The Via Francigena itinerary crosses charming villages and landscapes where it's not difficult to spot the traces left behind by centuries of history. Along with the remains of a distant past, however, the historic communication route also includes numerous works of contemporary art. Some can be found exhibited in museums, others are found under the Tuscan sky, all are waiting to be discovered and admired for their uniqueness.
Works by well-known names in contemporary sculpture are exhibited in the rooms of the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta. Here, the new languages of art find ample space also thanks to the International Park of Contemporary Sculpture, a project running int parallel with the museum that has seen big names bring their works to places in the city. Walking through Pietrasanta, you will see alternating installations in Piazza Duomo, Fernando Botero's Warrior in Piazza Matteotti, and dozens of open air works.
In Fucecchio, at the foot of the centuries-old tower in the Corsini Park, it's possible to admire the statue "Eloisa", by Arturo Carmassi.
Numerous contemporary art projects have come to life in Val d’Elsa, including the well-known Arte all'Arte, Affinity and DOTS - Down On The Streets.
In San Gimignano, contemporary languages are promoted by the Raffaele De Grada Gallery and the Continua Gallery, which has hosted numerous installations by Anish Kapoor and JR. Strolling through the historic centre, you will come across works such as Eliseo Mattiacci's Equilibrio Compresso, Luciano Fabro's Italia all'Asta and Kiki Smith's Yellow Girl. The latter is part of a widespread project: two other sculptures, the Red Girl and the Blue Girl, are exhibited in Colle Val d’Elsa and Poggibonsi respectively.
It's exactly here in Colle Val d’Elsa that you can find numerous open-air installations and urban regeneration projects, while in Poggibonsi, street art features on buildings in the historic centre.
In the territories surrounding the city of Siena and especially in Val d’Orcia, it's possible to attend temporary exhibitions with a contemporary flavour. Forme nel Verde is the San Quirico d’Orcia exhibition that installs modern artworks in the historical places of the area, creating elegant contrasts and always bringing a new look to the landscapes of the past.
In Siena, you can admire Tony Cragg's The Drop, a travertine sculpture preserved among the olive trees of the Orti de 'Tolomei, and exhibitions and displays are hosted throughout the historic centre.
To discover all the places of contemporary art along the Francigena (and beyond), you can download the Guide to Contemporary Tuscany for free.