PISA to SIENA
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.
- A really easy trip, and it's in Tuscany!
- Great art cities: Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca
- Cycling along the footsteps of St. Francis
- A wine-tasting at a local farm
- Charming village, quiet roads, cypress tree-lined country lanes and cycle paths along the Serchio river
- Wine, wine and more great Tuscan wine and food
We start our trip in Pisa and for those who arrive early today there is time this afternoon to explore the narrow streets, pastel coloured houses and churches of this historic town. There may also be time to ascend the leaning tower to enjoy the views. We will meet at our hotel for a welcome briefing and bike allocation, before heading out for our first evening meal together
Day 2: Ride from Pisa to Lucca
Distance: 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.
Day 3: Ride from Lucca to San Miniato
Distance: 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.
Day 4: Ride from San Miniato to Colle Val d’Elsa
Distance: 55 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.
Day 5: Ride from Colle Val d’Elsa to Siena
Distance: 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.
Day 6: Loop ride from Siena to Monteroni d’Arbia
Distance: 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.
Day 7: Arrivederci Siena
After breakfast, end of services.
1 picnic lunch
Professional multi-lingual tour leader
On this tour we cycle 210 km over five days.
The terrain is virtually all on tarmac, and mostly along quiet country roads.
The route is generally flat and gently undulating.
The tour leader will cycle with the group every day.
We have graded the route as EASY