Walking the Walk Along the Lucca Wall

In Tuscany, landscape and urbanity are so closely interwoven that they create one large tapestry of culture which is governed by consistent aesthetic, economic and historical principles. While the Renaissance town palazzi reflect the pride and the wealth of the landowning families (it is said that Florentine rulers never ate or served anything in their town homes that had not come from their own estates), the landscape – more than anywhere else in

Walking the Walk Along the Lucca Wall

The Celestial City of the Via Francigena

Once the Pilgrim’s Progress has led him to Siena, the Pilgrim may be excused for thinking that it will not get much better than this For nearly a thousand years, the 2 km stretch of the Via Francigena that cuts through the city of Siena has been the highlight of the trail.

Imagine: most of the medieval pilgrims who came here from northern Europe would have been raised in smoke-filled peasant huts that

The Celestial City of the Via Francigena

Walking in the Footsteps of Ancient Pilgrims

The half-stage to Monteriggioni delivers a good lesson in authenticity –and the key to unlocking the treasures of the Via Francigena

If you have neither the time for a full trip down the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome (a journey of 2000 km that features 80 stages and crossings of both the Channel and the Alps) nor for the three-week trek through Tuscany (the trail’s last stretch from Lucca

Walking in the Footsteps of Ancient Pilgrims

New York of the Middle Ages

San Gimignano on the Via Francigena Truly great hiking trails are a mix of four elements, and the Via Francigena – stretching for nearly 2000 km from Canterbury to Rome – has them all.

Firstly and secondly, the Francigena Way features beautiful landscapes and variety: the combination that defines any “good” hiking trail. On top of that, it also offers a historical dimension: as the old pilgrimage trail from northwestern Europe to the

New York of the Middle Ages

The Architecture in Montecatini Terme

Columns and cupolas in search of nervous excitement Montecatini prides itself, with a certain justification, on its reputation as a “city of the arts”.

The Montecatini Contemporary Art Museum is well stocked and the proud owner of a large-scale work by Joan Mirò, and for as long as anybody can remember, artists have always loved the resort: Verdi and all the other greats of the Italian opera came here frequently (sometimes to perform

The Architecture in Montecatini Terme

The Splendours of Montecatini

A walk through one of Europe’s most glamorous spa towns Tuscany is where two of Europe’s foremost cultural routes cross, one an ancient pilgrim’s path to Rome and the other a network of spa towns across the continent.

Such a crossing may be a great starting point, but eventually, you have to decide which way you are going – or, at the very least, which way you will be going

The Splendours of Montecatini