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Via Francigena Stage 5: Aulla to San Miniato

8 Days & 7 Nights 4 Read 2 reviews
  • The Apuane Alps with their famed white Carrara marble peaks
  • Walk through a patchwork of exquisite Tuscan landscapes
  • Stroll through the historical region of Lunigiana, an area of verdant meadows
  • Enjoy staying in the medieval village of San Miniato
  • Wander along the Renaissance walls of Lucca which although centuries old are still intact
Originating in the historical region of Lunigiana, an area of great gastronomy, lush green meadows and waterfalls, your walking tour along the Via Francigena takes you from Aulla at the foot of the Apennines, along the coast into northern Tuscany and the medieval village of San Miniato. Ancient and strategic strongholds, majestic hills and valleys, the town of Lucca with its Renaissance walls -this journey will not disappoint and you will savour every moment, from the glorious views over the Apuane Alps to the imposing and majestic structure of the Brunella Fortress.

What To Expect

This particular section is graded as moderate. You will walk in Tuscany through the foothills of the Apenines and the Apuane Alps and the lovely Renaissance town of Lucca.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travellers

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Spiritual Journeys
  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded moderate overall. The daily distances vary quite a lot between shorter and longer ones, so you must be capable of also walking the longer distances.

You need to be in good physical shape to complete the full Via Francigena as there are also some elevation gains and losses along the way.

As this route tries to remain as true to the original pilgrimage route as possible, you will not only walk on trails and unpaved roads but also on asphalt part of the way. The ‘traditional’ walk is alongside some busy main roads, which is why we give other suggestions (especially near Rome). Please take care when walking along roads and always be mindful of other road users. 

Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. The trail is also marked by the official red and white signs of the Via Francigena, which have a picture of a yellow pilgrim on them. Unlike the more well-established Caminos, the Via Francigena has seen a relatively recent resurgence in popularity, meaning that trail marking is intermittent. Not every region has invested in consistently waymarking the trail. 

You will be able to follow the route in your Macs Adventure smartphone app and we're confident that using the two elements alongside each other should go a long way to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free trip.

Accommodation Information

During your trip you will stay in a variety of accommodations. The properties range from private rooms in pilgrims' hostels to 2, 3 and 4* hotels as well as B&B's and guesthouses. At times you will be staying in remote towns and villages, therefore the accommodations in these places are the best that these particular areas have to offer.

If you require single rooms for your party we would be happy to accommodate you. Solo walkers are also welcomed.

Important: Due to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. If this is the case, you will always receive directions to and from the trail in your route notes. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days.

Meals

Daily breakfasts are included. Breakfasts are usually continental or Italian-style with a choice of bread, croissants, meats, and cheeses. Sometimes it is possible to order packed lunches at your hotel or B&B the evening before or you can buy lunch in groceries, cafes, and restaurants en route. You can opt to include dinners as well if you wish.

Included
  • Overnights in a variety of accommodations
  • Breakfast
  • Baggage transfers
  • Detailed maps and routes notes and a comprehensive information pack
  • Transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Access to the GPS tracks using the Macs Adventure smartphone app
  • Emergency telephone assistance from our team in Italy and our UK office if required
Excluded
  • Travel to and from the start and finish points
  • Public transportation where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Drinks & snacks
  • Any additional travel en route, should you wish to miss a day's walking
  • Baggage transfers
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
Extras
  • Additional nights before, after or during the trip
  • Half board supplement

When To Go

This trip is best enjoyed from mid-June onwards as the first section crosses the Alps and snow can still be on the ground up until July. Summer is a wonderful time to do the trip but it will be hot in August. Autumn is a lovely time of year as the colours start to change and the heat of the summer has subsided. This trip is available from mid-June to mid-September.

Getting to the Start

The best airports to fly into to access Aulla are Pisa or Genoa. From Pisa take a train to Aulla (via Pisa Centrale Station). The journey takes between one and a half and two hours and you can find more information regarding train schedules and fares at the Trenitalia website. Alternatively from Genoa Airport you can take a thirty minute shuttle bus from the airport to the main Genoa Train Station and from here there is a direct train which takes approximately two hours to Aulla.

Getting from the End

San Miniato has a railway station and is on the Florence/Pisa line. Therefore you can take a train to either Florence Airport or Pisa Airport from San Miniato, which takes 50 minutes from either airport. Please check the Trenitalia website for more information on fares and schedules.

Baggage Transfer

Enjoy the ease of walking with a light backpack and having your main luggage moved for you each day (included). Your bags will be collected from your accommodation and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Equipment

This depends on the time of year you are walking; if travelling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you.  During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers. You will receive a full kit list as part of your trip documentation.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation, and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Aulla Day 2 Aulla to Sarzana 13.5 miles / 22 km Day 3 Sarzana to Avenza 11 miles / 18 km Day 4 Walk Avenza to Massa, Train to Pietrasanta, Walk to Camaiore 15 miles / 24 km Day 5 Camaiore to Lucca 15 miles / 24 km Day 6 Lucca to Altopascio 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 7 Altopascio to San Miniato 18.5 miles / 30 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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