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The wonderful area of San Gimignano has rolling hills and is located in the heart of Tuscany, in Val d’Elsa, a strategic position to visit the Provinces of Florence and Siena. Everything invites you to explore: every turn provides visually magnificent views, the countryside seems to come straight out of a painting, and the villages are rich in history.
There are many alternatives to experiencing San Gimignano by car or tourist bus: a horseback ride, either independently or with a guide; a tour with a rented Vespa; a trek along the famous white roads; a stage of the Via Francigena or an excursion practicing Nordic walking to combine the discovery of the territory with a healthy activity.
And to end the day, there is nothing better than swimming in the Podere La Marronaia’s apartments pool.
Trekking along the Via Francigena
Via Francigena, the medieval road on which pilgrims traveled on foot to get to Rome, passes through Tuscany covering a distance of approximately 380 km.
The rediscovery of this trail has been important in recent years, and every season, from spring to autumn, thousands of pilgrims from around the world arrive in San Gimignano on foot and choose a slow holiday.
San Gimignano is a stopping point for one of the most beautiful stretches of the Tuscan Via Francigena, and the agriturismo Podere La Marronaia can be used as a convenient base for your journey.
There are two steps that have San Gimignano as a reference point:
The stage n. 9 from Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano
This simple and interesting trail of 13.4 kilometers can be completed in about 3 hours on foot or in less time on a mountain bike, crossing modest gradients. This stage is devoid of major technical difficulties, is mainly (⅔) made up of dirt roads and paths, crosses the ridges of the Val d’Elsa, and is characterized by castles and abbeys. Along the way, you can visit the Sanctuary of Pancole, the hamlet of Collemucioli (with a stretch of the medieval cobblestones), and the rural church of Cellole. The sight of the old town of San Gimignano, which suddenly appears to the eye, evokes an emotion that will remain etched in the memories of the pedestrian.
The stage n. 10 from San Gimignano to Monteriggioni
The most evocative stage of the Tuscan Via Francigena begins from San Gimignano. This 29.8 km route can be covered in about 7 hours and requires a bit of training and endurance, but will reward walkers with the views and unique atmosphere that it provides. It takes place almost entirely on dirt, makes for a nice journey, and is ideal for mountain biking. The undulating path passes through the valley of the Foci and reaches the rural church of Santa Maria in Coneo, the Romanesque church of San Martino di Strove, and the Abbadia a Isola complex. Monteriggioni, with its impressive intact medieval walls, is a breathtaking destination.
Other routes to be taken on foot, by bike, and on horseback
If you do not feel like dedicating a whole day to a stage of the Via Francigena, the territory of San Gimignano offers a network of roads and trails in excellent condition for walking or practising Nordic walking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. The Natural Reserve of Castelvecchio in Val d’Elsa is an area where nature remains untouched. A map of marked trails is available at the Tourist Office of San Gimignano.
In the village you will find bike and Nordic walking equipment rental points for adults and children, and stables that organize horseback riding tours with experienced guides.