This section in the heart of Via Francigena, combines well-known villages including Siena and San Gimignano, with charming hamlets including San Miniato, and allows you to discover the very best of the Tuscan Francigena in a single week. Starting in San Miniato, one of the hidden pearls of the Via Francigena, this itinerary takes you through a region of extraordinary beauty. From the thousand year old Pieve di Chianni, to the crenellated towers of Monteriggioni, to finally reach the spectacular Siena, this walk will continue to amaze you. Enjoy wonderful views as you walk and discover fortified hamlets where time seems to have stopped. The landscape is not the only highlight, savour the local cuisine including the precious white truffle of San Miniato, the pici of Siena and the saffron of San Gimignano, and stay in comfortable, family-run accommodation.
Today you will make your own way to San Miniato Alto. Set between Pisa and Florence is the medieval town of San Miniato, a splendid jewel of the Via Francigena. Sitting on the top of three hills, San Miniato dominates the Arno Valley. Once you have checked into your hotel be sure to stroll the old town streets and visits the Episcopal Seminary, the Duomo and the church of San Domenico. San Miniato is famous for its white truffles and we recommend sampling these tasty delights for dinner tonight.
From San Miniato a paved road brings you to the spectacular route which leads you across typical Tuscan countryside. Following in the footsteps of Archbishop Sigeric, who walked between Rome and Canterbury in 990, you will pass two "Submansiones" (Sigeric's "stopping places"): Pieve di Coiano and Pieve a Chianne. This afternoon you will arrive at your hotel for the night in Gambassi.
Walk: 24km/15mi, 7hrs. Ascent: 781m/2562ft. Descent: 654m/2145ft.
The walk today will lead you through wonderful surroundings and landscapes of the Via Francigena. En route you will visit the tiny villages of Collemuccioli and Pieve di Cellole, as well as the Sanctuary in Pancole where you can learn about its legend. Once you arrive in San Gimignano, your final destination for the day, we recommend exploring the town on foot so you can really appreciate its charming medieval atmosphere.
Walk: 13.5km/8.5mi, 6 hours. Ascent: 595m/1952ft. Descent: 540ft/1772ft.
Today the Via Francigena will lead you up and over the Tuscan hills. This picturesque walk will lead you across vineyards, olive groves, fields and woods until you reach your accommodation in Gracciano. Along the way it's possible to make a detour to discover the fascinating Abbey of Santa Maria a Conera from the 11th century.
Walk: 12km/7.5mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 209m/686ft. Descent: 204m/669ft.
Today you will cross Pieve a Elsa, which was once a large, ancient parish frequented by pilgrims. You can also visit the ancient Etruscan Thermae (hot pools) of Caldane. Later in the day you will reach Strove and its beautiful Romanesque Church. From there continue passing the medieval village of Abbadia a Isola before reaching Monteriggioni. You will see its famed towers in the distance as you approach. Once you've checked into the hotel in Monteriggioni you can spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating town.
Walk: 16km/10mi, 4hrs. Ascent: 132m/433ft. Descent: 57m/187ft.
Leaving Monteriggioni you will walk on dirt roads along the Montagnola Senese, the main hilly area of the district. You will pass the ancient medieval suburb of Cerbaia which currently appears to be abandoned. Walking through woods you will reach the Castle of Chiocciola and ascend up to Poggio di Riciano. From here you will start your descent, walking along the river of Pian del Lago. The forest will give way to the beautiful and renowned town of Siena. Overnight in Siena, which you can explore this evening.
Walk: 20km/12.5mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 224m/735ft. Descent: 245m/803ft.
After leaving Siena you will walk along typical dirt roads en route to the fortified village of Lucignano, with its fine church. You will enjoy unforgettable views on today's walk, especially on a clear day.
Walk: 21km/13mi, 6hrs. Ascent: 316m/1037ft. Descent: 484ft/1588ft.
Today you continue your journey through the Valle dell'Ombrone to Buonconvento. As you arrive in Buonconvento you will enter through the gate and then find yourself in the old town centre of the village where you're sure to discover why its name means "happy, fortunate place". We recommend strolling through the picturesque streets, where life is lived quietly following the slow rhythms of a provincial village. If you love art you'll be able to admire the works of some of the most famous Sienese painters in the Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d'Arbia.
In Buonconvento you will find your bag at the local hotel, where the trip concludes. Own onward travel arrangement.
Walk: 13.8km/8.5mi, 5hrs. Ascent: 168m/551ft. Descent: 187m/614ft.
Per Person, Twin Share