Culture, Dolce Vita Bloggers, Family Travel, Italy, Monteriggioni

Via Francigena: Walking Down The Pilgrim’s Route

Do you remember studying about the Canterbury Tales in high school? In Tuscany, Italy, you can walk part of that route on the Via Francigena. Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrim’s route that connected Canterbury to Rome and the harbors of Apulia during the medieval period. It is important to note that Via Francigena is not a single route. Actually, it is comprised of several possible roads that changed over time. It is historically significant because it used to be an important trade route in the middle ages.

Walking In Tuscany

I was very excited to find out that my Italian language class will be going on a field trip! Our teacher also happens to lead group walking tours around Siena, so she was a great resource on the place’s history and significance. Passegiare, or walking, has many health benefits for the body, the soul, and the mind.

We walked around the area of Monteriggioni, a town 20.4 km away from Siena, Italy. My class had a great time exploring the area near Abbadia A Isola. Read about our walk down the pilgrim’s route one spring morning in Tuscany, Italy.

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Springtime in Tuscany, Italy: Via Francigena, Monteriggioni

by Bellissimamma

All the photographs featured on this blog post were captured by my super talented friend and classmate, Renukha Selvakumaran. Thank you for sharing your photos, Renukha!

Abbadia A Isola: A Church on an Island

First, we visited a place in Monteriggioni called Abbadia A Isola. It has an abbey that was founded in 1001. During that time, the abbey was surrounded by water, which made it seem like it was resting on an island (hence its name). The Abbey of the Saints Salvatore and Cirino is located in the center of Abbadia A Isola. This church also served as a hospice to weary travelers who needed a place of refuge.

For those interested in visiting the abbey, you can park your car at the main entrance of Abbadia A Isola. Address: SP74, 35, 53035, Abbadia A Isola, Italia

Abbadia A Isola

Walking On A Dirt Road

After visiting the church, we walked down a road. It was a beautiful spring day- though it was slightly cold, the sun was shining brightly that morning. I think it is best to visit Tuscany in the springtime. Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year, and it is lovely to visit Italy during that time.

Our teacher pointed out the color of the soil- “burnt sienna”. It is because the land was rich in iron- which made it very fertile.

Some pretty yellow flowers greeted us on our way. In the background, you can see The Castle of Monteriggioni. The supreme poet Dante Alighieri referred to the turrets as “a ring of giants encircling the Infernal abyss”.

The Castle of Monteriggioni

Here you can find a closer view of The Castle of Monteriggioni, often referred to as the Tuscan Jewel in the heart of Via Francigena. Read about my visit to the Castle of Monteriggioni here.

For those interested in visiting the Castle of Monteriggioni, you can go there by foot or by car. Address: Via I° Maggio, 8-10, 53035 Monteriggioni SI.

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Finally, we explored the forest areas down the path and found some interesting botanical species. I was delighted to see a Star of Bethlehem up close.

After our walking trip, we headed down to Bar Dell’ Orso for lunch. The portions were huge. We really deserved that big lunch after our long walk. Well, I ordered some delicious tagliatelle pasta with red cabbage and cream. Oh, and their coffee was excellent! Also, their tiramisu was the best one I have ever had. Be sure to drop by that restaurant-bar when you are in Monteriggioni.

Do you enjoy taking long walks? Have you recently explored a place that is off the beaten path? Tell me about your experience in the comments! And please share this post on social media.

This post is part of the Dolce Vita Bloggers Linky. This month’s topic is “My Favorite Season in Italy.” Special thanks to our hosts Jasmine of, Kristie of, and Kelly of

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Hannah Carmela is the creator of Bellissimamma. She is a mama with a mission: to uplift, empower, and validate women by sharing her stories of self-love and joyful motherhood.


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  1. Stacey says:

    I would love ther chance to visit here! So beautiful!

    1. Thank you, Stacey!

  2. I am going on a daytrip in bicicletta on part of the Via Francigena next month. I love the history of it! Complimenti to your friend on the photos. Ciao, Cristina

    1. That’s great, Cristina. I hope to meet up with you if we get a chance. Yes, I will let Renukha know. Grazie cara.

  3. I have never been to Europe, and this looks like a lovely place to explore. Sounds like you had a lovely time there, with plenty to see.

  4. GORGEOUS! Oh my. Just… I can’t even. I love taking walks in beautiful places.

  5. Sarah says:

    How beautiful I want to visit so badly.

  6. Giovanna says:

    I love that dirt road, it looks like a beautiful walk. I would love to do more of these old pilgrimage walks around Italy. It’s a great way to learn about the area and feel like a part of history.

  7. Clarice says:

    Wow! This is such a beautiful place. I would love to stay here for a vacation perhaps start writing another book. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thank you for that lovely comment, Clarice.

  8. Your Italian class sounds so fun! What a perfect way to immerse yourself in the language & culture. I took a hike to Monteriggioni with my cousins last summer, and we all loved it! It’s my goal to do more hiking, and I hope to hike more of the Via Francigena in the future! I just love being in nature while getting my exercise. 🙂

  9. It’s so gorgeous! My dream is to one day tour Italy. #GlobalBlogging

  10. Hey Carmela. I’m so sorry I didn’t actually get to host this month or contribute but I’m enjoying reading everyone’s posts all the same! It was just one of those months for me with relatives visiting over Easter and going all over the place with them. You know I’m glad you did a post on this because I’ve always been intrigued by doing this walk. Complimenti to your friend, the photography is beautiful! It’s so cool you’re in an Italian language class, how are you finding it?! I’ve never actually gotten to be in a class IN Italy so I’m always curious how it is! Love, Jasmine.

  11. I just watched a programme about this pilgrimage! I really want to go and take my children when they’re bigger!

    1. Thanks, Kristie!

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