Francigena Easy Lucca Siena signs on path to Monteriggioni
Francigena Easy Lucca Siena signs on path to Monteriggioni

Via Francigena Easy, from Lucca to Siena

Level
1
Distance
56 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 0
CO2 footprint
104 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Solo Holidays
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM360E

This section of Via Francigena stands out as one of the most beloved parts of the entire journey: this version of the itinerary shortens some of the walks by public transport or transfers, enabling less experienced walkers to complete this fascinating route.

The charming town of Lucca, adorned with walkable ramparts, towers crowned by hanging gardens, and the unique amphitheater square, is an excellent starting point for your walk.

After the medieval town of San Miniato, you traverse the quintessential Tuscan scenery – characterized by cypresses and rolling hills, rustic farmsteads, and vineyards. Passing by the iconic towers of San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, navigating through riverside parks, dirt pathss, and picturesque villages.

The final leg of the journey takes you amid the contrade of Siena, where you end the walk in its shell-shaped square. This is where the renowned Palio unfolds, and where pilgrims find rest, celebrating the completion of a unique trip.

Highlights

  • Raise a glass to start your adventure in Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, in Lucca;
  • Marvel at the skyline of San Gimignano, on the route to Colle val d'Elsa;
  • Pause in quiet contemplation within the Pieve di Chianni, near Gambassi Terme;
  • Enjoy a dish of Pici Cacio e Pepe in a restaurant within the fortified walls of Monteriggioni.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lucca

Arrive in Lucca

Lucca boasts a captivating old town center brimming with attractions. We recommend savoring a leisurely stroll atop its sixteenth-century walls, reveling in the panoramic views, before unraveling the mystery of why oak trees grow on the summit of the Guinigi tower. Of course, the secret can only be unveiled by ascending the numerous steps! Taste a Bucellato before exploring the splendid Duomo.

In the evening, venture out to admire the elliptical square constructed atop the remnants of the ancient Roman amphitheatre, now concealed by a tapestry of multicolored houses housing charming restaurants and artisan shops.

Day 2

Morning walk in Lucca. Train to S.Miniato and transfer to San Miniato Alto

Morning walk in Lucca. Train to S.Miniato and transfer to San Miniato Alto

Today, you can explore the Lucca town center a bit more, before taking a train to the San Miniato-Fucecchio station. From there, a transfer will take you to San Miniato Alto (the medieval part of the town), a charming little village whose history is closely connected to Via Francigena.

The Seminary, after which the main square is named, will captivate you with its distinctive facade. Admire the illuminated spectacle, perhaps following a meal featuring a risotto adorned with the renowned white truffle, a source of pride for the local region. 

Day 3

Transfer to Coiano and walk to Gambassi Terme, 13 km

Transfer to Coiano and walk to Gambassi Terme, 13 km

The first walking day of your journey will be within a genuinely wonderful landscape. You reach Coiano by a taxi transfer, and from there the path winds through the magnificent ridges of the Val d'Elsa hills. Along the route, you have the opportunity to step into the Pieve di Chianni, tracing the path of numerous generations of pilgrims. To conclude the day on a satisfying note, immerse yourself in the rejuvenating hot springs of Gambassi.

Day 4

From Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano, 14,5 km

From Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano, 14,5 km

This stage, offering splendid natural views, takes you to San Gimignano, among the most enchanting towns along the Via Francigena. Anticipate your arrival as you catch sight of the renowned towers that define its unmistakable skyline. Don't miss the opportunity to behold the medieval town and the surrounding valleys from the pinnacle of the Torre Grossa. If you still have some energy left, ascend the steps of the Rocca di Montestaffoli for an even more exceptional panorama.

in the evening, take a leisurely stroll to appreciate the illuminated town before indulging in a fine glass of Vernaccia at one of the taverns in the historic town center.

Day 5

From San Gimignano to Colle Val d'Elsa, 12 km

From San Gimignano to Colle Val d'Elsa, 12 km

Departing from San Gimignano, your path will lead you up and down the undulating Tuscan hills. Your destination for the day is Colle Val d'Elsa, a Tuscan village that transports you back in time with its captivating old town center and meandering narrow alleyways weaving through stone walls.

Day 6

From Colle Val d'Elsa to Strove, 10 km

From Colle Val d'Elsa to Strove, 10 km

Prepare for one of the most beautiful segments of the Via Francigena: a contemplative path through the Parco Fluviale dell'Elsa. This wooden section will offer some shade during the hottest months, and you can even bath or swim in the waters of the river. Before the end of today's walk, you can admire the Pieve di Strove (alas, only from the exterior).

Day 7

From Strove to Monteriggioni and train/bus to Siena, 7 km

From Strove to Monteriggioni and train/bus to Siena, 7 km

Today's walk will allow you to bask in the tranquility of the splendid Abbadia a Isola - another waypoint on Archbishop Sigerico's journey, frozen in time from a millennium ago when he traversed this route. Your breath will be taken away at the sight of Monteriggioni Castle, adorned with its regal crown of towers, strategically perched on a hill to safeguard the ancient Republic of Siena. Inside, discover a small, ancient world featuring a charming square and petite gardens where you can catch your breath before ascending the walls to enjoy the panoramic views.

A train (or bus) will then take you to Siena.

Day 8

Arrivederci Siena!

Arrivederci Siena!

The trip and our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights.

Details

Is this for me?


One of the most beautiful sections of Va Francigena, from the walls of Lucca to Siena and its contrade. In this version, some sections are skipped by public transport or taxi transfer in order to reduce the lenght of the walks.

This trip is perfect if you'd like to walk and explore some among the most beautiful cities of Tuscany - especially if you add a few extra days to explore the local art and culture! 

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 2 dinners (Gambassi, Strove)
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • taxi transfers (San Miniato railways station-San Miniato Alto, San Miniato Alto-Coiano)
  • official guidebook, App
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


Hotel Rex - Lucca
Hotel San Miniato - San Miniato
Tenuta Sant'Ilario - Gambassi
Hotel la Cisterna - San Gimignano
B&B Arnolfo - Colle Val d'Elsa
Hotel Chiusarelli - Siena

When to travel


The climate in Tuscany is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography  of the  region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas. The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C; the valleys can often see higher  temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice warm weather. Of course, there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot.Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high.The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn. 

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Travel with dogs


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


From Pisa Airport (PSA), you can take a train to Lucca with change in Pisa Centrale station.

From Florence Airport (FLR), take a public bus to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station, and then a train to Lucca (with change in Pisa Centrale).

On departure, if flying from Pisa airport PSA, you first need to reach Florence by bus. Once in Florence, you need to take a train to Pisa Central Station. From there, you can reach the airport by either bus or train.

As an alternative, you can catch a bus from Siena station to Pisa aiport: www.tiemmespa.it/index.php/Viaggia-con-noi/Altri-servizi/Lunga-percorrenza/Siena-Firenze-Pisa-Aeroporto.

You can also reach Pisa from Siena by train, but you always have to change in Empoli. 

If flying from Florence airport FLR, you first need to reach Florence train station Santa Maria Novella by either bus or train (both direct). Once in Santa Maria Novella, you can reach the airport by either taxi or bus.

Train timetables are available on the website www.trenitalia.com
Bus timetables on www.busfox.com/timetable (Florence-Siena)

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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