6: San Miniato – San Quirico D’Orcia
7 nights. Total distance: 125 kms (average of 21 each day). Highlights: towers of San Gimignano – walls of Monteriggioni – Siena – La Collegiata.
This is the sixth stage of the Via Francigena, the Pilgrim Route to Rome.
If you intend only to walk one section of the Via Francigena, then this is highly recommended. It covers some of the most beautiful countryside in Italy, historic cities and villages and is well walked and waymarked.
Total distance: 125 kms (average of 21 each day).
- £575.0 per person based on 2 people sharing.
- Single supplement:£100.00.
- Solo traveller additional £90.00.
- Optional Extras: dinner on 5 nights £100.00 per person.
- 7 nights B+B
- Route notes and GPS maps along with informative material about the route.
- Luggage transfers.
- Back up if required.
- Towers of San Gimignano
- Walls of Monteriggioni
- La Collegiata.
March to November.
Probably the richest week of the Francigena as far as artistic and historical remains are concerned, it passes through some of the most well known places in Tuscany. Starting in the lovely village of San Miniato, the closest point to Florence, it ends in San Quirico d’Orcia, one of the most interesting stops along the way.
Day 1: Overnight in San Miniato
You can easily reach the town by train (the station is at ‘San Miniato basso’ from Florence. At your hotel (in San Miniato alto), a package will be waiting for you containing all the material you need for the week: hotel and meal vouchers – detailed route notes and plasticized GPS maps with a container and a map holder for the route. The hotel owner will tell you who to contact if you would like a benediction by a priest before you set out.
Day 2: San Miniato – Gambassi Terme – 24 km
After the first 6 km of trafficless asphalt, the whole itinerary is on unpaved roads or trails. The oak woods of the initial part give away to vineyards in the second part. Along the road you can visit two interesting churches, Pieve di Coiano and S. Maria a Chianni just before arriving in Gambassi.
Day 3: Gambassi Terme – San Gimignano – 13.5 km
A short day to allow time in San Gimignano. A detour allows the visit of a very interesting place : the Jerusalem of Tuscany. A group of small chapels represent the Holy land and Pilgrims visited this place at a time when the real Jerusalem was dangerous to reach being under Turkish control.
Dinner not included tonight.
Day 4: San Gimignano – Monteriggioni … via Colle Val D’Elsa – 29 km
A fairly long day across lovely countryside – rolling hills, covered by the Chianti vineyards. Colle di Val d’Elsa is an interesting town where the art of blowing glass is still alive. The XI century San Salvatore church in Abbadia Isola is worth visiting while an ancient military post with its perfectly round walls is a unique sight.
Mixed itinerary mostly unpaved (80%) and paved secondary roads.
Overnight in Monteriggioni or nearby.
Day 5: Monteriggioni – Siena – 17 km
Again a short segment to allow time in Siena. The route through pleasant countryside is unpaved almost all the way. Stay right in the centre of town a few minutes walk from the Piazza del Campo.
Day 6: Siena – Buonconvento – 32 km (reduced by included transfer at end of day from Ponte d’Arbia)
You will follow the official route for most of the day only to move slightly to the east toward the end in order to get away from the busy Via Cassia and spend the night in Vescovado di Murlo after visiting ancient Murlo, a lovely hamlet with a very interesting Etruscan museum.
Day 7: Buonconvento – San Quirico d’Orcia 23 km
Generally easy terrain. The last third of the road is on secondary asphalt and follows the old Cassia. San Quirico was one of the most important stops on the way to Rome and has some of the most interesting buildings in the area with the Collegiata and the remains of an ancient pilgrims hospital.
Day 8: Departure.
Accommodation is a mixture of 2 and 3 star hotels, country houses (agritourismo) and B&Bs.
B&B Anna San MiniatoVilla Certosa – 3 stars:
Osteria albergo Pinchiorba – 2 stars:
B&B Il Pino:
B&B “in Piazza”:
Hotel Chiusarelli – 3 stars:
Hotel Ghibellino – 3 stars:
B&B Antica Sosta:
Hotel Il Palazzuolo – 3 stars:
Cypress, holm oak, pseudoacacia, broom, wild rose, helicrysus.
Olive tree, vine, chestnut.
Wild boar, fox, porcupine, hedgehog, badger, buzzard, bee eater, and many other song birds
Food and Drink:
Various according to the region.
Try the pici or pinci, a hard wheat homemade kind of pasta traditional to southern Tuscany with aglione (garlic) or with porcini mushrooms; the famous ribollita, a bread and vegetables soup; the Pecorino di Pienza (sheep cheese); and wild boar cooked in a variety of ways.
Tuscany is a wonderful area for red wine lovers – here you have the superb “Nobile di Montepulciano” famous since the Renaissance, and the outstanding “Brunello di Montalcino”. But other areas also offer excellent wines of all types.
Try the Cantucci di Siena (hard biscuits for dipping in vin’ santo (sacred wine), a sweet liquorous wine); and Ricciarelli (soft almond biscuits).
What to Take:
Sturdy walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, swimming costume, 1 x water bottle with 1 litre capacity, insect repellent, sun glasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, rainproof, fleece, compass, torch and a first-aid kit.
We recommend that you take out appropriate holiday insurance covering you against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.