Pilgrims walk 6 days and stay 7 nights beginning inside the UNESCO-World Heritage walls of historic Lucca and ending in glorious Renaissance Siena. This unforgettable walk takes pilgrims on the Via Francigena through some of the most quaint and best-preserved medieval Italian towns — all surrounded by the spectacular rolling hills of Tuscany. This is the region of focaccia bread and rich red wines and many other gastronomic delicacies. Bring your appetite and camera.
Sunday, May 28, 2023 – Aperitivi and orientation in Lucca. Lucca has been called by some a “smaller Florence.” Inside its medieval walls the town is beautifully preserved with quiet streets full of shops and charming restaurants. The Duomo is spectacular in its intricate stone work. We meet at the apartment of Sandy Brown in one of Lucca’s major piazze for get-acquainted time and orientation and then head to a delicious dinner (see Option #1 below for a guided tour of Lucca). Overnight in Lucca.
Monday, May 29, 2023 – Lucca to Altopascio (26km/16.2 miles, rated moderately difficult). Altopascio also features a charming medieval quarter and its history is closely connected with pilgrimage on the Via Francigena. Rather than being a tourist town, Altopascio is a place where local Italians live, work and play. The day’s walk is on an official variant of the Francigena, following the 19th c aqueduct and then on mountain trails to Sant’Andrea di Compito before crossing the Lucca Plain to Altopascio.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023 – Altopascio to San Miniato (28.7km/17.8miles, rated Average). The tall tower of San Miniato can be seen for many miles around and was erected as a beacon to pilgrims on the Via Francigena. Today’s stage includes a long walk through a forested nature reserve before entering the medieval city of Fuccechio and climbing to San Miniato.
Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – San Miniato to Gambassi Terme (24.1km/15miles, rated Average). Now the vast rolling hills open up and this very picturesque day carries pilgrims through beautiful farmland with constant, sweeping vistas of Tuscan countryside.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 – Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano (13.7km/8.5miles, rated Easy). San Gimignano is noted as one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns, with dozens of towers where prosperous medieval families stored their treasures.
Friday, June 2, 2023 – San Gimignano to Monteriggioni (27.4km/17miles, rated Challenging). Monteriggioni is a fully walled medieval village atop a rounded mountain. The challenging but beautiful walk can be shortened with a van ride at the start or end of the day.
Saturday, June 3, 2023 – Monteriggioni to Siena (20.6km/12.8miles, rated Average). There are few words worthy to describe Siena. Inside its medieval walls there are world-renowned treasures of medieval and Renaissance art, capped off by a stunningly beautiful cathedral at its heart.
Sunday, June 4, 2023 – Tour and depart Siena. Our time together ends with breakfast at the hotel followed by a morning tour of the city.
Option #1 Arrive a day early, overnight in Lucca’s Centro Storico, and enjoy a relaxed, Sunday May 28 tour of Lucca with a licensed tour guide followed by aperitivi on Lucca’s historic, Renaissance-era walls – €225.00
Option #2 Remain an extra night in Siena to enjoy this wonderful, medieval city (price €150 ppdo).
After an excellent experience in 2022, we’re excited to offer this walking tour once more that features six days on the Via Francigena in Tuscany. Watch for more details coming up!
This trip includes: Nightly hotel accommodations in pilgrim-grade accommodations, daily breakfast and dinner, baggage service, van service, leadership by certified hiking guide Giovanni Ramaccioni and Via Francigena guidebook author Sandy Brown. Prices do not include air or ground travel to and from start and finish points or lunch each day. Itineraries subject to possible change. Terms and conditions apply.
Where do we fly in and out of if our start and end point is Seattle?