06 Febbraio 2023
To see

Via Francigena: Stage 8: From San Miniato to Gambassi Terme

Interesting places
From San Miniato starts a 23.7 km stop that takes less than 6 hours. After an hour of hiking, take a journey of extraordinary beauty along the rolling ridges of Val d´Elsa, scattered with castles, rocks, hospitals, abbey complexes, originated by the Via Francigena passage.

On Sigerico´s path you will find two Submansiones: the Plateau of Coiano, with its steep stone staircase, and the church of Santa Maria a Chianni, rebuilt in the 12th century. In short you reach Gambassi, with its thermal waters. The stage stop is at the church of Christ the King.

The only points of refreshment and water supply are in Calenzano and a trattoria 500 m from the Pieve di Coiano, towards Castelnuovo d´Elsa (outside of our path).

Total Length (km): 23.7
Walking: Walking on mountain bikes
Walking time (hours.min): 6.00
Altitude rise (m): 406
Downhill slope (m): 231
Maximum quota (m): 305
Difficulty: Challenging
Paved roads: 37%
Dirt roads and carriageways: 62%
Mulkers and trails: 1%
Cycle: 99%
How to get to the starting point: FS Florence-Pisa-Livorno Line, S. Miniato station


San Miniato - For the strategic control exercised on Via Francigena, the San Miniato fortress was inserted by the Svevi emperors up to the eleventh century in their defensive system and was the subject of care and subsequent extensions. The Rocca, completed at the beginning of the 20th century, is the most important bastion of the fortress completed by Frederick II who set up a stable garrison and stayed there several times. From the top of the fortress, today with powerful bobs, you can see the crossroads of Via Francigena with the Roman road that goes from Pisa to Florence. From the Rocca you can also see the archaeological site of San Genesio (located in the municipal area of ​​San Miniato) indicated as a stopover station on the Francigena by numerous travelers during the Middle Ages (as evidenced by the exhibition of excavation finds available at the Torre dello Stipendiari , In via Conti).

Castelfiorentino - A pilgrim who, from the end of 1400 onwards, had found himself on the Via Francigena, would come across near Castelfiorentino in two tabernacles frescoed by Florentine painter Benozzo Gozzoli. Near the piers of Saints Peter and Paul at Coiano, the 21st stage of the Sigerico route between 990 and 994, here is the tabernacle of Our Lady of Cough. Inside, under the watchful eye of Commander Messer Grazia by Francesco, Benozzo Gozzoli painted the Eamesie of the Virgin and the Assumption of Mary to heaven. In front of the ancient Monastery of the Clarisse, still in Castelfiorentino, still a prayer stop at the Tabernacle of Visitation, with a look at the magisterial story of Maria´s Life drawn by Benozzo. Today the two tabernacles have their ideal accommodation in the Museo Benozzo Gozzoli in Castelfiorentino. Another museum not to be missed is the Museo di Santa Verdiana, which in the early 13th century. He traveled to Santiago de Compostela with a group of local women. Among the objects belonging to Santa Verdiana there are two precious finds that the Santa brought from the pilgrimage to Santiago: a "sulfur cross" with decorative motifs to knot of Solomon of Celtic ancestry and a small statue of azabache (giaietto) depicting l ´San Giacomo´s image with a long tunic, a wide hat with the concha (shell) pinned in front and the bordón (stick), supported with his right hand and resting on his shoulder.

Montaione - Montaione is a small medieval village perched on top of a hill, dominating Valdelsa. The center develops around a bell tower and is surrounded by ancient walls. The village is surrounded by vines and olive groves: a varied landscape where there are also numerous wooded areas of oaks, chestnuts and holm oaks. In Montaione you can visit the Civic Museum, where the oldest evidence that the hills of Montaione were inhabited since ancient times is the Etruscan stele of the 6th century BC. Playing a warrior with helmet, spear and shield on a tombstone on which is written the age of the deceased; And the Monastery of Sacro Monte in San Vivaldo, also called Jerusalem, as it reproduces, on a small scale, the sites of the Holy City.

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