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From Pisa, with its imposing tower and its magnificent baptistery, you start cycling along the so called Via Francigena, an ancient road and pilgrim route for all those people who wished to visit the holy city of Rome. Following the steps of the medieval pilgrims, you will go through extraordinary places in the middle of rolling hills, scattered with castles, fortresses and abbeys. After crossing San Miniato, a place much beloved by emperors and popes, located in the Arno Valley, you will finally reach Siena, with its wonderful square.
 
Tour program

1. Pisa
Individual arrival. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Pisa is one of Italy’s top university towns and boasts a vibrant and colourful cultural scene, along with a host of other historical sites.

2. Pisa – Lucca (30/45 km)
Cycling through Pisa’s countryside, you join the Serchio river as far as Lucca. Today’s stage can be extended by taking the alternative route, skirting Lake Massaciuccoli and taking in the Chiarone Nature Reserve.

3. Lucca – San Miniato (45 km)
Starting from Piazza Anfiteatro in the heart of Lucca, we join the Via Francigena proper. Along the route, the ancient abbey of Pozzeveri, south of the Serchio, rises along a stretch which was notoriously challenging for early pilgrims, its dense forest swamped in marshland.

4. San Miniato – Colle Val d’Elsa (25/60 km)
Continue along the valleys and banks of the Elsa river, past the castles that once ensured safe passage to the pilgrims of the Via Francigena. Shortly before reaching Colle Val d’Elsa, you look forward to the appearance in the distance of San Gimignano, the medieval burgh celebrated for its timeless skyline of towers.

5. Colle Val d’Elsa – Siena (30 km)
Head for Montagnola Senese, home to the historic clifftop castle of Monteriggioni, which once defended the Republic of Siena. The heart of Siena, Piazza del Campo, is a short ride away now. Here the historic bareback horse race takes place twice a year: the Palio di Siena.

6. Siena – Monteroni d’Arbia – Siena (20/45 km)
The Via Francigena continues south following the ancient Cassian Way – the Roman route that once linked Florence and Rome – traversing one of the most picturesque stretches of Tuscany: the Crete Senesi. From Monteroni d’Alba you can return to Siena by bus or train, or simply cycle on and up through the gentle “Clays”, their moonscape lined with cypress trees and dotted with solitary shepherds’ huts.

7. Siena
After breakfast, end of tour.

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Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations caused by roadworks, which cannot be foreseen; in this case please follow the indications you will find on site.

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Included

  • 6 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Bike rental with helmet
  • App including maps, points of interest and GPS tracks
  • Digital tour information
  • Luggage transportation
  • Hotline service

Not included

  • Local taxes (approx 10-15 €)
  • Everything not mentioned in the section “Included”

Route profile

  • Total length: 150/225 km
  • Total vertical up: 1200/2340 m
  • Terrain: 75% tarmac, 25% unpaved
  • Train connection among the overnight stays: day 2 and 3
  • Possibility to shorten the itinerary by taking the train: day 2, 3, 4 and 6


The itinerary poses an intermediate challenge and follows wherever possible the pilgrim way. You cycle mainly along quiet roads with occasional stretches of rough (but comfortable) track. The early stages are essentially on level land; from San Miniato as far as Siena the hilly landscape is steadily undulating, with climbs of intermediate difficulty.

Some days the itinerary will be flat, others it will present some hills. Suitable for everyone in good physical condition and with some cycling experience.

 

 

 

Self Guided Bike Holidays

 

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