The territory

Enchanting itineraries, with the town of Volterra and the town of San Gimignano in the centre, meander through a splendid area, with traces of castles, palaces, Romanesque churches and medieval villages.

The Agriturismo Vaianino is the ideal destination to stay in Tuscany, nestled in the peace and tranquility of the countryside, but also in contact with an inexhaustible cultural heritage not far from the sea nor far from the most important cities of art in Tuscany: Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo and Pistoia.
Recommended: a visit to the Chianti cellars with a stop in Radda, Castellina and Gaiole all located in the Chianti province, the discovery of the Sword in the Rock kept near the Abbey of San Galgano and the wine and cheese tastings between Montalcino, Montepulciano and Pienza.

15 km - 20 minutes

VOLTERRA

Volterra is a town not yet contaminated from the rapid rhythm of modern life and who reaches the Volterran hillside, 550 metres above sea level, has the immediate impression to find themselves in front of a particular town, where there’s the sensation of living in ancient times, among the tight streets of medieval neighbourhoods, as well as trades that have their roots in the Etruscan past.

In the open air we can admire the Etruscan Walls with its imposing gate Porta All’Arco, the Roman theatre, the Priori Palace, with its square, the Cathedral and its baptistry, the Medici Fortress created on behalf of the desire of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Museums to see are the Etruscan Museum, the Pinacoteca, the Civic Museum and the Alabaster Museum.

The famous installations of contemporary art by Mauro Staccioli in the hills of Volterra are fascinating. Equally interesting is the natural formation of the Balze (cliffs).

Recurring events in Volterra:
  • AstiludioTournament between sbandieratori (flag-throwers): in the Priori Square the first Sunday of September
  • Volterra Teatro Festival: theater festival during the third and fourth week of July
  • Medieval Pageantry Volterra AD 1398: Medieval historical re-enactment in the streets and squares of the city, with the staging of medieval arts and crafts, with performances of storytellers, musicians, actors (third and fourth Sunday of August)

15 km - 20 minutes

SAN GIMIGNANO

San Gimignano is one of the most fascinating medieval towns of Tuscany, surrounded by its walls and located in the Siena province.
Its walls enclose a section of the Via Francigena.
The skyline of the town is characterised from 15 of the 72 tall towers constructed in the 13th century from the richest families of the city. Due to that, it is also known as Medieval Manhattan.
Walking in the centre of the city we can admire the Cistern Square, the Cathedral Square, the Podestà Palace and the Romanesque Collegiate Church.
To taste the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine is an absolute must.

Recurring events in San Gimignano:

 

  • San Gimignano Musica: Classical music concerts at the Theatre of Leggieri from June to October.
  • Ferie delle Messi: Historical event that takes place in the streets and squares of the city, with the setting up of vintage stalls of arts and crafts related to the Middle Ages. Shows of storytellers, musicians, actors, during the third weekend of June.
  • Accade d’Estate: This event is a series of performances and events that take place in the Cathedral Square, the Rocca Park and other places within the historic centre that include: lyrical operas, prose, dances and light, chamber and symphonic music concerts. From June to September.
  • Night of Saint Lorenzo “Calici sotto le stelle”: tasting of wines from San Gimignano (10 August)
  • Volterra - San Gimignano: 30 km national running race valid for "The Tuscan Runner", organised by the municipalities of San Gimignano and Volterra.

15 km - 20 minutes

GAMBASSI TERME

Gambassi Terme was certain, in ancient times, that it was a “land of passage”: for the Etruscans, finding themselves on the route and in Volterra’s domain; for the Romans, in relation to the Roman Clodia Road between Siena and Lucca; and in the high Middle Ages, for travellers in particular for the pilgrims that walked the Via Francigena.  Not to miss: the Church of Saint Mary of Chianni, the park of secular plants and the Spa of the Via Francigena, the only spas in the province of Florence.

Recurring events in Gambassi Terme:
  • Fantasy Fairy Tales Goblins and Fairies: With the Garden of Wonders we want to dream, have fun and marvel at the nature that inspires us, in the fairy world, in the imagination of fantasy. Third weekend of June.
  • Palio of the ‘Contrade’ Districts: that involves the four city districts, Membrino, the Porcello, the Pieve and Belvedere which challenge each other in various ability challenges until the traditional ‘bigonce’ race that closes the competition. During the week of the Palio, shows, parades, concerts and stands feature typical local products. Last week of August.

15 km - 20 minutes

MONTAIONE

Montaione in an ancient fortified medieval village in the province of Florence. To visit: the convent of Gerusalemme di San Vivaldo, a Franciscan hermitage immersed in a forest, consisting of a central body and a series of sixteenth-century chapels scattered in the woods in which episodes of the life of Christ are depicted.
If you love cycling on dirt paths and single trails to discover places that can only be reached on foot or by mountain bike, the territory of Montaione is the perfect gym for every type of biker. Whether you are an experienced biker or an amateur cyclist, a network of over 10 well-marked and differently marked paths in the green of the "Montaione MTB Trail Area" awaits you to give you pure fun and adrenaline.

Recurring events in Montaione:
  • Estate Montaionese event: Music, theatre, exhibitions and sport events occur from June to September.

25 km - 33 minutes

CERTALDO

This is a small town of cultural and historic interest. It is known around the world due to its heritage of Giovanni Boccaccio, who lived and then died in Certaldo on 12 December 1375.
The town’s origins are indubitably Etruscan even if its development starts at the time of the early Middle Ages. The completely medieval part of town is its historic centre, found at the highest point of the town.

Recurring events in Certaldo:
  • Boccaccesca: Market exhibition of Products and Pleasures of Taste takes place in the first and second weekend of October
  • Festival Mercantia: On more than 30 stages, natural or built for the occasion, between squares, alleys, gardens, towers and crypts, over 100 performances will be held every evening from music to theatre, from mime to juggling, passing through the new dramaturgy, the cabaret, puppetry. It takes place on the third week of July.

47 km - 50 minutes

VINCI

The city of Leonardo da Vinci is immersed in the green countryside, among vineyards and olive groves that offer excellent wine and fine oil, Vinci is located on the slopes of Montalbano, an enchanting steep hillside between the provinces of Florence and Pistoia. In this ancient village of medieval origins, in the locality called Anchiano, on April 15, 1452 Leonardo was born and then spent his years of childhood there: the most suggestive places of the city are linked to his universally recognized genius. In short, Vinci and its surroundings offer a territory so rich in history, art and nature that its visit is unforgettable.
Housed inside the Castle of the Guidi Counts, the Leonardian Museum is proposed as one of the largest and most original collections of machines and models by Leonardo inventor, technologist, engineer.

Recurring events in Vinci:
  • Unicorn Festival: An invasion of figures and scenographies to make Borgo di Vinci a fantastic place lost in space and time. Fantasy Events, serial concerts, international guests, cosplay competitions, various performances and refreshment areas. The last weekend in July

47 km - 50 minutes

MONTELUPO FIORENTINO

Montelupo Fiorentino is located a few kilometers from FLORENCE and for its particular history it is a place that embodies many of the typical traits of "Tuscany": the love of art, quality craftsmanship, the entrepreneurial spirit of families, but also suggestive landscapes, a passion for good food and an innate spirit of hospitality.
Artisan activity continues even today in numerous artistic ceramic workshops.

Recurring events in Montelupo Fiorentino:
    • International Festival of Ceramics: during which the history of the place and its traditions is transformed into a series of shows, exhibitions and artistic events.

44 km - 54 minutes

MONTERIGGIONI

A characteristic medieval village, not far from Siena, Monteriggioni stands out in its elevated position, suggestively enclosed from its 13th century walls.
The walls are provided with fourteen quadrangular towers, mentioned even by Dante in his first poem of the Divine Comedy, ‘Inferno.’ The people of Siena at the beginning of the 1300’s built the towers as a way of defence, making rampart walk in the fight against Florence. Within the walls, according to expectations, one breathes an quiet atmosphere from another time.

Recurring events in Monteriggioni:
    • Monteriggioni di torri si corona: Medieval re-enactment that takes place during the first two weekends of July.
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We are on the Via Francigena

LA VIA FRANCIGENA

Take the first step along the route to Rome.
The Via Francigena is for everyone, and is a historic itinerary that from Northern Europe brought to the everlasting city. Walk on this path and follow the footsteps of the pilgrims that has already came down the peninsula before the year 1000. Contemplate memorable landscapes step by step, following the white roads and rows of cypresses, caress the geometries of the cultivated fields with your eyes, observe the wind combing the ripe wheat, the rows full of bunches at the end of summer, the bare and parched land of the Crete Senesi in autumn: every day and season always gives you new emotions, under the clear skies of Tuscany.

Experiences to try following the Sigerico itinerary from Colle del Gran San Bernardo to Rome:
    • Leg 30 – from San Miniato to Gambassi Terme (23,9 km)
    Leg 31 – from Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano  ( 13,4 km )