Pilgrims walk 6 days and stay 7 nights. Beginning inside the UNESCO-World Heritage walls of historic Lucca and ending with a tour of Renaissance Siena, this unforgettable walk takes pilgrims through some of the most quaint and best-preserved medieval Italian towns — all surrounded by the spectacular rolling hills of Tuscany. This is the region of focaccia bread and rich red wines.
- July 1 – Gather, overnight in Lucca (optional Lucca tour). Lucca has been called by some a “smaller Florence.” Inside its medieval walls the town is beautifully preserved with quiet streets full of shops and charming restaurants. The Duomo is spectacular in its intricate stone work. We meet at our hotel in the evening for an orientation and delicious dinner.
- July 2 – Lucca to Altopascio (18km/11.2miles, rated Easy). Altopascio also features a charming medieval quarter with lively cafes and restaurants. Rather than being a tourist town, Altopascio is a place where local Italians live, work and play.
- July 3 – Altopascio to San Miniato (26.5km/16.5miles, rated Average). The enormous tower of San Miniato can be seen for many miles around and was erected as a beacon to pilgrims on the Via Francigena. Today’s walk includes a long walk through a forested nature reserve.
- July 4 – San Miniato to Gambassi Terme (24km/15miles, rated Average). Now the vast rolling hills open up and this very picturesque day carries pilgrims through beautiful farmland with constant, sweeping vistas of Tuscan countryside.
- July 5 – Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano (12.5km/7.8miles, rated Easy). San Gimignano is noted as one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns, with dozens of towers where prosperous medieval families stored their treasures.
- July 6 – San Gimignano to Monteriggioni (31.5km/19.6miles, rated Challenging). Monteriggioni is a fully walled medieval village atop a rounded mountain. The challenging but beautiful walk can be shortened with a van ride at the start or end of the day.
- July 7 – Monteriggioni to Siena (16km/10miles, rated Average). There are few words worthy to describe Siena. Inside its medieval walls there are world-renowned treasures of medieval and Renaissance art, capped off by a stunningly beautiful cathedral at its heart.
- July 8 – Depart Siena (Overnight option). Our time together ends with breakfast at the hotel. Note that this trip can be paired with the Siena to Rome itinerary for a Lucca-to-Siena-to-Rome walk. If the walks are paired, a 10% discount for the combined price is available.
This trip includes: Nightly hotel accommodations in 4-star or best available facilities, daily breakfast and dinner, baggage service, van service, and leadership by experienced pilgrim Sandy Brown. Prices do not include air or ground travel to and from start and finish points or lunch each day. Itineraries subject to possible change. Terms and conditions apply — full listing available September 2016. Deposits accepted beginning October 1, 2016.
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