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Via Francigena in Tuscany

Lucca to Siena

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  • San-Miniato-Italy-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways
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The section from Lucca to Siena, is one of the most popular and spectacular stretches of the Via Francigena, the Camino to Rome. The trail starts in the walled city of Lucca with its amazing Renaissance wall and citadel, and finishes in the UNESCO World Heritage historic centre of Siena.

On this section of the Via Francigena you will walk in the heart of Tuscany, across beautiful rolling hills and woodland, stopping in gorgeous villages along the way where you will enjoy a well-deserved rest. There are many wonderful sights on this section of the Via Francigena including the tiny walled hilltop town of Monteriggioni and two impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the breathtaking town of San Gimignano with its medieval towers and magnificent Siena, an historical, artistic, cultural and gastronomic gem. If you travel in July or August, you might be able to witness one of Italy’s most traditional horse races: the Palio di Siena. If you travel in Autumn, this part of Tuscany is world-famous for its white truffles so foodies are in for a treat!

View Tour Options

  • Standard:
    • 8 days / 7 Nights. Stay in our hand-picked accommodation.
    • Split – 9 days / 8 Nights. This tour includes two extra walking days to split the longest day in two so you can walk at a more relaxed pace.
  • Easy Walking – Under the Tuscan Sun
    • Start in San Miniato – 7 days / 6 nights.
      • Guided tour
        • Start in San Miniato: 7 days / 6 Nights. Includes English speaking guide, half board accommodation. Departure on 27th May & 16th September 2017.
        • Easy cycling in Tuscany
          • 8 days / 7 Nights. Cycling the Via Francigena in Tuscany from Lucca to Siena at a leisurely pace so you can explore this magnificent region. Bike rental available.

Trip highlights

  • Explore amazing UNESCO heritage sites along the way
  • Walk in the heart of picturesque Tuscany
  • Enjoy authentic Italian food with a glass of Chianti
  • Visit spectacular Siena, home of the famous Palio horse race

1 Lucca

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You will be booked in a hotel in the centre of Lucca, in an en-suite room. Make sure you explore this fantastic city before you set off on your Via Francigena adventure.

2 Lucca to Altopascio - 18km

Altopascio-Tuscany-Italy-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

5h30 | +89m / -93m
This first part of the Via Francigena trail from Lucca to Altopascio is flat all the way. You will pass the towns of Capannori and Porcari and their lovely little churches. Your destination for the day is Altopascio which is know as the ‘town of bread’ for its tradition of bread making. There is an interesting church and bell tower in the centre of the town.

3 Altopascio to San Miniato - 29km

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7h | +383m / -283m
Today, the Via Francigena trail gets more interesting as you leave Lucca and its suburbs behind. This section follows a lovely trail through woodland and farmlands. There is a short climb and descent before you reach a fortified 16th century Medicean bridge over the canal. You will then pass the lovely town of Fucecchio and over the Arno river, before the final climb up to the breathtaking town of San Miniato (Alto). There are plenty of artistic, cultural and historical sights to see here. The town and region are also renowned for its white truffles.

4 San Miniato to Gambassi Terme - 24km

7h | +693m / -505m
Today’s walking section on the Via Francigena follows a lovely trail through oak woods, chestnut woods, olive groves and vineyards. The trail is predominantly on off-road tracks over small rolling hills, the classic Tuscan landscape. On the way you will pass Chianni where you should visit the lovely little church. There is a 300m climb to Gambassi Terme, a hilltop town best known for its spa and hot springs, as well as glass manufacturing.

Easy Walking – Under the Tuscan Sun: If you are on this tour, your trip begins in San Miniato.
Guided Tour: Guided tours start in San Miniato.

5 Gambassi T. to Colle di Val d. - 27km

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8h | +624m / -760m
From Gambassi Terme you will descend for a couple of kilometres before you begin another climb. The day is quite up and down but the scenery as you walks by the world-famous Chianti vineyards will make the effort worthwhile. Mid-way you will reach San Gimignano, a wonderful UNESCO-listed medieval town, where you can stop for the night if you decide to split this day. The towers of San Gimignano of the town can be seen for miles. The ‘San Gimignano 1300’ museum has a wonderful reconstruction of how the town once looked and is well worth a visit. You will leave San Gimignano walking through olive groves and cypress avenues up to the village of Montecchio. In Colle Val d’Elsa, enjoy a glass of Chianti in the central piazza.

Easy Walking Option Stay in San Gimignano - 14km & 13km

San-Gimignano-Tuscany-Italy-ViaFrancigena-Francigena-ways

4h | +312m / -380m
Split your day by adding an extra night in San Gimignano, in order to enjoy the atmosphere of this picturesque village, with its unique architecture. The historic town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The split of this day will make two walking days of 13km (Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano) and 14km (San Gimignano to Colle di Val d’Elsa).

6 Colle di Val d. to Monteriggioni - 14km

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3h30 | +266m / -144m
From the Piazza in Colle di Val d’Elsa, you will continue your walk along tree-lined roads, starting with a long descent to Castel Petraia and then up to the densely forested hill of Montagnole. Your walking day on the Via Francigena takes you to the unique hilltop village of Monteriggioni with its circular wall.

7 Monteriggioni to Siena - 21km

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5h15 | +380m / -316m
After Monteriggioni, the Via Francigena takes pilgrims towards the village of Funghaia and its church with frescoed interior. Make sure you experience real Tuscan food in one of the region’s best osterias, as you reach stunning Siena. Siena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited places in Italy. It is world famous for its art, medieval architecture, museums, cuisine and the ‘Palio‘, the spectacular annual horse race held in the city’s piazza.

8 Siena

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This is the end of your holiday, after enjoying your breakfast in beautiful Siena. Talk to the FrancigenaWays.com travel specialists if you’d like to book an additional night in Siena to explore this magnificent UNESCO-listed city.

We have hand picked our hotels on the Via Francigena based on their character, facilities and comfort. You will usually arrive at your accommodation in the afternoon giving you plenty of time for a refreshing shower and a visit to the local village, or maybe just to unwind and relax yourself. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability. Hotel Upgrades are available in most cities and larger towns. Ask the FrancigenaWays.com team.

Lucca - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Altopascio - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

San Miniato - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Gambassi Terme - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Colle di Val d'Elsa - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Monteriggioni - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guest houses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Siena - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Lucca Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Sienna Average Temperature & Rainfall

Sienna-average-temperature Sienna-average-rainfall

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

Lucca

Pisa International Airport 35km: Firstly you need to reach Pisa central train station (Station Ferroviara Pisa Centrale). The airport is only located 1km from Pisa central train station and PisaMover Bus Service provides the transfer. To get to Lucca from Pisa central train station you can take a regional trains (approx. 30 minutes travel time). You can check the timetable at www.trenitalia.com.

NOTE: Depending on the connection schedules, sometimes it’s better to make the connection at Viareggio instead of at Pisa Centrale. The Trenitalia website will indicate when this is the case. The unreserved regionale train from Viareggio to Lucca also costs 3 Euros and takes just under 30 minutes travel time.

Florence International Airport 70km: To reach Santa Maria Novella train station (S.M.N) from the airport the easiest way is to take the city line. There is a local bus “Volainbus” that is run by the SITA bus company next to the Santa Maria Novella train station. It goes to and from the station every half hour from 5:30am to 11pm (25 minutes approx travel time from airport arrivals to the station). Find the general information of departure points and timetable at www.fsbusitalia.it
When you are in S.M.N train station you can choose:
– Train Option: With the Italian regional line www.trenitalia.com, Florence to Lucca takes roughly 1.30 hours and costs around €7.
– Bus Option: From Florence to Lucca, you also have the option to take the intercity bus (Monday to Saturday only), which departs hourly from the intersection of Via Nazionale and Via Fiume, 250 meters from the S.M.N. train station. The bus takes 80 minutes and costs about the same as the regionale train, but has reclining seats. Be aware departure location may change in the future.

Bologna Airport 151km:  Shuttle bus from Bologna Airport to Bologna Central Station (every 11 mins, €6 one-way).  For more information see: http://aerobus.bo.it/en.  Train to Florence (34mins), change to regional train to Lucca (1h20).  Fares from €24.  For more information see: https://www.lefrecce.it/.

Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport 349km: You have to get to Roma Termini Central Station to take an intercity trains either going to Pisa Central or Firenze Santa Maria Novella. There are many options to get from Leonardo da Vinci airport to Roma Termini. See www.rome-airport:

  • The Leonardo Express train costs €11 and takes 30 minutes.
  • Terravision Shuttle Bus. Ticket is €9 for 70 minutes of travel.
  • City bus: The bus stop is located outdoors at ground level, 100 meters left from arrivals (teminals B&C). You can buy tickets at all tobacco shops – they have blue signs (Tabacheria). Fares is 4 Euros; 45-80 minutes travel time.
  • Taxis outside the passenger stations. The trip cost usually €40 to get to the city centre plus €1 fee for each suitcase.

From Roma Termini you can decide to go to Pisa or Florence.

  • PisaTake a Frecciabianca OR, an Intercity train from Roma Termini to Pisa Centrale. The Frecciabianca is a faster, more modern and nicer train, so give it priority over the Intercity unless the latter’s schedules are more convenient. The fastest Frecciabianca train takes 2 hours and 30 minutes travel time for €44.50
  • Via Florence: Travelling via Firenze SMN will cost €43, and will take about the same amount of time (since the Freccia train from Rome to Florence is one hour faster than the Freccia train from Rome to Pisa).  For timetables and itineraries see www.trenitalia.com

Siena

Florence International Airport 86km: You can either take the bus or the train. However they don’t stop at the same finishing point. The bus will drop you off in the heart of the historic city centre of Siena whereas Siena train station is located further away from the city centre and you might need to take a city bus (5 min travel time approx).
By bus:
– Autostradale bus express, coming from Pisa, stops in Florence and reaches Siena in less than 2 hours. See: www.airportbusexpress.it.
– SITA bus, www.sienamobilita.it. The bus station is just around the corner from the train station in Florence. SITA buses to Siena take just under an hour, run frequently and takes you to Siena historic city center. Make sure you take the rapide (express) and not the ordinarie, which stops in Poggibonsi and Colle Val d’Elsa. Ticket costs €12. See the route itinerary and price for more information (note information is only in Italian). To reach the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence from the airport, just take the city line Vola in bus from the airport. The service connects the city centre in just 20 minutes and the fare is €6 one way.
By train:
Trains from Florence to Siena leave Santa Maria Novella station roughly once an hour on most days, and a direct train takes about 1.5 hours. The ticket is in the €6-10 range (if you’re on the direct train). See www.fsitaliane.it for more information.

Pisa International Airport 130km: You can take two different buses outside the airport going directly to Siena (under 2hr approximate travel time), for more information, see: http://www.pisa-airport.com/aeroporto_di_pisa_196.html.
– Train S.p.a, see: www.trainspa.it. Leaving directly from the airport to Piazza Gramsci in Siena. It takes you around two hours travel time and costs €14 one way.
– Autostradale, see: www.airportbusexpress.it. It follows similar itinerary than Train S.p.a but with a change in Florence. One way ticket costs €15. All informations, timetable and route with Siena Mobilita.

Bologna International Airport 167km: There are bus and train connections available to Siena.  Shuttle bus from Bologna Airport to Bologna Central Station (every 11 mins, €6 one-way).  For more information see: http://aerobus.bo.it/en.  From here you will take the train to Siena with a change in Florence.  Train to Siena (2hr 30, from €24 one-way). For more information see: https://www.lefrecce.it.

Bus from Bologna Airport to Siena Train Station. (4 times daily, from €18, Duration 2h40 – 3h40).  For more information see: http://www.sena.it/Autobus/Bologna/Siena/125-234/49-1.html.