Via francigena


The Via Francigena was the main route used by thousands of pilgrims who went from Northern Europe to Rome, the heart of Christianity in the past. It was used not only by simple pilgrims, but also by kings, Popes and princes. It connected abbeys, linking the sacred places of the Christian world. Inns, hospitals, monasteries, boroughs and castles were built along its path, therefore it became an important route for men and goods, thus contributing to the great rebirth of European commerce and to the cultural unity of Europe in the Middle Ages. The increasing use of the Via Francigena as a trade route led to the development of many towns along this road.
We can trace the ancient route of the Via Francigena, above all, by using the records of Sigeric the Serious, Archbishop of Canterbury. The abbot was ordained Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome by Pope John XV in 990 and recorded the 80 “mansions” where he had stayed while he was returning to England on two handwritten pages.
WALKING TOUR THROUGH OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE This walking tour along the Via Francigena starts in the pretty hilltop town of San Miniato and takes a group of pilgrims on a wonderful walk in the heart of Tuscany, following its famous white tracks across the undulating landscape. As part of this tour you can explore amazing UNESCO- heritage sites such as San Gimignano with its imposing medieval towers.
from 390 € FLY from Your local airport A tailor-made tour for English pilgrims in Summer!
WHAT’S INCLUDED:  Arrival at Pisa Airport  Departure from Pisa Airport  Transfer between airport and accommodation  1 night at “Ostello San Miniato” in San Miniato  1 night at “Apartment Fattoria Fuoriporta” in Castelfiorentino  1 night at “Ostello Rifugio d’Elsa” in Colle Val d’Elsa  English-speak tour guide  All local and airport taxes/service charges
PRICES: 390 € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person € per person
Arrival at Pisa Airport. A coach will take you to the lovely Ostello San Miniato in San Miniato, a town located on three hills in the heart of Tuscany. The landscape is enchanting with old boroughs, ancient churches, amazing Medici villas, castles and tobacco mills.
Our walking tour starts with the visit to San Genesio archaeological site, which was considered by numerous medieval travelers as a famous stop on the via Francigena. The history of this site goes back to even further than the Middle Ages. Recent excavations have brought to light the ruins of an 8th century church, which was one of the biggest Early Middle Ages churches in Tuscany, a monastery and an Etruscan village with its graveyard.
During our walking tour we stop at “Birre e Acciughe” for lunch, where you can taste a large selection of delicious sandwiches.
After lunch we head off to the “Church of the Saints Rocco and Sebastian”. This small one-nave church is dedicated to Saint Rocco, who is the patron saint of pilgrims, and it is one of the main stops along the Via Francigena.
We suggest you go to a festival called “Francigena Melody Road”, which is held on the Via Francigena in San Miniato in the evening in July. Here you can listen to music and attend concerts.
Overnight stay at “Ostello San Miniato”.
After an early breakfast we had for Castelfiorentino, walking through the spectacular Tuscan hills. This town rose near the intersection of the Via Francigena with the Via Volterrana in the Middle Ages.
From here it is easy to reach the famous “Pieve di Coiano”, which is a Romanesque Church dedicated to the Saints Paolo and Pietro. It dates back to the 11th century and it has recently been restored. After wards we can stop in an In on the Via Francigena where we can taste typical Tuscan dishes and enjoy a fantastic sunset. Overnight stay at “Apartment Fattoria Fuoriporta” in Castelfiorentino.
After breakfast our walking tour proceeds towards San Gimignano, which is famous for its medieval towers. Thanks to its characteristic medieval architecture it is considered one of the main UNESCO World Heritage site in Tuscany.
We can pass through “San Giovanni’s Gate” and walk along “Via San Giovanni”, a street flanked by old palaces , going up to the centre of the town.
We next head off to “Piazza del Duomo”, which contains the most important buildings and palaces in San Gimignano such as the “Collegiata Church”, which is a Romanesque church built in the 12th century, and the “Town Hall”, which is the seat of the “Civic Museum” and the “Art Gallery”.
We can have an ice cream in the famous ice cream shop, “Gelateria Dondoli”, in “Piazza della Cisterna”, where we can taste a wide range of sophisticated flavours such as “ Crema di Santa Fina “, “ Dolcenero “ and “ Vernaccia Sorbet “.
Leaving San Gimignano behind us, we reach Colle Val d’Elsa, which is famous for its crystal production and offers spectacular art treasures. Here we can admire the amazing “Cathedral of Saint Marziale”, one of the main churches in Colle Val d’Elsa and “Arnolfo’s Tower-House”. After the visit to the tower, we have dinner in the picturesque “Ristorante Arnolfo”.
Overnight stay at “Ostello Rifugio d’Elsa” in Colle Val d’Elsa.
After an early breakfast we head off to Monteriggioni, located in the heart of Tuscany. Monteriggioni is one of the most fascinating medieval villages in Europe.
Here we can admire the “Church of Saint Maria Assunta”, a Romanesque Church dating back to the 13th century. In the afternoon we can have free time to take photos and sit in a café located in the main square.
Transfer to Pisa Airport for your flight back home.
Tommaso Aprilino