Via Francigena – Stage 5: Aulla to San Miniato

Italy

Holiday overview

Destination

Italy


Type

Pilgrim Routes, Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Jan - Dec


Price

£ 659 pp


Duration

7 nights


Contact Us

The official Francigena followed ancient Roman roads and so pilgrims walked along the Aurelia. Unfortunately, nowadays this has turned into one of the most traffic ridden roads in Italy. Therefore, after crossing the last part of the Appennino mountains, and within view of the sea, we leave the official route and, from Sarzana, walk slightly to the east on trails and secondary routes on the hills that overlook the Mediterranean.

This is the fifth stage of the Via Francigena, the Pilgrim Route to Rome.The official Francigena followed ancient Roman roads and so pilgrims walked along the Aurelia. Unfortunately, nowadays this has turned into one of the most traffic ridden roads in Italy. Therefore, after crossing the last part of the Appennino mountains, and within view of the sea, we leave the official route and, from Sarzana, walk slightly to the east on trails and secondary routes on the hills that overlook the Mediterranean. We pass near to Massa and Camaiore to reach Lucca. The week will end in the lovely village of San Miniato, the closest point to Florence. 7 nights.

 

Total distance:

120 kms (average of 20 each day).

 

Price:

£659.00 per person based on 2 people sharing.

Single supplement: £115.00.

Solo traveller additional £100.00.

 

Optional Extras:

Dinner on 5 nights £100.00 per person

 

Included:

7 nights B&B, GPS maps and route notes and information on the area. luggage transfers, Back up if required

 

Highlights:

Appennine Mts. – first glimpse of the sea – Lucca – San Miniato.

 

Departures

Daily departures March to November.

Day 1: Aulla and overnight

You can reach Aulla by train from La Spezia with a change in Sarzana. It is possible to spend 2 nights in Sarzana and catch a train for a 30 mn ride in the morning to Aulla (Sarzana being a nicer place to stay) where you will start your walk. Wherever you elect to spend the first night a package will be waiting for you containing all the material you need for the week: hotel and meals vouchers – detailed route notes and waterproof GPS maps with a container and a map holder for the route. The hotel owner will tell you who to contact if you require a benediction by a priest before you set out.

 

Day 2: Aulla – Sarzana.

17 km. Up: 605m – down: 660m. High point: 590m Castello di Bibola – Vecchietto – Ponzano Superiore – Castello della Brina (ruins) – SarzanaLeaving Aulla, in the shadow of imposing Brunella fortress, walk the last slopes of the Appennine mountains for a first glimpse of the sea. It is not an easy day as we are still in the mountains. Bibola is our first stop, then the ruins of the Brina castle before starting the descent towards Sarzana.

NOTES: Trails and unpaved roads on the Mt Porro slopes and on Mt Grosso . 30% secondary asphalt. Wide views over the river Magra gorges.

 

Day 3: Sarzana – Carrara.

Distance: 24 kmDetails: Sarzana – Castruccio Castracani Fortress – Sarzanello – Villa Malaspina – Castelnuovo di Magra –Ortonovo – Carrara – Bargana – Pasquilio (hotel)NOTE: Partly secondary asphalt, partly trails.

TO SEE : The “Cittadella Medicea” (XV sec.) built by di Lorenzo the Magnificent on the ruins of an earlier fortress. In MASSA: San Pietro cathedralDay 4: Carrara – Camaiore. Distance: 24kmDetails: Pasquilio (hotel) – Monte Folgorito – Cerreta San Nicola – Monte Canala – Seravezza – Gallena – Case di M. Ornato – Foce di Sant’Anna – Culla – Montebello – Camaiore

NOTE: Partly secondary asphalt, partly trails.

TO SEE: CAMAIORE: benedictine abbey

 

Day 5: Camaiore – Lucca.

Distance: 29km (or 21km by using public bus) – highest point 228maltitude up: 383 – down: 403mDetails: Camaiore – Salapreti – Pieve – Valpromaro – Piazzano – San Macario in Monte – San Macario in Piano – Parco fluviale del Serchio – Monte San Quirico bridge – LuccaNOTE: Partly secondary asphalt, partly trails.

TO SEE: Beautiful Lucca

 

Day 6: Lucca – Altopascio.

Today’s route goes through a very densely inhabited area. For those who prefer to avoid this, we advise you to spend a longer time in Lucca and catch a train (only 15 minutes ride) to Altopascio.Distance: 18kmDetails: No altitude gains, the highest point is 30m. Pass the Capannori and the Badia di Pozzeveri

NOTE: Mostly on secondary asphalt, partly unpaved

 

Day 7: Altopascio – San Miniato via Ponte a Cappiano.

29 km – Highest point 135mDetails: Altopascio – Galleno – Ponte a Cappiano – Fucecchio – San Miniato Alto

NOTE: a short part on original medieval pavement, half trail and half on secondary asphalt.To see: Ponte a Cappiano (bridge built by Cosimo de’ Medici, XVI sec.) – San Miniato Alto

 

Day 8: Departure