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Colle di Val d'Elsa stop?

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
As a superannuated (ahem!) hiker I am a little intimidated by the lengthy and said-to-be-demanding Tuscany segment from San Gimignano to Monteriggioni. It looks like Colle di Val d'Elsa would be a good intermediate point to stop, but it is not clear whether that town is on the route or close enough to make it a practical diversion. Can any veterans help me out here?
 

Joe.Iozzi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino del Norte,
I walked from San Gimignano to Abbadia a Isola (slightly over 27 km) in May of 2018. Abbadia is a two or three km before Momteriggloni. That left 24.5 km to Siena the following day. I'm in by 70s and I didn't find that section of the walk particularly difficult. If you do walk to Colle di Val you will spend more time walking on roads rather than on county paths.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I have walked the Via Francigena twice and have walked both ways from San Gimignano and, although there is some road walking going via Colle de Val d'Elsa, I far prefer this route. It makes a good coffee stop, because there is nothing else until Strove if you bypass it this town, and the old town is wonderful and worth a visit to it. As the old section is quite high up, there is a most fascinating lift at the end of the town that takes you down to the bottom - I have never seen anything like it. You can then either stop at Strove (there is a country inn and a coffee shop) or Abbadia a Isola. Apart from a steep climb up to Monteriggioni, the whole day is easy walking. It is really a matter of personal choice. I am also in my 70s.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '13, Via de la Plata '14, Portuguese '16, Via Francigena - Italy '18, Madrid Combo'20
Colle Val d'Esta is slightly off route , but in the right direction. The diversion is very clearly marked and, from memory, is slightly shorter than the official route. It is a very good option for breaking the journey. I stayed in the monastery there and had a room with ensuite all to myself. A very beautiful walk.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
I walked via colle this year but partly along the old (now unmarked) VF which took some lovely paths. however, best to stick to the markings if you have not done a thorough research in advance.
colle was a pretty old town and I was sad I was too early to visit. the monastery ostello is at the start and looked good. there is also a youth hostel at the other end in the lower town. and a basic ostello in the parrochia in san marziale about an hour after colle.
to avoid the road walk out of colle, there is a beautiful river path which does lengthen the route by 1.5km but if you are staying in colle, that should not be a problem.
I walked from san gimignano to abbadia via the river path and it took me about 6h.
do no limit yourself to monteriggioni, abbadia has two nice ostellos. monteriggioni is very popular and it's imperative to reserve a few days in advance. I was also told it's pretty cramped and can get stuffy hot in summer. perhaps plan it so that you get your morning coffee there? not before 9am, probably.
have you seen the accommodation list in the resources?
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Thanks to all...some good info here, as always on this forum. It looks like Colle is now on the itinerary. I probably should have mentioned this in my previous post but I was surprised on a day visit to San Gimignano recently (as a side trip from Florence, not walking) that I did not see a single VF camino marking while walking around the center of town, although a large map posted just outside the wall clearly showed the camino route going past the Gran Torre and main piazza. Compared to the Spanish camino routes I have taken this absence of markings surprised me greatly. If this is typical, what do you all recommend for guidance? Getting lost in Tuscany is hardly a bitter fate -- getting one's bearings over a bottle of Montepulciano sounds nice -- but time constraints kind of indicate sticking to the path.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
As a superannuated (ahem!) hiker I am a little intimidated by the lengthy and said-to-be-demanding Tuscany segment from San Gimignano to Monteriggioni. It looks like Colle di Val d'Elsa would be a good intermediate point to stop, but it is not clear whether that town is on the route or close enough to make it a practical diversion. Can any veterans help me out here?
It is a signed variant to Colle di Val d'Elsa, and then back again onto the main route. It's a beautiful variant and a fabulous town (food!) to stop in.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '13, Via de la Plata '14, Portuguese '16, Via Francigena - Italy '18, Madrid Combo'20
Use the app and download the maps to use offline. I found it was excellent to keep me on track. Mel
 

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