outskirts of Siena with panoramas of Siena and Tuscan scenery. Enter Siena through Porta Camolia and continue to Piazza del Campo (20 km).
Information about how to arrive at your starting place, Lucca, is available on request.
Siena to Montefiascone is an 11 day, 150 km with many highlights in Tuscany and Lazio. The landscape abounds with Tuscan hills and cypress trees unique to the Crete Senesi landscape. There are many beautiful medieval cities and town like Buonconvento, San Quirico d’Orcia, Radicofani, Proceno, Acquapendente and Bolsena. Then there are the Montalcino vineyards and Lake Bolsena. In general, it is fair to say that this walk takes in the best history, culture, landscape, architecture, food and wine that Italy has to offer.
The Via Francigena goes all the way from Canterbury to Rome. But you only have to walk the last 100 km to receive your Testimonium in Rome. So walk the Via Francigena Montefiascone to Rome and take only take 7 nights or 8 days to arrive in Rome. Most importantly, you will be delighted with all the surprises that Lazio has to offer! Don’t miss out! Sign up for our Via Francigena Montefiascone to Rome self-guided tour and walk the last 100 km to Rome!