In 990 BCE, the Archbishop of Canterbury traveled from England to Rome to meet with the Pope. He wrote a detailed diary of the 80 stages of his journey through the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, and this path is now known at the Via Francigena (the Francigena Way), a path for religious pilgrims from Canterbury to Rome. The trail travels through Tuscany, and you can experience it on this five-day itinerary that winds through the Tuscan countryside.

Highlights

  • Explore the historic streets of San Miniato
  • Climb San Gimignano's towers and taste its distinctive wine
  • Marvel at Siena's famous Piazza del Campo

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San Miniato San Miniato
Day 2 San Miniato to Castelfiorentino Castelfiorentino
Day 3 Explore San Gimignano San Gimignano
Day 4 Tour Monteriggioni Siena
Day 5 Leave Siena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: San Miniato

San Miniato, Italy
San Miniato, Italy

After you arrive by train in San Miniato — which is located halfway between Florence and Pisa — a taxi will take you to the city center. Here, you can explore a typical Tuscan hill town, learn about its history since the Middle Ages, and importance to the Via Francigena. Spend the evening relaxing and get ready to begin your exploration of the pilgrim's route the next day.

Day 2: San Miniato to Castelfiorentino

Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany, Italy

Embark on your first day of the Via Francigena pilgrim's route, traveling about 3 hours or 9 miles (15 km) from San Miniato to Castelfiorentino on foot. You'll wind your way through the Tuscan countryside, with views of Cypress Trees, and rolling hills as you get a healthy dose of fresh air. After an active day, you'll spend the night at a lovely country farm house.

Day 3: San Gimignano

San Gimignano, Italy
San Gimignano, Italy

As you continue on the Via Francigena on your way from Castelfiorentino to San Gimignano, 12 miles (20 km) away, you'll pass through the hamlet of Gambassi Terme, known since ancient times for its thermal waters, and perhaps have time to take a dip to feel its healing properties. You'll then arrive in San Gimignano, which is famous for its many towers and medieval architecture, which at one time was significant, used by the families to symbolize their wealth and power.

Day 4: Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni, Italy
Monteriggioni, Italy

From San Gimignano, you'll travel by car to Gracciano, 9 miles (16 km) south, to begin the last stage of your journey on the Via Francigena, heading toward Siena. During your walk, you'll cross the boroughs of Strove, Abbadia Isola, and the height of Monteriggioni — an impressive fortress, which you can visit and see its dominance surrounding the Tuscan countryside. You'll continue your walk to Convento Vecchio, 16 miles (26 km) away, where a car will whisk you up to Siena. Spend the evening exploring this significant Medieval city, tasting authentic Tuscan food, and people watching in the famous Piazza del Campo.

Day 5: Leave Siena

Siena, Piazza del Campo, Italy
Siena, Piazza del Campo, Italy

Your planned activities will end after breakfast, leaving you the day to explore Siena, and learn about its historical significance as a political powerhouse during the Middle Ages. Marvel at its architectural masterpiece, Siena Cathedral, or take another stroll through its central piazza.

Map

Map of Via Francigena: San Miniato, San Gimignano, & Siena - 5 Days
Map of Via Francigena: San Miniato, San Gimignano, & Siena - 5 Days