From Aulla to San Miniato
Aulla, can easily be reached by train from La Spezia, Cinqueterre or Milan. At your hotel you wil find all the material you need for your trip: hotel vouchers, the detailed description of the walking and the GPS maps. You will also be told where to go to receive a benediction should you want one before you start on yo way. This week itinerary is very varied as it starts in the Mountains and reaches the sea. Nice villages alng a mid heighth route that offers wonderful views of the coast with the backdrop of the “Apuane Alps”, white with the famous Carrara marble. Two beautiful towns worth visiting: Lucca and San Miniato.
Activity Level: Easy / Moderate | Daily Mileage: 4 – 8 mi | Daily Walking: 2 – 5 hr Duration: 8 Days – 7 Nights
Day 1 – Arrival in Aulla – Cinqueterre extension
Aulla has been completely destroyed by bombing during World War II so most of the town is modern- However do not miss San Caprasio abbey; it is very interesting to see the reconstruction work and the little museum. The priest knows a lot about the Francigena and you can meet other pilgrims
Day 2 – Aulla – Sarzana – Max alt.:590m. Altitude gap: uphill 605m. downhill 660 m Distance : 17km Walking time: 4h30 Type of route: almost entierly unpaved
Leaving Aulla which lays in the shade of the imposing Brunella fortress we walk through the last slopes of the Appennino mountain and will catch the first sight of the sea. The Bibola ruined castleis our first stop, then the ruins of the Brina castle before starting the descent towards Sarzana
Day 3 – Sarzana – Carrara – Max alt.: 450 m. Distance : 24km Walking time:5h30 Type of route: dirt roads or secondary asphalt
First you meet the Sarzanello fortress. You will then walk from fortress to castle, to watch tower with the Apuane Alps in as a backdrop. It is the country of the famous Carrara marble and the mountains are white from its deposits.
Day 4 – Carrara – Camaiore – Max alt: 330 m. Distance: 24km Walking time: 5h30 Type of route: dirt roads or secondary asphalt
A pleasant walk with beautiful views of the coast. Again we remain high on the hills to avoid an overcrowded plain. The route is therefore full of ups and downs. The villages of this area, contrary to the one on the coast are still very well preserved with cobbled streets and small cafes
Day 5 – Camaiore – Lucca – Max alt: 460 m. Distance: 21km+bus Walking time: 5h00 Type of route: dirt roads or secondary asphalt
The main attraction of the day is certainly the arrival point, Lucca which you reach via the Park of the Serchio river. Take a walk on the oval shaped town walls, visit the Duomo not forgetting “il Volto Santo” an impressive, woodden sculpture created by Niccodemus, that arrived in Lucca by miracle on a boat without sailors, as the leggend goes.
Day 6 – Lucca – Altopascio – Max alt: 130 m. Distance: 16km walking time: 4h30 Type of route: almost entiery asphalt
A very pleasant town with a very old hospital. The area used to be very unhealthy because marshy and infested by bandits. Now it is a very densely populated area, not really nice to walk. Suggestion: spend most of the day in Lucca and catch a train! (Only 15 minutes)
Day 7 – Altopascio – Ponte a Cappiano – Fucecchio – San Miniato Alto – Distance :16,8km on dirt roads or secondary asphalt and a strech of original paved route.
There is a short stretch of medieval original pavement. To see along the way : Ponte a Cappiano (bridge built by Cosimo de’ Medici, XVI sec.) – San Miniato Alto. To make it shorter and avoid a not so nice stretch, you can catch a bus.
Day 8 – End of our service.
The sea view from the Carrara hills
Lucca with its perfectly oval walls
“Il volto santo” inside Lucca cathedral
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