The green countryside of Gambassi with its vineyard on Tuscan Via Francigena
The green countryside of Gambassi with its vineyard on Tuscan Via Francigena

Weekend on Tuscan Via Francigena, from San Miniato to San Gimignano

Level
2
Distance
37 km
Duration
3 days | 2 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 210
CO2 footprint
41 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM366

A three-days trip in the heart of Via Francigena, starting in San Miniato, one of the hidden gems of Via Francigena, and continuing along an itinerary of extraordinary beauty: from the thousand-year-old Pieve di Chianni, where the same Sigerico slept, to San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

The attractions of this travel is are not limited to the landscape: you will be able to savour the tasty Tuscan cuisine in every possible declination, from the precious white truffle of San Miniato to the yellow gold of San Gimignano: the saffron.

Highlights

  • Take a stroll in the historic centre of San Miniato, and try the renowned white truffle;
  • Admire San Gimignano from above from the Torre Grossa;
  • Immerse yourself in the Tuscan countryside, between green hills and medieval villages. 

Itinerary

Day 1

San Miniato

San Miniato

Your travel will start from San Miniato, a jewel of Via Francigena. The Seminary, from which the main square takes its name, will surprise you with its particular façade: don't miss it illuminated, maybe after having enjoyed a risotto powdered with the typical white truffle, a local gastronomic pride.

Day 2

From San Miniato to Gambassi Terme, 24 km

From San Miniato to Gambassi Terme, 24 km

A demanding leg, but one with unique beautiful scenery, awaits you. From San Miniato you will walk along an asphalted section of road, amply compensated by the following part which passes through the splendid crests of the hills of the Val d'Elsa: along the road you can cross the threshold of the Pieve di Chianni, following in the footsteps of entire generations of pilgrims. For a fitting end to the day you can enjoy a healthy bath in the hot springs of Gambassi, surrounded by a park of ancient trees.

Distance: 24 km

Elevation gain: +400/-220 m

Day 3

From Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano, 13,5 km

From Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano, 13,5 km

This leg of the journey, short but rich in splendid natural scenery, will lead you to San Gimignano, one of the most beautiful towns along the Via Francigena: you will get a foretaste of your arrival when you see the famous towers that make its skyline unmistakeable. Do not miss the view of the medieval town and its surrounding valleys from the top of the Torre Grossa, or if you don’t run out of energy, venture up the steps of the Rocca di Montestaffoli, for an even more special view. During the evening, take a quiet stroll to admire the illuminated town before enjoying a good glass of Vernaccia in one of the taverns of the old town centre.

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

Distance: 13,5 km

Elevation gain: +350/-350 m

Details

Is this for me?


Choose this trip if you'd like to experience the most beautiful section of Via Francigena but have only a few days to spend on the way, or if you'd like to test your training level before opting for a longer trip. 

Included


What is included

  • 2 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 1 dinner in Gambassi Terme
  • official guide of the route, 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 transfer 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
  • luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
  • 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 San Miniato San Miniato
Hotel San Miniato - San Miniato

What in the thirteenth century was a severe monastery cloister is now Hotel San Miniato, refined historic home sits on a hill overlooking the Tuscan countryside between Florence and Pisa. The rooms are comfortable, elegant and clean. Breakfast is good and rich. 

www.hotelsanminiato.com

Ostello Sigerico Gambassi
Ostello Sigerico - Gambassi

This building is situated on one of the branches of the Via Francigena, which Sigerico, Archbishop of Canterbury, walked between 990 and 994. This hostel housed in finely restored historical buildings and it has basic, clean and comfortable rooms. 

www.ostellosigerico.it

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, get to the closest railway station. From there, you can reach San Miniato Basso by train (the station's name is "S. Miniato-Fucecchio"). Trains are direct from both Pisa and Florence.

Once in San Miniato Basso, you can reach San Miniato Alto by bus (get off at Piazza del Popolo). Chec bus schedules on www.pisa.cttnord.it (bus line 320).

On departure from Buonconvento, you can get Pisa, Florence, Bologna and Milano by train.

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

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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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