Via Lauretana in Tuscany

The Via Lauretana is an ancient Etruscan-Roman route and in the Middle Ages became an important pilgrimage route linked to the Marian cult of the Madonna of Loreto. In fact, the complete route connects Siena to the Holy House of Loreto in the Marche region.
The Via Lauretana in Tuscany winds its way for about 114 km through the lunar landscapes of the Crete Senesi and the drainage canals of the fertile Valdichiana to join the medieval centre of Siena and the Etruscan treasures of Cortona.

The route from Siena branches off from the Via Francigena, passing through the territories of Asciano, Rapolano Terme, Sinalunga, Torrita di Siena, Montepulciano to reach the castle of Valiano and finally Cortona.
Then it continues in Umbria to reach the Holy House of Loreto, in the Marche region. Hence the name 'Via Lauretana'.

The Via Lauretana has been an incredible road, populated by artists, merchants and pilgrims, who have travelled it for centuries, transporting goods, conveying ideas, stopping at the various churches, chapels and Marian shrines dotting the entire route.

The route, most of it unpaved, develops among cultivated hills and lush woods, touching on picturesque medieval villages rich in history and age-old traditions, with marvellous views that have made this part of Tuscany famous throughout the world.

The Via Lauretana Toscana winds through some of the region's most iconic landscapes, the result of the careful work of man, who over the centuries has modified the surrounding environment to suit his needs. These views have been made famous both by the work of Renaissance artists, such as Duccio da Buoninsegna, and by films by great contemporary directors, such as Mario Monicelli and Ridley Scott.

Below we propose a subdivision of the route into five convenient stages, but the walker is free to modulate it according to his or her own strengths, level of training and even the desire to slow down in order to get to know better the area. It is therefore possible to walk the Via Lauretana Toscana by dividing the route into several stages, or even to walk just one stage to admire the enchanting landscape of the Tuscan hills.

1. Siena ➔ Vescona 19,7 km
2. Vescona ➔ Serre di Rapolano 23,1 km
3. Serre di Rapolano ➔ Sinalunga 19,3 km
4. Sinalunga ➔ Valiano 28 km
5. Valiano ➔ Cortona 24,5 km

The best months to walk the Via Lauretana Toscana are in spring, from April to June, and in autumn, September and October, but it can actually be walked all year round.

The Via Lauretana Toscana is entirely signposted and can be walked without difficulty from Siena to Cortona and conversely.

Photo / Comune di Sinalunga