THE VIA FRANCIGENA NEAR SIENA
2 ITINERARIES TO WALK THROUGH HISTORY AND NATURE
The section of the Via Francigena near Siena is definitely one of the most impressive because it embodies spirituality, Art and unspoilt nature. Nowaday it is able to attract many pilgrims from all over the world like in the Middle Ages!
The Origins of the VIA FRANCIGENA
The pilgrimage to Rome to visit the tomb of the apostle Peter, was in the Middle Ages, one of the three maiores peregrinationes together with the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela. This is why Italy was constantly traversed by pilgrims from all over Europe. Many stopped in Rome, the others ran down the south of Italy, to the Puglia and from there embarked for the Holy Land.
Siena represented an important stop on the Via Francigena as it was one of the richest and most populous city of the Middle Ages (exceeded 50,000 inhabitants – are now 60,000). The pilgrims entered the city from the northern Gate Porta Camollia and passed in front of the Mansion of the Knights Templar that still exists, they reached the Duomo of Siena and the Santa Maria della Scala. The latter was one of the largest hospitals of the time and provided medical care, food and shelter to the pilgrims.
How many Via Francigena does exist?
The Via Francigena was not a single road, but a bundle of roads connecting most towns in the same area.
In addition, routes changed according to the seasons: winter ones were located at higher altitudes to avoid the swampy lowland areas but they were preferred in summer because the fastest to cross. This dynamic character can be found in the location of numerous parish churches, hermitages and villages that developed along its path.
The Via Francigena near Siena, arrives from San Gimignano to the Val d’Elsa in the direction of Monteriggioni, salt hills of Montagnola touching the Chianti and continues south toward Crete and Val d’Orcia on the Cassia No. 2.
The paths are accessible by various means: by car, by bicycle, on horseback, and of course as did the pilgrims in the Middle Ages … on foot.
Certainly walking is the best way to enjoy this adventure. Organize a pilgrimage consists of several stages to visit the Via Francigena near Siena also requires an adequate physical preparation, logistics and technology.
The signs on the way from Monteriggioni to Siena and from Siena to Crete is well visible but we advise pilgrims to always download the active maps in order to always have a reliable reference.
Below we list the most beautiful routes of the Via Francigena near Siena
If you walked into a beautiful sunny day, this stage can become unforgettable thanks to the endless views enjoyed from the ridges of the Val d’Arbia, which are routes along endless dirt roads. Behind us we can see the skyline of Siena, nestled in the hills on the horizon.
The Grange of Cuna, old fortified granary, is the main historical attraction of this stretch.
To find a resting spot must get to Isola d’Arbia, while water can also be found at the Grange of Cuna and Quinciano.
Left us behind the old town of Monteriggioni, walk down white streets of the Sienese mountain towards Cerbaia, an ancient medieval village now abandoned. We walk the woods up to the castles of the nut and Villa, before descending on the plain land called Pian del Lago.
There we walk a long stretch of asphalt before turning left onto Via dell’Osteriaccia. After about 600 m we suggest you leave the official route for a short but very interesting variant.
Turn right on the dirt road and go up the hill until you reach the wonderful Hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago. You can visit it every day, from 9.30 to 15.30. Ring the bell and Luca will open, leading you to admire the church and the frescoes. Then we cross the wood Renai before arriving at Porta Camollia, the traditional access in Siena. The stage, relatively short and easy, it is complicated by the almost total lack of water and food.
Walking today means being out of the line!
In a world that moves, living every second and does not stop more than once, if you choose to Walk Slowly is a way to open your eyes to what’s around you. Have you ever wondered how many beauties of our territory we miss traveling by car or motorcycle? The speed allows us to visit many places but not to enjoy the beauty and details. While , walking is certainly a way to impress on your memory, images, sensations of places, people and food that otherwise we would have never enjoyed.
Hotel Borgo Grondaie is located just 1 km from Porta Camollia Siena is ideal for a stopover on the pilgrimage to Siena. You can also choose to start your journey from Siena arriving by train (Borgo gutters is 400 meters from the station) or by bus from the main Tuscan cities like Florence and Pisa.
Posted by Hotel Borgo Grondaie