This tour is part of our Look Inside, Walk Outside Italian tour packages. Learn more about how our tours will help you disconnect, detox from
This tour is part of our Look Inside, Walk Outside Italian tour packages. Learn more about how our tours will help you disconnect, detox from technology, and revitalize your energy through immersive travel experiences.
With time to wander comes time for exploration of your own thoughts and assumptions. Taking the time to disconnect from technology and detox yourself from the hectic, busy pace of our day-to-day lives will leave you feel rejuvenated, connected, and enchanted more and more each day by your surroundings. Throughout our journey, you will find your energy returning to you and your senses strengthening, as you indulge in everything from fine dining to countryside cuisine made by a local using techniques honed by the centuries. This trip will leave you with more than the perfect photo or a story of waiting for 20 minutes to get the perfect, near-tourist-free photo in front of the Tower of Pisa (we know the struggle!) Imagine you saw firsthand the vineyard harvest, or envisioned yourself in 13th-century Italy as passerby dressed up in period garb and reenacted classic Medieval scenes in the very streets where they took place originally. This is an experience that will challenge you to see your place in the world differently, and allow you to grow and connect as a result of your travels. With us, traveling means more than just seeing a place. It means taking a breath to think about your normal way of doing things, diving into local culture and traditions to find the best ideas to take home with you, and asking ourselves and each other challenging questions to deepen our understanding of and connection with our environment.
Don’t pass your time idly in a tour bus waiting to snap a picture in front of a vineyard and continue along your journey; on this immersive tour, we’ll take a slower pace to truly engage with the local culture and challenge your notions about how impactful travel can be. As we explore the Via Francigena, “the road that come from France,” a historic pilgrimage path connecting France to Rome. This path dips along green valleys overlooking acres of vineyards; your mind will wander to the history seen in this mountainside as we make our way to destinations like San Gimignano and Volterra. As we approach the unique panoramic views of the San Gimignano cityscape, you’ll see why this destination landed its spot as a UNESCO world heritage spikes. With imposing spires that once protected the town from invasion, this will be a welcome sight after our long walk in nature—as it means civilization and food! Tuscany is home to some of the finest gastronomical delights in Italy, and indeed the world. As much as we explore the outdoors, we will also indulge in the best local delicacies like panzanella and the most decadent world-renowned wines like Chianti. We’ll continue our stroll through Volterra, with its notable 7,300 meters of fortified walls protecting not only their urban center, but also the surrounding fields and pastures. Step back in time to a classic Italian hamlet where life today is not much different from decades past; we’ll tour the Balze Cliffs, where legend says witches gathered amongst its abbeys with unparalleled views of the surrounding cliffs and valleys. Capping off our tour with a hearty mix of history and captivating natural experiences, we will visit the Santuario di Santa Maria Pancole, Castelvecchio Nature Reserve, Abbadia a Isola, and arrive at our final destination—Monteriggioni. From the peregrine falcon native to Castelvecchio to the 13th century fortified hamlet hosting a medieval fair each July, we’ll see more than the typical Italian tour by living in every moment with our own two feet driving us forward on our journey.
DAY 1 - Arrival to the hotel
After your arrival in the San Gimignano area, you will reach your accommodation located approximately 15 minutes driving from the historic city center of San Gimignano. Take a breath and enjoy your first day in Italy in this enchanting area of Tuscany region. Dinnerwill be served at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at a 3-star hotel accommodation.
DAY 2 - The Via Francigena and San Gimignano
Walking Distance: 6 km
Length: 2,5 hours
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel to charge yourself for the day ahead. After breakfast, you will be met by our walking guide and together transferred to the starting point (approx. 20 minutes) to begin your 2,5-hour walking itinerary along the Via Francigena. This pathway is one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in Europe that leads to Rome from France. Walking along these Tuscan steps, even for short distances, means to take a step back into history and imagine the myriad of people who have traveled this path--and for what purpose. You’ll be stunned by the artistic, cultural and religious value we will learn along the way, showcasing the area’s extraordinary charm and incomparable value. The walking tour will start with the visit of the Sanctuary of the Santissima Madre della Divina Provvidenza, located in the small country village of Pancole. Between 1475 and 1499, the painter and priest Pier Francesco Fiorentino frescoed the Holy Virgin with Child in the shrine where the church stands today, as the shrine later collapsed due to neglect. According to the legend the Holy Virgin appeared to a shepherd in 1698, a little girl who was unable to speak since birth. After the appearance,the girl regained her voice and the shrine became a symbol of Christianity that has been visited by thousands. In 1670, the church was complete and the ancient painting of the Holy Virgin was positioned on the altar a unique spectacle to see firsthand! After the visit, our walking tour will proceed along the Via Francigena and give us ample time to admire landscapes encompassing the whole of Tuscany, including unique views of the skyline of San Gimignano. Another treasure we will visit along the camino is the Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta a Cellole, a country church hidden among cypress trees not far from Pancole. We will stop for lunch in a local restaurant before continuing our journey a short distance to San Gimignano, one of the most famous small towns in Italy. Here you will be entranced by the abundant nature, art, history, culture, and tradition evident in every view and interaction. This medieval art town is spiked by towers, and its magical atmosphere oozes charm while evoking the true spirit of medieval Tuscany. In 1990, San Gimignano earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List and your visit will be a rejuvenating immersion into its authentic 1300’s small-town ambiance. After the visit, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Dinner will be served at the restaurant of the hotel.Overnight stay at 3-star hotel accommodation.
DAY 3 - Castelvecchio Nature Reserve and Volterra, “The City of Alabaster”
Walking Distance: 6 km
Length: 2,5 hours
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will be met by our expert guide and together you will start the 2,5-hour walking itinerary that brings to the Castelvecchio Nature Reserve, where you will be in awe by the varied vegetation, from the oak forest that is home to Turkey oaks and downy oaks, to the Mediterranean scrub, to the valley floor where you will gaze upon beech trees, sycamores and plentiful yews. The Nature Reserve extends to the south all the way to a rocky spur where the evocative ruins of Castelvecchio are located. These important medieval fortresses are naturally defended by the deep and recessed Botro di Castelvecchio and Botro della Libaia, tributaries of the Elsa River. Not only is this a historic location, but its natural wonder will leave you wishing you had several days to spend here. After the walking itinerary, you will be transferred to Volterra for lunch (transfer time: 25 minutes). Lunch will be on your own in one of the plentiful local restaurants in the city center. Find one that appeals to your senses, whether it’s the wafting aroma of a bolognese sauce or the view of a white vernaccia wine on a picturesque terrace. After lunch, you will visit Volterra—also called the city of alabaster, the product which Volterra is famous for worldwide. We will then journey to the Balze, one of the most famous areas of Volterra located just 2 kilometers from the city. The balze, or cliffs, are a famous natural phenomenon that lend to a fascinating yet terrifying landscape. The chasms have formed due to millenia of erosion, as rainwater passed through the weakest layers of the soil and causes frequent landslides.Over time, churches, monasteries, streets, and even an entire necropolis have all been washed away. After the visit, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Dinner will be served at at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at 3-star hotel accommodation.
DAY 4 - Camino to Monteriggioni along the Via Francigena
Walking Distance: 6 km
Length: 2,5 hours
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will be met by our walking guide and together transferred to the starting point (transfer time: 30 minutes) to embark on a 2,5-hour camino to Monteriggioni, along the Via Francigena. During our stroll along the panoramic route of the Via Francigena, we will visit Abbadia a Isola, an enchanted village on the outskirts of Monteriggioni named after its breathtaking 11th-century Benedictine abbey. Our camino then proceeds to Monteriggioni, a charming and delightful 13th century borgo (fortified hamlet) that is literally a Tuscan Wonder. You will enjoy lunch on your own in the city center, where you’ll enjoy views of some of the best-preserved tower walls of Italy. The city’s iconic Renaissance-style architecture denotes the city’s wealthy past, as its noble villas were once home to gentry and wealthy merchants. After lunch, we will visit the small town of Monteriggioni, perusing its historic walls and the Museum Monteriggioni in Arme, which houses faithful reproductions of medieval and Renaissance weapons and armour. Each room is devoted to a specific moment in the history of Monteriggioni, and the items on display for each period are placed in their proper context so you can appreciate its historical value. You can even enjoy the unique experience of handling and trying on some weapons and pieces of armour in experiential portions of the museum! After the visit, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Dinner will be served at at the restaurant of the hotel. Overnight stay at 3- star hotel accommodation.
DAY 5 - End of the services
Breakfast. End of the services. Arrivederci and we hope to see you again!
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