Via Francigena Tappa 32 San Gimignano - Monteriggioni

Via Francigena Tappa 32 San Gimignano - Monteriggioni

Via Francigena Tappa 32 San Gimignano - Monteriggioni
4.5
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Brun066
By Brun066
Variants of "stage 32": the itinerary of Sigeric and that of Munkathverà
5.0 of 5 bubblesJan 2022
It's well known (or at least, it should be known; it is better to repeat it here!) that the Via Francigena, understood as a recognizable road artifact, never existed. In the early Middle Ages, when the itinerary was formed, it instead designated a series of "road areas" (the term is due to the Italian historian Giuseppe Sergi). The road area can be thought of not as a line, but as a long and quite wide linear region, within which travelers move along variable routes. The routes are variable precisely because, almost not affording stable artefacts, they can "oscillate" within this region, depending on the practicability of the variants from time to time (in turn driven by both physical and political factors). It should also be known that the official (and currently signposted) itinerary chosen by the Council of Europe (1994) for the Francigena follows the path of a single traveler along a single itinerary, one of the few that has left a written trace of the stages of the his voyage: Sigeric Abbot of Canterbury (990AD). So the itinerary doesn't consider travelers who came (for example) from Germany and beyond, from southern France and beyond .... Even within the "road area" of the Francigena between San Miniato and Siena we are able to clearly distinguish routes different from that of Sigeric: including the one (also testified by the recorded stages) of Nikulàs by Munkathverà, carried out by Akureyri, Iceland - his homeland - in Jerusalem between 1151 and 1154, and flowing only between the Aosta Valley and Rome on the "road area" of the Sigeric's Francigena. In correspondence with the "stage 32" Munkathverà follows a path further north-east than the Sigeric's one, passing through "Martinusborg", that is Borgo Marturi, the current Poggibonsi. Thus almost certainly touching what today is the pretty Staggia hamlet (dominated by its castle, which the Florentines have strengthened since 1372, as opposed to the Sienese Monteriggioni). Precisely from Staggia I left (on a cold and mostly cloudy day in January) to reach the Abbadia Isola settlement through minor paths, and from here continue on the official itinerary, up to Monteriggioni. This is also because in the past (perhaps ten years ago) I had already traveled the itinerary from San Gimignano, and I wanted to explore a variant. I got the itinerary from Staggia to Abbadia Isola from a booklet that fortunately I own (Albano Marcarini [1998]. Tuscany. Nine chosen itineraries, on foot and by bicycle. Milan: Leonardo). Others may browse the Wikiloc website under the "Staggia" and "Abbadia Isola" entries. After Staggia, the route encounters, among others, the Verrucola estate and the Romanesque church of the former convent of Sant’Antonio in Bosco. From here, turning left along the provincial road # 5 and then right into "Via del Casone", you finally reach the famous Abbadia Isola settlement, then following the "stage 32" to Monteriggioni. This last leg of stage 32 is remarkable - as well as obviously for Abbadia Isola - above all for the flat stretch, among well-cultivated fields, along the last slopes of Monte Maggio, and then the spectacular climb to the Monteriggioni walls. Overall, the itinerary suggested here, if you can follow the stretch (not signposted) between Staggia and Abbadia Isola, is very satisfying, and we recommend it.

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Brun066
Florence, Italy13,015 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
It's well known (or at least, it should be known; it is better to repeat it here!) that the Via Francigena, understood as a recognizable road artifact, never existed. In the early Middle Ages, when the itinerary was formed, it instead designated a series of "road areas" (the term is due to the Italian historian Giuseppe Sergi). The road area can be thought of not as a line, but as a long and quite wide linear region, within which travelers move along variable routes. The routes are variable precisely because, almost not affording stable artefacts, they can "oscillate" within this region, depending on the practicability of the variants from time to time (in turn driven by both physical and political factors).
It should also be known that the official (and currently signposted) itinerary chosen by the Council of Europe (1994) for the Francigena follows the path of a single traveler along a single itinerary, one of the few that has left a written trace of the stages of the his voyage: Sigeric Abbot of Canterbury (990AD). So the itinerary doesn't consider travelers who came (for example) from Germany and beyond, from southern France and beyond ....
Even within the "road area" of the Francigena between San Miniato and Siena we are able to clearly distinguish routes different from that of Sigeric: including the one (also testified by the recorded stages) of Nikulàs by Munkathverà, carried out by Akureyri, Iceland - his homeland - in Jerusalem between 1151 and 1154, and flowing only between the Aosta Valley and Rome on the "road area" of the Sigeric's Francigena.
In correspondence with the "stage 32" Munkathverà follows a path further north-east than the Sigeric's one, passing through "Martinusborg", that is Borgo Marturi, the current Poggibonsi. Thus almost certainly touching what today is the pretty Staggia hamlet (dominated by its castle, which the Florentines have strengthened since 1372, as opposed to the Sienese Monteriggioni).
Precisely from Staggia I left (on a cold and mostly cloudy day in January) to reach the Abbadia Isola settlement through minor paths, and from here continue on the official itinerary, up to Monteriggioni. This is also because in the past (perhaps ten years ago) I had already traveled the itinerary from San Gimignano, and I wanted to explore a variant.
I got the itinerary from Staggia to Abbadia Isola from a booklet that fortunately I own (Albano Marcarini [1998]. Tuscany. Nine chosen itineraries, on foot and by bicycle. Milan: Leonardo). Others may browse the Wikiloc website under the "Staggia" and "Abbadia Isola" entries.
After Staggia, the route encounters, among others, the Verrucola estate and the Romanesque church of the former convent of Sant’Antonio in Bosco. From here, turning left along the provincial road # 5 and then right into "Via del Casone", you finally reach the famous Abbadia Isola settlement, then following the "stage 32" to Monteriggioni.
This last leg of stage 32 is remarkable - as well as obviously for Abbadia Isola - above all for the flat stretch, among well-cultivated fields, along the last slopes of Monte Maggio, and then the spectacular climb to the Monteriggioni walls.
Overall, the itinerary suggested here, if you can follow the stretch (not signposted) between Staggia and Abbadia Isola, is very satisfying, and we recommend it.
Written January 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SJWilson
Rome, Italy277 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
They say this is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Via Francigena and I can well believe it: our two day walk in high spring was truly exhilarating and we loved almost every minute of it. If, unlike us, you’re young and elastic, you can maybe do the 32 km or so in one day; we preferred to break the journey and stay the night near Quartaia, around the half-way mark, in a great agriturismo which, we found out when we got there, also runs a highly useful shuttle service for walkers – so we could have avoided carrying our full packs for the first part of the hike! (Check out my review of Podere Fonternaccia if you want more details). The whole walk is pretty well-signposted, and is a nice mix of open countryside, woods, little streams and tiny villages. My wife downloaded an app which helped us out on the only occasion we wandered away from the trail, but that was mainly due to my own natural sense of indirection. There are no steep inclines or descents and I guess it’s categorised as “difficult” simply because of its length: I did it with a really creaky pair of old knees and had few problems. The only major defect is a lack of picnic possibilities: it would be so pleasant to have just one table or bench here and there, nothing too fancy, just to relax, eat, and maybe shoot the breeze with other hikers. If you’re feeling a bit overheated, there are two bathing possibilities not long after Quartaia: a lovely pool near an abandoned mill, and, a bit later, another pool that formed part of an Etruscan spa. The path passes right next to both waterholes, so you can’t really miss them. The only mildly depressing patch, if you’re a dog lover, is a stretch of open fields where, on the left, you have some poor mutts caged up by hunters; there was also, when we passed, left to his own devices, a tiny little dog called Pippo on a short running chain – if you perhaps have a spare biscuit and time for a pat! Anyway, definitely one of the loveliest walks we’ve been on!
Written June 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda B
Raleigh, NC2,208 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Friends
Our group only walked a short distance on this walk but it certainly made me want to do much more. The countryside we walked through was lovely and we ended up at the Abbey in Monteriggioni.
Written November 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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