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Duration?
Cycling on Via Francigena from Parma to Siena
style :
Level :
Duration :
9 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
ITSB170
Pilgrimage Cycling
price from € 1015
Cycling on Via Francigena from Parma to Siena

Cycling on Via Francigena from Parma to Siena

Cycling on Via Francigena from Parma to Siena

  • Parma and its delicacies, such as the Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma
  • Lucca, with its perfect for cycling walls and the buzzling amphitheater square
  • The medieval atmosphere of Pontremoli and Monteriggioni 
  • Stunning views - hilltop villages, open valleys, cypress woods and olive grove

 

Cycling from Parma to Siena map
View map
Route

The rides follow mostly well asphalted country roads and secondary roads. Near larger towns, the roads are more trafficked.

Day 1: Arrive in Parma
Day 2: From Parma to Berceto
Day 3: Ride from Berceto to Aulla
Day 4: Ride from Aulla to Massa
Day 5: Ride from Massa to Lucca
Day 6: Ride from Lucca to San Miniato
Day 7: Ride from San Miniato to San GImignano
Day 8: Ride from San Gimignano to Siena
Day 9: Arrivederci Via Francigena!

Day 1:    Arrive in Parma

The journey starts in Parma, a crown jewel of Italian gastronomic tradition: the province of Parma boasts the largest number of  PDO and PGI gastronomic products.You can try and taste as many as possible or take your time to explore the artistic beauties of the city: from the imposing interior of its Cathedral and Baptistery to the enchanting Palazzo Farnese, designed by Michelangelo and built of stone taken from the Rome Coliseum. 

 

Day 2:    From Parma to Berceto

The first section is quite demanding, but rich in beauty: along your way the villages of Bardone and Terenzo, with their ancient churches and some bass-relieves treasured in their interiors. From this point you will face an ascent that will lead you to Cassio, where a brief descending trait deludes you in believing you have reached your destination. Unfortunately this is not true: you have to face another ascent towards Berceto, a little “stone jewel”, where you can restore yourselves with local mushrooms and  pattona, a typical cake made from chestnut flour.

 

Day 3:    Ride from Berceto to Aulla

There is no rest during the last leg, but the surprises along the way definitely makes all your efforts worthwhile. From the Cisa Pass you  exciting descent to  Pontremoli, the town of bridges and mysterious stele statues , where you can enjoy a relaxing walk among the alleyways of the old town centre.

Once in Aulla set your bicycle down and visit the Abbey of San Caprasio, which contains archaeological finds from the medieval period. Do not miss a walk along the ancient walls of the Fortezza della Brunella before taking a walk through the old town centre. And if you are hungry, there is nothing better than the tasty little local focaccias, to be enjoyed still hot accompanied by charcuterie and cheeses.

 

Day 4:    Ride from Aulla to Massa

From Aulla you travel over demanding but gratifying paths: from here you will glimpse the sea for the first time.long the road you will pass through very green countryside and medieval villages. Once in Sarzana you will be amazed by the Baroque interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and you will admire the Gothic facade of the Pieve di Sant’Andrea, the oldest building in the town.

Your journey continues along flat paths, following in the footsteps of the ancient pilgrims who from the Roman port of Luni used to embark towards Santiago de Compostela, to finally reach the nice town of Massa, a few kilometres far from the sea of Verisilia. 

 

Day 5:    Ride from Massa to Lucca

A nice cycle path along the sea leads you from Marina di Massa  towards Pietrasanta. Before browsing among its art galleries and shops we recommend a visit of the town’s Duomo, to walk among its marble columns and to admire its frescoed vaults.

From Camaiore you continue up and down among the hills of Lucca,: enter through the walls and surround yourselves in its old town centre, browse in the little shops of the circular piazza to buy spelt and local biscuits to take home with you, conquer the Guinigi tower and admire the town from up high in its hanging garden.

 

Day 6:    Ride from Lucca to San Miniato

An easy and flat leg of the journey leads you from the walls of Lucca to the old town centre ofAltopascio, passing through the Badia di Pozzeveri, where ancient pilgrims stop to rest and pray.  Do not miss the local bread, a real delicacy!

The itinerary continues across the wild land of the Cerbaie, before crossing the river Arno and continue towards San Miniato.  The Seminary which gives the name to the main square will amaze you with its particular facade: enjoy it lit up, perhaps after eating a risotto dusted with the typical white truffle, the pride of the local area.

 

Day 7:    Ride from San Miniato to San GImignano

A demanding but unique section awaits you. From San Miniato you descend in the bottom of Val d’Elsa to later ascend again towards Gambassi Terme, where you will be able to cross the threshold of the Pieve di Chianni, where the same Arcibishop Sigeric slept on his way to Rome.  

You will continue your journey pedalling across splendid natural scenery to San Gimignano, one of the most beautiful towns along the Via Francigena: its famoustowers that make its skyline unmistakeable. Do not miss the view of the medieval town and its surrounding valleys from the top of the Torre Grossa, or if you don’t run out of energy, venture up the steps of the Rocca di Montestaffoli, for an even more special view.

 

Day 8:    Ride from San Gimignano to Siena

From San Gimignano you continue, up and down, through the Tuscan hills to Colle Val d’Elsa, an out-of-time Tuscan village with a charming old town centre and narrow alleyways winding through the stone walls.

The itinerary then continues through  one of the most beautiful sections of the Via Francigena: a meditative route, along which you can surround yourselves with the silence of the Pieve di Strove, with its Romanesque interiors, or stand in the quietness of the splendid Abbadia at Isola, with its imposing Abbey.

Do not miss a stroll along the wall of the breath-taking castle of Monteriggioni, once defending the Repubblica of Siena, before reaching Siena through dirt roads and the ancient medieval hamlet of Cerbaia. An unforgettable way to celebrate your arrival? A plate of pici all’aglione in the illuminated Piazza del Campo. And don’t forget the panforte!

 

Day 9:    Arrivederci Via Francigena!

The trip ends after breakfast, unless you have booked extra nights or other optional services with us.

accommodation

All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.

We choose comfortable 3* hotels, farmhouses and B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom.

You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked. 

Extra overnight:

You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.

practical info

You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.

Florence (FLR)Pisa (PSA) and Bologna (BLQ) airports are flown to by both major and low cost international carriers. All three airports can be easily reached by local transport, which is affordable and offers a frequent service.

From Bologna Airport (BLQ), reach the central railway station, from where you can take a direct train to Parma.

From Pisa Airport (PSA), you can take a train to Parma with change in Pisa Centrale station and in either Vezzano Ligure or Pontremoli.

From Florence Airport (FLR), take a public bus to Florence Santa Maria Novella Train Station, and then a train to Parma (with change in Bologna).

On departure, you can reach Pisa, Bologna and Florence by train.

In case you are flying from Florence, you can also go by bus from Siena (direct).

Customized ELIOS, Aluminium bike

  • Shimano Deore gears
  • Shimano V-brake
  • suspension: RST, lock out

 

Bianchi Sempre Pro

  • race bike
  • 22 gears, Campagnolo Athena
  • suspension: carbon fork

E-BIKE Customized Peugeot

  • Shimano Deore gears
  • Shimano V-brake
  • suspension: RST lock out

GPS tracks are available on request.

included

Included

  • 8 Nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismo
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • Bike assembly, delivery to Parma, theft insurance and collection from Siena
  • Luggage transfer DAY 2 to DAY 8
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and maps with tracks on
  • 24/7 telephone support 

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Bike rental
  • Helmet
  • Rear bags
  • Travel to Parma and from Siena
  • Trains, busses or boats wherever necessary
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Bike rental with front mab + map holder and odometer
  • Rear bags (28€ per bike and tour; 4€ for extra cycling day)
  • Helmet
  • Single Room Supplement(s)
  • Solo Traveller Supplement
  • Transfer from airport to Parma
  • Transfer from Siena to airport
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