Val D'Orcia colors on the road Siena to Buonconvento
Val D'Orcia colors on the road Siena to Buonconvento

Weekend on Tuscan Via Francigena, from Siena to Buonconvento

Level
2
Distance
35 km
Duration
3 days | 2 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 256
CO2 footprint
38 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSM372

Would you like to walk in the middle of postcard-like scenario, sampling some of the best Via Francigena has to offer, just in three days?

In the first part of this journey you will walk along the legendary strade bianche ("white roads", dirt roads) of Siena for kilometres and kilometres, crossing the Val d’Arbia and the Val d’Orcia, icons of the Tuscan landscape.

You will start from Siena, where you should not miss local dishes such as Pici or Panforte: from there, you will walk through a timeless path through the Tuscan countryside, like the views you will encounter ranges from the lunar landscape of the Crete Senesi, fortified villages and endless green hills, ending your journey in the quiet streets of Buonconvento, gateway of Val d'Orcia: add an extra night in this village if you want to discover why its name means "happy and fortunate place". 

Highlights

  • Sit and admire Piazza del Campo, the home of the famous Palio horse race between the city's contrade;
  • Look behind you from the crests of the Val d’Arbia, to admire the Siena skyline;
  • Do not miss Grancia di Cuna, a fortified barn that guarded the wheat of the ancient Republic of Siena.

Itinerary

Day 1

Siena

Siena

Your journey will start in Siena, one of the most beautiful towns along the Francigena, famous for its palio: you will be able to spend the day walking through its paved streets, looking for coats-of-arms on the walls of the contrade, or climbing the Torre del Mangia to enjoy a unique view over the roofs of the town; not to be missed is a visit of the duomo, which will impress you with its amazing black and white columns. If you are lucky you will be able to witness a festival in one of the contradas, and see the work of the skilled flag-throwers, before sitting down at a table in Piazza del Campo to enjoy a plate of pici all'aglione for dinner, admiring the illuminated Palazzo Pubblico.

Day 2

From Siena to Lucignano, 21 km

From Siena to Lucignano, 21 km

Let’s hope that the sun will be shining during the first day of your journey, because the Crests of the Val d'Arbia offer unforgettable views: after saying goodbye to Siena, resting on the hills on the horizon, you will travel along the typical dirt roads of Siena as far as the fortified village of  Lucignano, with its fine church. At the gates of Monteroni d'Arbia you will be able to admire the impressive Grancia di Cuna, a fortified farm which once held the reserves of wheat destined to the Republic of Siena.

Distance: 21 km

Elevation gain: +50/-200 m

Day 3

From Lucignano to Buonconvento, 13.8 km

From Lucignano to Buonconvento, 13.8 km

From Lucignano you will continue your journey through the Valle dell'Ombrone to Buonconvento. You will cross the gate of the walls and enter the fine old town centre of the village, discovering why its name means "happy fortunate place": you will walk through the picturesque streets, where life is lived quietly following the slow rhythms of a countryside village, and if you love art, you will have the chance to admire the works of some of the most famous Sienese painters in the  Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d'Arbia.

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

Distance: 13,8 km

Elevation gain: +120/-150 m

Details

Is this for me?


This trip is perfect if you'd like to spend a walking weekend among the Crete Senesi after wandering through the Contrade of Siena: two nice, not too challenging sections for a taste of the beauty of Via Francigena. 

Included


What is included

  • 2 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 1 dinner in Lucignano
  • 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 (max 1 item per person)
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.

Accommodation


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.

Below you see some examples of the facilities used for this trip, but keep in mind that they may vary based on availability in the period. We could therefore book for you structures different from those you see listed here, but of the same category and carefully chosen according to SloWays criteria.

Hotel Chiusarelli Siena
Hotel Chiusarelli - Siena

The three-star Hotel Chiusarelli is located in the city centre of Siena, finds its natural setting in a neoclassical villa built around 1870. The structure  has been completely renovated in 2013. Rooms are spacious and clean and these offer  bathroom with shower or bathtub, hairdryer, air conditioning/heater, telephone, Wi-Fi, TV with Sky Vision. The Hotel has no lift. High quality breakfast.

www.chiusarelli.com  

 

Hotel Borgo Antico Lucignano
Hotel Borgo Antico - Lucignano

The Hotel is surrounded by a relaxed and pleasant environment. Rooms are small, but clean. These are furnished in every detail while maintaining the typical Tuscan style with beams and wood trim. In some rooms you can admire the beautiful Tuscan landscape. Free Wifi, air conditioning, TV. 

www.hotelborgoantico.com

 

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 Bologna Airport (BLQ), get to the central railway station and take a train to Siena with change in Florence.

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

From Florence Airport (FLR), take a public bus to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station, and then either a bus or a train to Siena (both direct).

On departure, the closest train station is Buonconvento. From there, you can reach Siena (direct), Pisa (with change in Siena) and Florence (with change in Siena) by train.

Train timetables are available on the website www.trenitalia.com.

Bus timetables are avavilable on www.busfox.com/timetable (Siena-Firenze)

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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