Via Francigena from Aulla to Lucca

Stage 12 of 16


6 days


Popular time


Starting from




23.6 min | 24.9km average | 26.1 max


435 min |505m average | 575 max


4   4.5   5

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 654

Beginning in Aulla, the twelfth section of Via Francigena features magnificent sights such as the Abbey of Peter and the Church of Michael, the Cathedral of St Francis, towers and castles, and an interesting archaeological site at Luni. Your destination, Lucca, is a famous Tuscan city with well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city centre.

Castle of Aulla

Mediaeval and Roman Heritage

All along this trip, you will hike through mediaeval cities with a lot of fascinating stories from across the centuries. Some are tied to the pilgrimage history; the castle of Aulla, for example, was founded to accommodate the pilgrims of the via Francigena. In Lucca, the old town is still surrounded by an old wall that protected it from every invasion. Furthermore, the city retained its Roman legacy while developing its mediaeval infrastructure and on until today, as seen especially with the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro – an ancient site of the Roman amphitheatre.


Challenging Paths but Stunning Tuscan Scenery

On the road to Massa, the trip will be at its most challenging, with rocky paths, loose stones, and huge hills mainstays of the landscape. But despite these obstacles, once you have passed Massa, the flat road between Massa and Camaiore will give you some respite and will help you to regain energy before the third part of this trip. In fact, the scenery of this section is among the most beautiful along this Camino, which will help to revitalise you even more.

massa marittima

Lucca's Culture

Lucca is known as the city of a hundred churches. The most famous church is the Duomo, an impressive structure renowned across Italy and beyond for its architecture and design. You can easily spot the Duomo from afar due to its half-finished bell tower. Birthplace of the famous composer Giacomo Puccini, Lucca also hosts the Lucca Summer Festival each June, which has seen famous guests such as Paul McCartney attend.

Via Francigena from Aulla to Lucca

Starting from € 718



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Included in this package

Bed & Breakfast

Specially Hand-Picked Accommodation

Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack

24/7 Customer Service

Virtual Face-to-Face Pre-Departure Briefing


Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights


Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch






On your first day, take a walk around the town and go see the impressive Fortezza Della Brunella before tomorrow’s walk to Sarzana. The Abbey of San Caprasio is another popular tourist attraction, and one of the city’s oldest and most important buildings.





The first day of walking starts with some easy roads. Later the route becomes a bit more difficult to walk as it is steep with rocky paths and loose stones, and also there are no facilities between Aulla and the town of Ponzano Superiore. Despite these obstacles, once you overcome them, you’ll feel a great level of personal satisfaction. From here, pick one of two routes to Sarzana – take the normal route, which is quite hilly and on gravel tracks, or if there’s bad weather take the slightly easier (but noisier) road route alongside the traffic. Once you enter Sarzana, take time to rest and try to visit the incredible Fortezza di Sarzanello and the Cathedral of Sarzana (Santa Maria di Assunta). A glass of wine would also be on the cards after that day of walking.





Today’s walk is as challenging as the day before, but it is certainly doable. The first part jumps between tarmac roads and grassy tracks, traversing hills and crossing over rivers. From walking near the main roads, you will then need to pick between the old route which is shorter and less challenging, or take a route by the fascinating archaeological site at Luni. Following this and going through Avenza, take the direct and flat route to Massa. Pass by a nice public garden on the walk into Massa. If you have the time, visit the wonderful Cathedral of Saints Peter and Francis from the 15th Century and the Malaspina Castle, which overlooks Massa from a hill.



26.1 km


Going to Camaiore starts off quite easy on flat roads. There is then some difficulty with steep hills, and then levelling off on tarmac roads and bridges. In Pietrasanta, feel free to stop and have some fritti, and wine, to fuel you for the rest of the walk. Passing through Pietrasanta, take the old route which is very easy to follow, going over roads and crossing bridges over rivers. From here, the walk is a little strenuous, with hills and tarmac roads taking over most of the way, but by this stage you are very close to Camaiore. In this city, rest, have a drink and some great food, and visit the amazing Abbey of Peter and the lovely Church of Michael.



23.6 km


On the last day of walking, the path to Lucca is a mix of hill-walking, tarmac roads, grassy tracks, and stony tracks through woods and gravel lanes. It is quite challenging, but don’t worry, this is all very manageable, particularly when you can stop in Montemagno or Valpromano for a small beer or a nice glass of wine. You are now at the end of your journey in Lucca – great work!





After breakfast we bid you farewell. While you’re in Lucca, there are quite a few things to see. If you have the time, visit the main sights: the Romanesque Church of San Michele in Foro, the Piazza Anfiteatro or the museum, Casa di Puccini. But before all of that, trying some local pizza is must-do!

How to Get There

Getting to Aulla, Italy

To begin your Camino, it is easiest to fly into Pisa or Genoa Airport.

Fly into Pisa Airport

Pisa Airport is a major travel hub for Italy, connecting to a number of cities in Ireland, the UK, and across Europe. Ryanair flies into Pisa. From the airport arrivals area you can catch a direct train Pisa Centrale, then change to get to the town of Aulla. This journey will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Fly into Genoa Airport

    Genoa Airport is smaller than Pisa, but still connects to a number of European and international destinations. From the airport, you can take a bus for 15 minutes to the Capolinea bus station. Then, catch a train to Genova Brignole, the city’s main train station. From there, it’s an easy connection to Aulla. The trip will last 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

      Getting home from Aulla, Italy

      It is best to return from Aulla via Pisa Airport or Florence Airport.

      Fly home from Pisa Airport

      You can get from Lucca to Pisa Airport via a transfer in Pisa Centrale. This takes 45 minutes. You can also get a bus from Lucca into the centre of Pisa and then get the train instead.

        Fly home from Florence Airport

        Florence has a smaller airport than Pisa, but still connects to a number of European destinations, as well as cities outside the continent. There is a direct bus from Stazione FS – Piazza Ricasoli in Lucca to Terminal 2 of the airport, which takes 1 hour from door to door.

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