VIA FRANCIGENA

FROM AULLA TO LUCCA – SECTION 12/16

Trip Style

Rolling Hills

Availability

March to October

Highlight

Fortezza Della Brunella, Abbey of Saint Peter, Church of San Michele

Price from

604 EUR

 

Grade

VIA FRANCIGENA: AULLA TO LUCCA – SECTION 12/16

 

FROM AULLA TO LUCCA (6 DAYS/5 NIGHTS)

 

The Via Francigena (the French Way) is a long-distance walk pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome. It is said the route was created during the fighting between the Lombards and the Byzanties. Both wanted more territory in Italy. The Lombards made the 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 millenium 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 – 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 section begins in Aulla and ends in the town of Lucca. The walk is actually quite short and mainly gentle, so there is not too much difficulty to face on the route. You will be walking along roadsides, over bridges, hills, and numerous earth tracks but also through lovely woods and over rivers in the incredible Italian countryside. It is a bit challenging at parts, so a reasonable level of fitness is needed, but the walk is certainly doable. All along the journey there are plenty of magnificent sights to see such as churches, cathedrals, towers and castles, including an interesting archaeological site at Luni. This walk is very rewarding on multiple levels, as the countryside and towns provide a refreshing euphoria throughout the route and arrriving at the end of the journey.

PACKAGE DETAILS

Day 1: Aulla (Arrival)

On your first day, take a walk around the town and go see the impressive Fortezza Della Brunella before tomorrow’s walk to Sarzana. The Abbey of San Caprasio is another popular tourist attraction, and one of the city’s oldest and most important buildings, definitely one to go see.

Day 2: Aulla to Sarzana (4h 15m – 17km)

The first day of walking starts with some easy roads to walk on. Later the route becomes a bit more difficult to walk – steep with rocky paths and loose stones, and also no facilities between Aulla and the town of Ponzano Superiore. Despite these obstacles, you can definitely overcome them, and once you do, you’ll feel a great level of personal satisfaction and achievement in doing this. From here, pick one of two routes to Sarzana – take the normal route, which is quite hilly, and on gravel tracks, or if there’s bad weather, take the slightly easier, but noisier, road route alongside the traffic. Once you enter Sarzana, take time to rest and try to visit the incredible Fortezza di Sarzanello and the Cathedral of Sarzana (Santa Maria di Assunta). A glass of wine would also be on the cards after that day of walking. 

Day 3: Sarzana to Massa (7h – 28km)

Today’s walk is as challenging as the day before, but it is certainly doable. The first part jumps between tarmac roads, grassy tracks, traversing hills and crossing over rivers, so it’s quite adventurous in itself. From walking near the main roads, you will then need to pick old route which is shorter and less challenging, or take route by the fascinating archaeological site at Luni. Following this and going through Avenza, take the direct and flat route to Massa. Pass by a nice public garden on the walk into Massa. After that walk, you will deserve some nice pizza or Carbonara, along with a rest. If you have the time, visit the wonderful Cathedral of Saints Peter and Francis from the 15th century and the Malaspina Castle, which overlooks Massa from a hill.

Day 4: Massa to Camaiore (5h 30m – 22km)

Going to Camaiore starts off quite easy, being on flat roads, so there is no problem here. There is some difficulty with steep hills, and then levelling off on tarmac roads and bridges. In Pietrasanta, feel free to stop and have some fritti, and wine if you wish, to fuel you for the rest of the walk. Passing through Pietrasanta, take the old route which is very easy to follow, going over roads and crossing bridges over rivers. From here, the walk is a little strenuous, with hills, tarmac roads and crossing bridges taking over most of the way, but by this stage you are very close to Camaiore. In this city, rest, have a drink, have some great food and visit the amazing Abbey of Saint Peter and the lovely Church of Saint Michael.

Day 5: Camaiore to Lucca (5h 45m – 23km)

On the last day of walking, the path to Lucca is a mix of hill-walking, tarmac roads, grassy tracks, stony tracks, through woods and gravel lanes. It is quite challenging, but don’t worry, this is all very manageable, particularly when you can stop in Montemagno or Valpromano for a small beer or a nice glass of wine. You are now at the end of your journey in Lucca – great work! While you’re in Lucca, there are quite a few things to see. If you have the time, visit the main sights: the Romanesque Church of San Michele in Foro, the Piazza Anfiteatro or the museum, Casa di Puccini. But before all of that, some pizza!

Day 6: Lucca, end of the walking holiday

After breakfast we bid you farewell.

INCLUDED AND NOT

  • 5 nights in 3* hotels
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • Detailed Walking Notes
  • Francigena Holiday Pack
  • Luggage Transfer
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Entrance fees (museums, monasteries)
  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Extra night stays
  • Upgrade Hotels to 3*

Access

Way in:

Fly in: to Aulla
Closest international airport is Pisa International airport. Take train from Pisa Centrale train station to Aulla. You can make your way to train station by taxi.

Journey is approximately one hour. Trains are every two hours. Can book train tickets on Trenitalia – http://www.trenitalia.com/

Way out:

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

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

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