Archive for category Surroundings Siena

Pilgrims Route in Tuscany: Monginevro to Rome – Via Francigena

Tuscany is a region where lots of important Saints lived. For this reason around this territory, there are lots of local pilgrims route and lots of topic events take place here.
The routes usually link a net of places with a particular theme or regarding the life to a Saint.

Parish Church on the Via Francigena - Via Romea

Parish Church of Pancole on the Via Francigena

The most known of them is the Tuscany part of the “Monginevro to Rome”, in Italy this route is called “Via Francigena” or “Via Romea”. This itinerary link Canterbury to Rome and, for the most enterprising pilgrims, go on till Jerusalem. It is the same way that the Archbishop of Canterbury followed in the year 969 to come back from Rome after he got the investiture from the Pope.

In Tuscany there are 220 Miles of this route (the full way is about 650 Miles), usually divided in stages of about 15 Miles.
The trip starts at the Cisa Passo, cross the Apennines, touch two of the most important town of Tuscany (Lucca and Siena), and go on till the South of Tuscany till Acquapendente before entering in Lazio towards the Bolsena lake and finally to Rome.

Who followed the Saint James Route (Camino di Santiago) has to be advice that Italy, and Tuscany, is not so organized. The pilgrim has to match with daily problems instead of soul questions. There are so few services, that you can’t decide day by day where to sleep and where to eat or where you can buy any necessities because there are long parts of the itinerary without any confort.
I don’t want to discourage anybody, but it is very important that if you decide to trek on the Via Francigena you must be informed and prepaired about the logistic difficoulties that you will find.
Before starting this venture get informed! by books, by blogs, by websites, contacting the tourists offices and so on.
The other way to follow this route is with an organized tour. This year (2011) I will start one in October; I will describe the steps from Lucca to Siena in one of my next posts, so someone can take them as a starting point.

Italian Pilgrims Towards the Pancole Sanctuary

Biking Between Siena and Arezzo. The Val di Chiana

BIKING!!! Another way to taste Tuscany: biking along a river with no difficoulties, no weariness and no stress.

The itinerary that I suggest with this post is a one day to four days biking along the “Canale Maestro della Chiana” that is a canal used ever since the year 1000 (yes 1000 years ago) to drain the marsh. The first part of the itinerary is along the shores of two lakes: the Chiusi and the Montepulciano’s ones, the path is surrounded by short and smooth hills. They are all green, filling up with farms with their field and in this season (Autumn) they are a puzzle of all-colored square pieces: the silver of the olive trees, the red of the leafs of the vineyards, the golden yellow of the culture of grain, the brown of the soil… Read the rest of this entry »

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A Round Hikes “Under the Tuscan Sun”

After the book and the movie “Under The Tuscan Sun”, everybody knows the suggestive town of Cortona, wrapped by the ancient surraundingwall, where we can still find palaces and buildings from Medioeval and Reinassance age till the XVIII century and where the atmosphere is so real that we are transposed in that age; but there are only a few visitors that take the time to visit the Celle Hermitage: a real special and mistic place just 5 minutes by car or 20 minutes walk from the city center.

View on the Val di Chiana and the Trasimeno Lake

The Trasimeno Lake from Cortona

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Saint Galgano – The Tuscan History of the Sword in the Stone

In the marvellous and unknown area of the Merse valley, there is a special and mystic site where is preserved the stone where the knight Galgano Guidotti from Chiusdino plunged his sword. Read the rest of this entry »

San Vivaldo “The Jerusalem in Tuscany”

San Vivaldo, terracotta statue

San Vivaldo, terracotta statue

Near Castelfiorentino and Volterra in the Montaione’s territory, next to the village called San Vivaldo there is a convent  of Franciscans.

The hill around the convent is covered with 18 chapels telling about Christ Passion and it represents one of the most important religious place in Italy.

The hill, that originally counted lots of more chapels, Read the rest of this entry »