VIA FRANCIGENA: CYCLING 6 DAYS

FROM LUCCA TO ACQUAPENDENTE

Trip Style

Rolling Hills

Availability

March to October

Highlight

Church of San Michele, Museo Civico in Colle di Val d’Elsa, Siena Cathedral

Price from

1590 EUR

 

Grade

VIA FRANCIGENA: CYCLING 6 Days

 

FROM LUCCA TO ACQUAPENDENTE

 

The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walking or cycling pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzantines as both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made Via di Monte Bardone route to avoid the Byzantine areas, which would connect the Kingdom of Pavia with southern cities. When the Franks conquered the Lombards, the route was renamed Via Francigena (French Way). During the first millennium Santiago de Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem became the Holy places of Christianity and Via Francigena turned into a central hub for the Christian faith. Many pilgrims taking this route would reach Rome and then continue on to Jerusalem – The Holy Land. There are several different routes to take to Rome, for example, there are routes coming from Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

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This cycling tour starts in Lucca and ends in Acquadente, and covers two section of the walking tour. On this tour, you will be cycling over bridges, hills, numerous earth tracks and roadsides. Along the way, you will be surrounded by the stunning Italian countryside, including beautiful fields, woods, vineyards, and various natural streams. You will also be exposed to numerous churches, cathedrals, towers and castles.

 

To complete this cycling tour, you will need a reasonable level of fitness, since there are slight inclines and hills mixed into the flat roads. The tour is very rewarding, since you will constantly be exposed to the rural Italian countryside and all of its refreshing sites.

PACKAGE DETAILS

Day 1: Lucca (Arrival)


While in Lucca for the first day, try to enjoy some of the major sites before starting your cycling tour to Gambassi Terme. Some of these major sites include the Romanesque Church of San Michele in Foro, the Piazza Anfiteatro and the museum, Casa di Puccini. You can also relax and try the local food and wine before starting your tour the next day.

Day 2: Lucca to Gambassi Terme (5h 30m – 65km)


From Lucca, you will begin by cycling along gentle roads and grass tracks. Along the roads and towns, be sure to check out the churches and the impressive Abbadia di Pozzeveri. You will pass through Altopascio, so stop and take a break. If you have time, visit the Church of San Jacopo Maggiore and enjoy a glass of local wine before continuing your cycling tour.

 

After a short break in Altopascio, your cycle will be a little bit more difficult, because the terrain will shift to hills. Try to take in as much of the scenery as possible! On this leg, you will pass Abbazia di San Salvatore and much more of the Italian countryside. There are two possible routes to follow, so choose your path and continue along the cycling tour. Once again, when you reach San Miniato, take a breather and grab a glass of wine and a bite to eat and indulge in the famous San Miniato white truffles.

 

The last leg of your first day of cycling will take you to Gambassi Terme. The path for the last bit of the day will include both hills and grassy tracks, so be prepared. The peaceful countryside will accompany you for the entirety of this leg, so be sure to relax and enjoy the quiet. Before you reach Gambassi Terme, you will pass the Church of Santa Maria of Chianni, so stop and take it in. Soon after that, you will reach Gambassi Terme, where your accommodations are for the evening. Explore the town and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Day 3: Gambassi Terme to Siena (4h 30m – 51km)


The second day covers a shorter distance and will take you from Gambassi Terme to Siena. Once you leave Gambassi Terme, you will travel over gravel roads and hills. Soon after you set off, you will pass through San Gimignano, so you can stop if you would like or continue cycling. You will also pass through Colle di Val d’Elsa, so feel free to take a break here, grab a snack and maybe visit the Museo Civico or the Castello, before heading back onto the track.

 

From Colle di Val d’Elsa, you will have two paths to choose from. One option is picturesque, going by the Abbadia a Isola, and the other option is less scenic and follows minor roads, both routes eventually leading into the walled town of Monteriggioni. In this town, take a break, grab lunch and do a little sight-seeing. Some of the major sights include: the magnificent Church of Santa Maria Assunta from the 13th Century is there, as well as the Romanesque Church of San Lorenzo a Colle Ciupi.

 

On the last leg of the day, you will pass through beautiful fields and groves of olive trees. There will be some cycling over hills, so be prepared. Once again, you will have two routes to choose from one route that goes along minor roads, by some traffic and another route which is longer, quieter and has more shade. A short while later, you will arrive in Siena, so be sure to enjoy the sights that the town has to offer. Siena houses the incredible Duomo (Siena Cathedral), the Gothic Palazzo Pubblico and the standout Piazza del Campo.

Day 4: Siena to San Quirico Dorcia (4h 30m – 51km)


On the third day of the cycling tour, you will travel from Siena to San Quirico d’Orcia. The first part of the day will include more hilly terrain, but there is a chance to stop and rest in Isola d’Arbia. After a short break, you will continue to cycle and the path will lead you through Quinciano, where you can break once more. If you have time, visit the Church of San Albano before continuing your tour.

 

The track then changes from hills to gravel roads, so the trip will be easier. The easy track will lead you to Buonconvento, a remote town surrounded by beautiful farmland. Stop for a breather and treat yourself to some pizza.

 

From Buonconvento, the route will take you to San Quirico d’Orcia. There are different routes to choose from, both feature a more hilly terrain, so it will be a bit more challenging. The scenery will make the ride worth it, however. Once you reach San Quirico d’Orcia, try to visit the Collegiate church of San Quirico and the impressive Palazzo Chigi, which is a wonderful public park.

Day 5: San Quirico Dorcia to Acquapendente (4h 30m – 52km)


The last day of your cycling tour will take you from San Quirico d’Orcia to Acquapendente. The day will start out much like the previous day, with a hillier ride. There are parts of the track that feature gravel roads, so be ready for that shift in track. You will pass through Bagno Vignoni, where there is a thermal spa, or if you choose, you can follow a route that follows the Via Cassia. After a bit of cycling, you will pass through Gallina, so stop for a rest and relax in this local town.

 

Once you have explored Gallina, you will begin the journey to Radicofani, which will take you along gravel and grassy tracks. At times, the route will take you across small rivers, so make sure you are ready to cross there. The whole route will feature beautiful Italian nature and several hilltop views. Radicofani is a hilltop town, so make sure you stop and take in the view from the town. In Radicofani, there is also the Rocca (castle) and the Romanesque church of Santa Agatha.

 

The rest of the day will consist of more up and downhill cycling. You can choose between the historic route along the road, or taking the loop around Via Cassia to reach Acquapendente. Once in Acquapendente, do some sight-seeing, including stops at the fantastic Basilica del Santo Sepulcro and the Torre Alfina. Enjoy a glass of wine and local produce, maybe even a pizza!

Day 6: Acquapendente, end of cycling holiday


After breakfast we bid you farewell.

INCLUDED AND NOT

  • 5 nights in 3* hotels
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • Detailed Cycling Notes
  • Francigena Holiday Pack
  • Luggage Transfer
  • Bike Rental
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Entrance fees (museums, monasteries)
  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Extra night stays
  • Dinner
  • Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation

Access

Way in:


Fly In: to Lucca
Closest international airport to Lucca is Pisa international airport. Take a train from Pisa Centrale train station to Lucca. You will then need to make your way to the train station via taxi.

Trains are frequent. Can book train tickets on Trenitalia – www.trenitalia.com

Way out:


Fly out: from Acquapendente
Closest International airport to Acquapendente is Rome Fiumicino airport. Take a bus from Acquapendente to Viterbo Porta Romana train station. From Viterbo Porta Romana train station, take a train to Roma Trastevere train station. From here, take a train to Rome Fiumcino airport.

Buses from Acquapendente are hourly. Journey takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes. Can check bus schedules here: http://www.cotralspa.it/Orari.aspx

Trains from Viterbo Porta Romana are hourly. Journey takes approximately one hour and 45 minutes. Can book tickets here: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

Trains from Roma Trastevere are every 10 minutes. Journey takes approximately 30 minutes. Can book tickets here: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

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