Heart of Toscana: variant Firenze to Siena direct

Published on:  | Last updated: 9 February 2018

Countryside between Siena and Firenze

Countryside between Siena and Firenze

Along the Via Chiantigiana from Firenze to Siena

If you’ve decided to head direct to Siena instead of San Gimignano and Volterra then instead of turning off after Panzano in Chianti you simply stay on the Via Chiantigiana continuing through Castellina in Chianti and Quercegrosso for a further 30 kilometres. See The heart of Toscana: Firenze – San Gimignano for the description of the tour as far as Panzano.

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Castellina-in-Chianti

Castellina-in-Chianti it is the heartland of the Chianti and one of the original comuni that came together to form the Lega del Chianti (the others were Radda-in-Chianti and Gaiole-in-Chianti). Italy has hundreds of place names that are some variant of castello and castellina to has a splendid rocca comunale (fortress), but the most interesting sight is the Via delle Volte (vaults) a street that runs along the inside of the old city walls which has gradually been built over by citizens seeking to make use of every bit of land within the walls.

Castellina-in-Chianti: Via delle Volte. Picture by ‘Vignaccia76’ from: Wikimedia Commons

Castellina (574m) is the highest point of the route and from here, while it's not exactly downhill all the way it's pretty straight forward: there's a descent down to Quercegrosso 10 kilometres further on. After that there's a small climb and then 10 kilometres of saliscendo (up and down) into Siena.

If you are planning to stay at the campsite you will need to turn off the route before you get to Siena itself. I'd suggest leaving your tent and stuff at the campsite and then head into town. The hostel is also close to the route and before you get to the centro storico.

Siena: Palazzo Pubblico

Siena: Palazzo Pubblico

More information

Places to stay

Hotels and B&Bs

The website bici.terresiena.it has a useful database of hotels in the Siena area and other accommodation such as agriturismi and B&Bs. The places listed in the site offer additional facilities such as secure bike storage and tools.

Find and book places to stay with Booking.com

Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:

 About these links

If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.

I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirmation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.

I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the opportunity to let me know if there’s a problem.

Many properties offer free cancellation but it’s a good idea to check the conditions as these vary from property to property.

Hostels

There's a hostel in Siena (the Ostello di Siena/Ostello Guidoriccio). The Camping Siena Colleverde also offers 'bungalows' which may be an economical option if you are travelling as a group. There are lots of agriturismi in the area but bear in mind that prices will vary a lot and some may be self-catering apartments.

In addition to the campsite and hostel in Siena, there's a hostel in Strove on the Via Francigena. There's more information and pictures here (monteriggioniturismo.it: Sosta di Strove). Note that the hostel gives priority (and reduced prices) to pilgrims with a credential.

Campsites

At Siena there's the very good Camping Siena Colleverde a little way out of town.

There's also another campsite near Monteriggioni, the improbably-named, Camping Luxor. This is on the other side of the motorway but accessed from the Via Cassia between Monteriggioni and Siena. Keep an eye out for the sign the turning is easy to miss.

  Map of campsites along the route:  HoT-campsites-map-show map in overlay    |    HoT-campsites-map-show map in new window   

Transport and services

Transport connections

There’s a train station in Siena.

Resources

There’s a section devoted to Siena on the terresiena.it

Siena Duomo

Siena Duomo

Articles in this series


Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.

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