This morning we transfer to Previdè (90 km) past the Cisa Pass, gateway to the Tuscan Via Francigena. This stage is considered among the most beautiful of the entire pilgrimage route and traverses the Lunigiana, a border area with a tumultuous history. The trail takes us through chestnut and beech woods which shelter wolf and deer, through a valley dotted with fortified towns, castles, and fortresses testament to the part this area played in military history. En route we'll have a olive oil tasting before transferring to Pontremoli. Here we can visit the Statue Stele Museum which is housed in the Piagnaro Castle. The Stele (standing stones or menhirs) date from the 6th Century BC and continue to mystify historians. A transfer takes us to the walled town of Lucca (95km), considered one of the pearls of Italian architecture. The perfectly conserved medieval walls, the bridges over the Serchio river, the towers, stunning gardens and the tiny squares, provide a good sense of medieval and Renaissance art. Birthplace of the composer Puccini, Lucca is a cultural centre hosting many festivals attracting international artists.
Walk distance: 10km/6.2mi, Ascent 512m/1680ft, descent 706m/2316ft