What better way to enjoy Spring season that a trekking tour on the tracks of the pilgrims that in the Middle Ages came to Siena along the Via Francigena?
The specific itinerary that we suggest this time is called “The Way of Grance”, named after the fortified warehouses used for storing foodstuffs of Santa Maria della Scala Hospital.
As you know, Santa Maria della Scala was a place of shelter and care for the sick and the poor, maintaining this activity until 1995, when it was transformed into the museum complex.
From here, in Piazza del Duomo, start the route dedicated to the Grance, we recommend the itinerary to Monteroni d’Arbia because the ground has a fairly level and requires 6 hours of walking.
How to get to Monteroni d’Arbia from Siena
To know more about the activities carried out within the Santa Maria we suggest to see the XV century frescoes that are exposed in the “Pilgrims’ room”.
To begin the route you have to reach Porta Romana, turn left and follow the Strada di Certosa, where you can admire the amazing views of Siena and the Val d’Arbia up to Amiata, and arriving at Renaccio Farm.
Arrived at the Podere Malamerenda, take the dirt road leading to Radi and ,after 2 km, you will arrive at the Podere Belvedere , then turn left and follow the path of Crete No. 502 until you cross the trail no. 500, from the nearby Isola d’Arbia.
This part of the route offers a breathtaking view that will cheer you up by fatigue of the walk.
The route continues towards Ponte a Tressa, then turn right as soon as you see the houses and climb on a vantage point, where there is a solitary plant (querciolo) that is a reference point for the entire route.
From here you can see the Grancia di Cuna, one of the best preserved fortified farms in the province of Siena.
There are guided tours for visiting the Grancia, for more information visit the website www.granciadicuna.it.
From Grancia you must go to Podere S. Claudio, follow the trail no. 500 and walk uphill towards the Podere Belvedere, then bypass the Poggio della Tassinaia and follow the road from Radi.
The last stopover is Monteroni d’Arbia and to shorten the itinerary you can follow the road from Podere S. Claudio and proceed along the flat dirt road surpassing the railway and continuing to the right towards the town.
The old mill of Monteroni d’Arbia now houses a small museum and here ends the thematic tour to discover the grance.
The surroundings of Siena are very surprising for tourists and sunny days are the perfect time to explore the small towns and the trails followed by pilgrims and travelers that here have always found peace, calmness and inspiration.
To know more about Francigena Road, read our post Via Francigena, following Pilgrims.
Credits preview photo: By Sailko [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons