The Lucca stretch of the Via Francigena comes from the town of Pietrasanta, in the locality of Porta Beltrame and then Camaiore, where you can visit the ancient abbey of San Pietro and, crossing Monte Magno, descend into the valley of the Freddana torrent as far as Valpromaro and then climb up to the village of Piazzano where it joins the road that runs alongside the Contesora torrent. Here is the little church of San Michele Arcangelo (formerly adjacent to a destroyed pilgrim hospital called "Hospitale de Contesora").
Continue towards San Macario in Piano and along the Cerchia stream you enter the village of Ponte San Pietro. Here, before the construction of the bridge, the pilgrim could cross the Serchio river by boat, as evidenced by the name of the village Nave and thus reach the town following the road along the left bank of the river Serchio, partly crossing the present river park, a protected area and a suggestive environment rich in marshy flora and fauna.
Leaving the fluvial park, just after a few hundred meters, the impressive Renaissance wall of Lucca appears in front of you.
Until the medieval period, to reach the Volto Santo in the cathedral, pilgrims entered the city from Porta Santa Maria dei Borghi (still existing) and descended along the ancient Roman cardo (now Via Fillungo). After the construction of the Renaissance wall, and still today, the best access is from Porta San Donato to proceed along the ancient decumanus (now Via San Paolino) and reach Piazza San Michele and the Cathedral of San Martino.
Departure: Pietrasanta, Cathedral
Arrival: Lucca, Piazza San Michele
Total length: 32.2 km
Availability of water: Refreshment points in Camaiore, Monte Magno, Valpromaro, San Macario in Piano.