Walking Tours


Walk the beautiful Pilgrim Route in Tuscany

The Via Francigena is the "Camino de Santiago" walk of Italy.

Walking the Via Francigena from Casa Quintino

The Via Francigena (The French Way) is an ancient pathway from Canterbury in England to Rome, which has been walked by pilgrims for over a thousand years. It is similar to the Camino in Spain but much less well-known and therefore not yet crowded - the best way to get to know Tuscany inside out.

The British Archbishop Sigerac (989-994) pioneered the pilgrim route, identifying each Stage on his way back from Rome. His descriptions have enable the 'Via' to be recreated with well-marked routes. However, there is limited accomodation on the route so we have set up our home, Casa Quintino, as a registered 'Affitte Camere' (B+B) and as we are in the depths of unspoilt Tuscany, we appeal particularly to nature lovers who want to connect with the countryside. We are situated between some of the main towns on the Via: San Miniato (36kms) to San Gimignano (19kms) and south to Siena (60kms), so you can make our house your epicentre while you hike four of the most beautiful stages in the whole route. We are now offering a special package for members of hiking groups providing accomodation and backup.

'Ambling in Arcadia' offers the best part of the Via Francgena, with minimal penance and maximum immersion in true Arcadia. As some of the ancient route is now inevitably along tar roads (especially when approaching main towns), we have edited the hike so that you can avoid all built up areas and traffic. Each day's route enables you to experience Arcadia like the original pilgrims walking quietly along remote tracks through forest, farmland and little hamlets with minimal modern annoyance. We provide a reliable back-up in case of emergency, as well as detailed knowledge of the routes to ensure everyone get the best out of the trip. This means hands free and carefree: you dont carry your backpack and avoid the stress finding accomodation each night.

We split the 4 Stages over a six days, with between 4 - 6 hours walk per day, starting early and back to base before it gets too hot.

1. Stage 30: San Miniato to Gambassi Terme (24 kms) divided into two days
2. Stage 31: Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano (13.4 kms)
3. Stage 32: San Gimignano to Monteriggioni (31 kms) divided into two days
4. Stage 33: Monteriggioni to Siena (15 kms)

SUPPORT FOR PILGRIMS AND HIKERS

We assist you by:
- Dropping the driver off at the end of the trail so you have your own car to return
- Show you the start of the hike avoiding all tarred sections
- Providing a packed breakfast/lunch
- Picking up those wanting a shorter hike at certain points along the way.
- Partners who are not walking can chill out at Quintino or do the following guided tours.
- Providing meals and bottomless supply of good local wine
- Picking up each evening to return to our 'Refugio' for a convivial evening
- Providing a guaranteed good night sleep on comfortable beds

GUIDED TOURS: Euro 50 extra per person

- Art: sketching and painting in medieval hill top towns
- Culture: an introduction to Rennaissance Florence
- History: exploring Volterra, the capital of Etruscans
- Cooking: a day of pizza and pasta making at the home of a local chef
- Exploration: a hermit's cave with carvings in rock
- Horse riding: along the Via Francigena

OTHER ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT

- San Vivaldo: replicas of the churches of the Holy Land made by crusaders
- Populonia: a 2 hour trip to the beach and lunch at a fortified Etruscan town
- Gambassi Terme: beauty treatments at the Thermal Spa and Wine tasting
- Castel Falfi: glamourous liesure centre with swimming pool and golf course
- Lajatico: A visit to the arty home town of Andrea Boccelli
- Pomaio: meditation at one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist Centres in Europe
- Vinci: A visit to Leonardo's hometown with working demonstrations of his inventions

2020: RESERVE YOUR BOOKING NOW TO AVOID DISSAPPOINTMENT:

Gather a group of six friends (three double rooms) and book together
Contact: Juliet Waterkeyn
email: bookings@lovingtuscany.com

DATES OF EXCURSION

1st Amble: 26th April — 5th May 2020
2nd Amble: 10th May — 19th May 2020
3rd Amble: 24th May — 2nd June 2020

COSTS

ACOMMODATION COSTS:

Please see our prices via our AIR BNB page.
Prices start from Euro 50 / person / night when accommodating 6 people.

MEALS

Three options:
1. Self Catering - no extra charge

2. Full board at Euro 37 per person per day
Continental Breakfast 10
Packed lunch 10
Pasta dish 12
1/2 litre wine 5

3. Half Board at Euro 40 person
Cooked Breakfast 15
Braai meat and salad 20
1/2 litre wine 5

GUIDED TOURS

Euro 45 per person per day or Euro 75 per group

TRANSPORT

YOU HAVE TO BOOK YOUR OWN FLIGHT TO PISA
IT IS ALSO NECESSARY TO BOOK YOUR OWN HIRED CAR FOR THE GROUP
We also provide the back up vehicle to take you to the start of the hike
and to pick up and take the driver back to pick up the car at the end of each day.
Euro 2 per Kilometer for the trip (Max 4 people)

Ambling in Arcadia - a six day hike along the Via Francigena

DAY 1- VOLTERRA

Volterra

  • 9 am: Briefing Meeting
  • 10 am: depart for Volterra:
  • 10.30 - Introductory tour of the walled town
  • Lunch: Andrea Boccelli's lookout bar
  • 2.30 - Shopping for food for the week
  • 3.30 - Casa Quintino
  • - Free afternoon / evening
DAY 2- VIA FRANCIGENA 30A

  • 6 am: Leave for San Miniato
  • 7 am:Total Length of walk:
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Uphill altitude difference: 400m
  • Downhill difference: 220m
  • Challenge Rating: Average
  • Pick up: Coiano
DAY 3- VIA FRANCIGENA (30B).

Gambassi Terme

  • Departure: Coiano
  • Total Length of walk: 12 km
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Uphill altitude difference: 400m
  • Downhill difference: 220m
  • Challenge Rating: Average
  • Pick up: Gambassi Terme
DAY 4-VIA FRANCIGENA (31)
San Gimignano
  • Departure: Gambassi Terme
  • Total Length of walk: 13.31 km
  • Walking time: 4 hours
  • Uphill altitude difference: 344m
  • Downhill difference: 329m
  • Challenge Rating:easy
  • Pick up: 3pm San Gimignano
  • DAY 5-DAY OFF WALKING

    Arrival at Casa Quintino

    • Sketch along the Via Francigena
    • Making Pasta and Pizza
    • Visit local places of interest
    • Visit the Spa and Wine tasting
    • Castel Falfi for swim and sundowner
    • Trip to the Coast and Populonia
    • Horse riding along the Via Francigena
    DAY 6- VIA FRANCIGENA (32A)

    Gracciano

    • Departure: San Gimignano
    • Total Length:18.6 kms
    • Walking time: 5 hours
    • Uphill altitude difference: 550m
    • Downhill difference: 610m
    • Challenge Rating: demanding
    • Pick up: Gracciano
    DAY 7- VIA FRANCIGENA (32.B)

    Monteriggioni

    • Departure: Gracciano
    • Total Length:12.8 kms
    • Walking time: 4 hours
    • Uphill altitude difference: 460m
    • Downhill difference: 400m
    • Challenge Rating: medium
    • Pick up: Monteriggioni
    DAY 8- VIA FRANCIGENA (33)

    Siena

    • Departure: Moniteriggioni
    • Total Length:15 - 20.6 kms
    • Walking time: 3 - 5 hours
    • Uphill altitude difference: 300 m
    • Downhill difference: 250 m
    • Challenge Rating: Medium
    • Passiagiata and meal in Siena
    DAY 9- FLORENCE

    Florence

    • Breakfast: 8 am:
    • Drive to Florence:1 hour
    • Piazza Michaelangelo
    • Ponte Vecchio Bargello
    • Santa Croce & Duomo
    • San Lorenzo & Medici Chapel
    • Fiesole
    DAY 10 - PISA

    Pisa

    • Departure: 9 am
    • Drive to Pisa: one hour
    • Visit Campo di Miracoli
    • Leaning Tower
    • Flight