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Leg 10: San Gimignano - Monteriggioni

 

Departure: San Gimignano, Piazza della Cisterna
Arrival: Monteriggioni, Piazza Roma
Total lengh: 29.8 km
Travel: On foot,  mountain bike
Walking time: 7.30 Hours
Climb in altitude: 513 m
Descent in altitude: 563 m
Maximum altitude: 320 m
Difficulty: Demanding
Paved roads: 19%
Dirt roads and tracks: 70%
Mule trails and paths: 12%
Suitability for cycling: 96%
How to reach the departure: Florence-Siena railway line, Poggibonsi station,
bus service by Train, line 133 for San Gimignano
.
Description: One of the most beautiful stretches of the Via Francigena. We leave San Gimignano through the Porta San Giovanni gate, heading towards the Benedictine abbey of Monte Oliveto Minore. Continuing towards the village of Santa Lucia, we cross a ford and, after travelling up a deep valley, we come to Montauto castle. After crossing another ford, we climb towards
Torraccia di Chiusi, the tower-castle of the Abbracciabeni family. We then descend,
crossing the River Foci, to Molino d'Aiano, which was home to one of the stations mentioned by Sigeric (Sce Martin in Fosse). The itinerary continues along a tree-lined road as far as Badia a Conèo, a Lombard abbey which once belonged to the Vallombrosan monks. We cross the villages of Quartaia and Fabbrica, passing below Onci and in front of Calcinaia Mill, and come to the ford over the River Elsa at the level of Gracciano, where the Aelsa station was
located. A little further ahead are the “Bagni delle Caldane”, pools which date back to the Etruscan-Roman period. The road heads towards the fortified village of Strove, built in 994 by the lords of Staggia, and towards Petraia Castle.
Walking along an ancient wall, we come to Badia a Isola, an important monastery built in the 10th century, which Sigeric called the Burgenove station. Finally, we come to Monteriggioni castle, a citadel fortified by the people of Siena in 1213 against the advance of the Florentines. Its perimeter walls still look like a crown of towers today. Water and refreshment points are available in the villages and towns only.

 

 

 

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