The historic Via Francigena crosses the entire region of Tuscany: from the highest area of Versilia to the region’s border with Lazio.
Among the most beautiful legs of the journey is the Lucchesia: a land rich in history and archaeological sites sure to pique the interest of all travelers.
The first section starts in Avenza and ends in Pietrasanta, the “little Athens” of Italy. Here, the walk is surrounded by hills that face the Apuan Alps on one side and the sea on the other. The cities that you’ll encounter on the walk include Massa, which maintains a medieval atmosphere even today; Montignoso, an enchanting village dominated by the mighty Castello Aghinolfi; and Pietrasanta, a land of artists and artisans coming from all over the world.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, the pilgrimage continues to Lucca. After passing through Romanesque churches and abbeys of Camaiore (of Roman origin), you’ll arrive at the famous walled city. Here, before continuing the journey to Altopascio, visits to Piazza Anfiteatro, Lucca’s Duomo and the Torre Guinigi are a must.
After seeing Capannori and Porcari, dotted with fortifications, castles and medieval towers—places that seem outside of time—you’ll arrive at Altopascio, which is known as a “city of bread” since it has managed to maintain the ancient cereal-growing tradition passed down through the centuries.