Put your hands up if you love biking, nature, history and art (not necessarily in this particular order). Then we have the perfect plan for your next getaway: enjoy Via Francigena bike tours from Siena and its breathtaking views of Tuscany.
What is “Via Francigena”?
During the 12th century, “Via Francigena” was the main route which linked Great Britain to Italy. Pilgrims going from Canterbury to Rome knew it like the back of their hand, with the main stops being Reims (France), Lausanne (Switzerland) and Siena (Italy). As of today, it still is one of the most beaten tracks, because it is doable on foot, by bike and on horseback.
Why should I choose a “Via Francigena” bike tour?
Bikes are undoubtedly the most frequently picked means of transportation to go through its 1700 km.
Every year many cyclists, both beginners and professionals, embark on the paved and gravel roads, following the path of medieval pilgrims and merchants. Tuscany and even more Siena have a great tradition in cyclism, with “Eroica” and “Strade Bianche” being the two most renowed races in Italy.
What is the best period to go on a bike tour?
The best seasons are definitely spring and autumn, especially March and April or October and November, when the weather is mild and there are no hordes of tourists, compared to the way hotter summer months.
The town of Siena is a strategic point of departure to go biking on “Via Francigena”.
Whether you choose to go north or south of Siena, the distance range goes from 20 km up to 50 km, so that everyone can choose and customize their itinerary.
Monteriggioni. Mentioned in Dante’s Inferno, this is the first walled town you find going north of Siena. Distance from Siena: 18,5 km
Colle Val d’Elsa. A beautiful medieval village in the middle of Siena’s countryside. You ought to pay a visit to the famous “Caldane”, thermal baths which date back to Ancient Rome, well known for their therapeutic proprieties. Distance from Siena: 27 km
San Gimignano. Considered Tuscany’s most picturesque village, it still is one of the main stops of “Via Francigena”. A long time ago, it featured 72 towers, but only 13 are visible nowadays. Every gelato lover should definitely try two-time world champion Gelateria Dondoli’s ice-cream, located in the main square. Distance from Siena: 41,5 km
Buonconvento. The must-see spot of this small medieval village is definitely the Museum “Arte Sacra della Val d’Arbia”, where you can admire the works of the main artists of Sienese School, as Duccio and Pietro Lorenzetti. Distance from Siena: 29,3 km
Asciano. Just 30 km far from Siena, it is certainly the best spot to admire the enchanting landscape created by the “Crete Senesi” which resembles the surface of the moon.
Distance from Siena: 31,3 km
Montalcino. Worldwide famous for its wines “Brunello” and “Rosso”, Montalcino is a lovely village located at the very end of Val d’Orcia. Treat yourself with a glass of Brunello and a mix of Tuscan cold-cuts, served by one of the restaurants in “Piazza del Popolo”, the main square.
Distance from Siena: 42,2 km
If you choose to bike through Via Francigena from Siena, you should check out this site www.viefrancigene.org for further information on maps, routes and advice from experts.
The bike hotel Borgo Grondaie is located in a strategic position, just 1,5 km far from the Historic Center of Siena, also a perfect pick if you want to visit “Terre di Siena”. Cyclists benefit from free services such as the use of the garage, a bike wash station, a private parking and a laundromat. Check out our site to find out more about the special offers, valid all year round.
See you soon!