Leg 5: Pietrasanta to Lucca

Discover the medieval roads of Versilia

In Pietrasanta, this 32.3 km route begins and takes about 7 hours. Immediately after Pietrasanta, you can visit the ancient church of San Giovanni a Valdicastello and continue up and down the hills of Lucca.

After visiting the old town centre of Camaiore and old Badia, climb up to Montemagno and through the valley of Freddana, where you will arrive at Valpromaro. From here, a path through the woods leads to Piazzano and then descends into the valley of the river Contesola. Afetr crossing the river Serchio in Ponte San Pietro, you'll reach Lucca, where you can enter the town from the ancient Porta San Donato.

Good access to water; eateries in Camaiore, Monte Magno, Valpromaro and San Macario in Piano.

Total length
(km): 32.3
Accessibility: on foot or with mountain bike
Time on foot (h. min.): 7.15
Climb in ascent (m): 410
Climb in descent (m): 412
Maximum altitude (m): 213
Difficulty: challenging
Paved roads: 68%
Unpaved roads and driveways: 17%
Mule-tracks and trails: 15%
Cyclability: 93%
How to get to the departure point: La Spezia-Rome railway line, Pietrasanta station

SIGHTS
Pietrasanta - On entering Pietrasanta, you'll see the Civic Hospital, the place formerly occupied by the convent of S. Savior. In the city center you can visit the Duomo (or Collegiate Church of St. Martin) that dates back to the first half of the fourteenth century; then visit the Church of S. Agostino, which is adjacent to the Augustinian monastery of SS. Annunziata, the Baptistery of S. Giacinto and the Church of S. Antonio Abate.

Valdicastello - After Pietrasanta, you'll reach Valdicastello, famous for its ancient church of SS. Giovanni e Felicita, which features decorative elements from the Romanesque period.

Camaiore - The town of Camaiore is located along the ancient route of Via Francigena is mentioned, and was first referred to with the name "Campmaior", a leg that was found along the journey of Sigeric on the Via Francigena. Sigeric probably lodged at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter that dates back from the eighth century and which is now part of the monumental complex of the Badia di Camaiore. The ancient Via Francigena passes through the historic center of Camaiore, offering a variety of lodgings. In particular, at the Church of San Michele, mentioned first in a document dated 1180, the pilgrims could find lodgings in the church's annexe, which today houses the Museum of Sacred Art. An archaeological survey of the area surrounding the church has revealed a large cemetery area from medieval times, in which pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena were also found buried. The archival documents attest to the fact that foreigners who died at the hospital of San Michele were buried "in the church" and "at the church."
 
Montemagno - Here you can see the ancient hospital of San Michele, the remains of a castle from the 11th century. In the nearby village of Pieve a Elici, visitors can stop to admire the church of San Pantaleone and the medieval castle; while nearby in Rotaio, there are archaeological remains and ancient bridges, as well as a castle wall with a triangular layout.


Cover image credit: Emilio Dellepiane