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.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

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

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Spiritual Journeys
  • Historical Journeys

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking holiday is graded moderate. However the daily distances vary between 17 and 30 km, so you need to be in good physical shape to complete this section of the Via Francigena. There are also some elevation gains and losses especially during the first section of the tour.

Navigation

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. As always when walking you should be able to read a map and use a compass in case of bad weather. 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. However these waymarks will not appear all along the way but intermittently. 

Unlike many of 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), and you should be confident in navigating with a compass and map, as well as using the route notes that we will provide you with. A few of the original sections of the Via Francigena are now (fairly busy) roads, and where necessary you may either follow these roads for a short time, or divert away from the traditional route to enjoy a more relaxed walk.

Accommodations

During your Via Francigena self-guided walking tour in Italy you will stay in a variety of accommodations. The properties range from private rooms in pilgrim's hostels, 2, 3 and 4* hotels as well as B&Bs and guesthouses. At times you will be staying in remote towns and villages, therefore the accommodation in these places are the best that these particular areas have to offer.

Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome and again a supplement is payable.

Meals

Daily breakfasts are included. Breakfasts are usually continental or Italian-style with a choice of breads, 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
  • Breakfasts included
  • Detailed maps and routes notes and a comprehensive information pack
  • Transfers where mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Half board supplement

When To Go

This trip is available from mid-March to the end of October. You can start your holiday on any date in the season.

Time of Year

Spring in Italy is sublime and May and June are absolutely lovely. Autumn is a great time of year as the landscape is made up of a gold and red pallet so September is unmissable. July and August can be very hot so you will have to start early to miss the heat of the day and then perhaps have a long lunch and finish walking in the mid to late afternoon.

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.

Luggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are not included as standard, however you can pay an additional fee for this service. If you choose to include baggage transfers we request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

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.

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 11 miles / 17 km Day 3 Sarzana to Massa 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Massa to Camaiore 15 miles / 24 km Day 5 Camaiore to Lucca 19 miles / 30 km Day 6 Lucca to Altopascio 11 miles / 18 km Day 7 Altopascio to San Miniato 11 miles / 17 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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