The Piazza San Michele is fringed by restaurants and cafés so this is a great place to stop for a cappuccino and soak in the atmosphere. Explore the wonderful Piazza Anfiteatro and Lucca’s major art museum, housed in the Villa Guinigi. Be sure to walk some or all of the city walls, which have a broad, tree-lined promenade.
This afternoon make your way along trails via the towns of Capannori and Porcari, both of which have pretty little churches. Your destination for the day is Altopascio which is known as the "town of bread", due to its bread-making traditions. Here you will find the Spedale, an infirmary which was in use during medieval times for pilgrims. There is an interesting church and bell tower in the centre of the town.
As this route tries to remain as true to the original pilgrimage route as possible, you will not only walk on trails and unpaved roads but also on asphalt part of the way. The ‘traditional’ walk is alongside some busy main roads, which is why we give other suggestions (especially near Rome). Please take care when walking along roads and always be mindful of other road users. Pavements or paths should be used if provided and walk on the right-hand side of the road if there is no pavement or path. This way you can see oncoming traffic.
Italy is known to have long, hot summers with July and August being the hottest months. At that time of year, the temperatures can rise into the 30 degree Celsius during the day. Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. It is also advised to wear skin protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen. We recommend you inquire about the day’s forecasted weather before setting out on your walks. A useful website for climate information specific to towns and countries is www.weather2travel.com or www.yr.no
Tips and hints
Please note that the majority of the walk today is along roads. Therefore if you prefer you can spend longer in Lucca and take a 15-minute train ride to Altopascio (payable locally).
Due to the remote location of some of the smaller towns and villages along the way it is possible that some of your overnight hotels will be a few kilometres from the route or in a nearby town or village. If this is the case, you will always receive directions to and from the trail in your route notes. Please be aware that this may result in slightly longer or shorter walking days.
Book recommendations for this region:
This depends on the time of year you are walking; if traveling in the spring or autumn it can be cool in the morning, but it soon heats up in the late morning and afternoon so make sure and bring some layers with you. During the summer months, the area can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms, so waterproofs are also essential in case of heavy showers. In the heat of the day, sun cream is essential and a sunhat is highly recommended. Otherwise normal hiking gear in a ~25-liter rucksack will suit. Either sturdy walking shoes or light hiking boots are suitable.
Other essential items are water, enough food and snacks to last between supply points, blister treatment and first aid kit, insect repellent, biodegradable toilet tissue, and a whistle and torch.