pontremoli seen from the above
pontremoli seen from the above

Weekend on Tuscan Via Francigena, Pontremoli to Aulla

Level
2
Distance
32 km
Duration
3 days | 2 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 193
CO2 footprint
28 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM351

Ready to explore the lesser-known side of Tuscany?.

Your walk starts from Pontremoli, in the heart of the Lunigiana, the land of the Moon, a very green land dotted with fine castles and home of the mysterious “Stele statues”. On your way, the medieval village of Filetto - so proud of its ancient heritage to celebrate it every year with a very popular festival - before reaching Aulla and its imposing fortress.

Testaroli al Pesto, from Pontremoli, and local rice cakes, among many others.

Highlights

  • Learn more about the mystery of the Stele Statues, visiting the museum of Pontremoli;
  • Walk surrounded by nature in wild Lunigiana;
  • Go back to the Middle Age by visiting the Fortezza della Brunella, in Aulla.

Itinerary

Day 1

Pontremoli

Pontremoli

Your trip starts from Pontremoli, a gem of a village in the heart of mysterious Lunigiana, in the Northern part of Tuscany. Stroll through the tower-houses of the city centre, admire warriors and Goddesses made of stone in the Stele Statues museum - the imposing castle perched at the top of the village, guarding the mystery of these ancient locals. 

If you like the magic of written word, sit on the benches of the old town centre and try to guess the author of the literary quotations that they are decorated with. Or just enjoy a few pages of a book and write the first page of your travelogue. 

To celebrate the beginning of your journey, nothing better than a hearty portion of Testaroli - the local pasta, made in a very unique and traditional way - served with almond pesto, or a very thick slice of delicious "torta d'erbi", a salty pie filled with wild herbs.

Day 2

From Pontremoli to Filetto, 17 km

From Pontremoli to Filetto, 17 km

Ready to set off? In your first day you're walking in a beautiful scenery, where lush green forests alternate with small Medieval hamlets. The tower-houses in Ponticello, the ancient hospital of Saint Jacob in Filattiera - above all, the Pieve di Sorano, which treasured the statues of ancient Celtic warriors for centuries. 

Villafranca is a Medieval hamlet of great beauty: you can walk up the hill to the walled village of Malgrate and its castle, or glimpse the ruins of the ancient castle of Malnido - home to the rich Malaspina family - among the trees. 

The day is filled with Medieval sceneries, right to the last step: today's destination is Filetto, hosting a yearly Medieval festival that attracts people from all over the region

Distance: 17 km

Elevation gain: +250/-300 m

Day 3

From Filetto to Aulla, 15,5 km

From Filetto to Aulla, 15,5 km

From Filetto you walk right into a thick and fragrant forest, following portions of an ancient Roman road - a fairytale scenery on the way to the Terrarossa Castle, where one would not be surprised to see knights and dragons.

The last part of the itinerary follows the tracks of an abandoned railway, now converted in a walking and cycle path. 

If you are passionate about ancient history, don't miss the museum of San Caprasio Abbey, housing archaeological remains from the Medieval period, nor a stroll along the ancient walls of the Brunella fortress. 

Feeling peckish? Go for the local "focaccette" - fragrant and warm, rigorously served with local cold cuts and cheese. 

If you want some more time to visit Aulla, it is possible to add an extra night in Aulla (not included in the price displayed here)

Distance: 15,5 km

Elevation gain: +200/-300 m

Details

Is this for me?


Three walking days to get a taste of Lunigiana, from Pontremoli and its Stele Statues to Aulla, through the Medieval hamlet of Filetto. This is a great trip if you'd like to experience a walking trip without committing to a whole week. 

Included


What is included

  • 2 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • Official guide, 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
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • 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
  • overnight in Aulla
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


Ai Chiosi Pontremoli
B&B Ai Chiosi - Pontremoli

“Ai Chiosi” Bed and Breakfast consists of two recently restored ancient manor houses, separated by a 300 square metres stone paved patio and surrounded by 3 hectares of farmland.

Between the two farm houses there is the availability of a large open space in the green of nature, where it is possible to stay in relax, of a suitable area for the entertainment of children and of a reserved parking.

The hospitality is familiar and careful of guest expectations, respecting their privacy.

www.aichiosi.it/en/

Locanda Gavarini
Locanda Gavarini - Mocrone

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.

Practical info

How to arrive


From any airport, reach the closest railway station, from where you can get to Pontremoli by train. Trains are direct from Pisa, whereas you need to change if travelling from Florence, Bologna, Genova and Milano.

On departure from Aulla, you can easily get to Pisa and Florence by direct train. Trains to Genova, Bologna and Milano are not direct.

Check train timetables on www.trenitalia.com.

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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