Going back to the Middle Ages with the Cammino di San Jacopo - Visit Pistoia
Photo Credit: Veronica San Giorgi
routes / Out of town

Going back to the Middle Ages with the Cammino di San Jacopo

From Pistoia to Serravalle in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims


Home / itinerari / Going back to the Middle Ages with the Cammino di San Jacopo

Out of town
13 km

The Cammino di San Jacopo enables us to discover some of the most interesting Tuscan art cities, following a road which goes back hundreds of years and whose history has got lost in time.


In fact, since the Middle Ages, pilgrims and merchants have travelled along these roads which became particularly famous thanks to the Relic of St. James which arrived in Pistoia from Galicia in 1144.

From that moment on, the town became so prestigious that it was a compulsory stopover for Italian pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and soon came to be called “little Santiago”.

The Cammino di San Jacopo now rediscovered and finally fully appreciated, connects Florence with Leghorn, passing through Prato, Pistoia, Lucca and Pisa, and offering you some unforgettable scenery and vistas.

Stages Itinerary


Cathedral of San Zeno


Cathedral of San Zeno

The splendid Cathedral of San Zeno in the Piazza del Duomo immediately surrounds you in an ancient atmosphere of sincere religious worship. You can admire the marquetry on the Silver Altar and the Relic of Saint James kept inside a valuable Reliquary which is a masterpiece of the goldsmith Lorenzo Ghiberti. Outside the Cathedral, two symbols are very important to pilgrims: the Compass Rose, in which the pilgrim's scallop shell, the badge of the pilgrim, is set, and the cippo jacopeo, the boundary stone of St. James, which shows the distance from Pistoia to Santiago de Compostela.

Museum of the Spedale del Ceppo


Museum of the Spedale del Ceppo

The Spedale del Ceppo, a medieval hospital, is an essential part of the history of pilgrimages: it was founded in the 13th century and is famous for its polychrome, terracotta frieze in the "della Robbia" style which decorates the porch. The former hospital complex houses the Museum of the Spedale del Ceppo.

Parish Church of San Michele a Groppoli


Parish Church of San Michele a Groppoli

Leaving behind Pistoia's walls and following The Way of St. James, you can reach the Parish Church of San Michele at Groppoli, in the middle of olive groves and infinite peace. Dating back to the 12th century, this Romanesque church is dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo and delights us with a lovely facade decorated in the Pisan style, with white and green marble tiles.

Serravalle Pistoiese


Serravalle Pistoiese

Serravalle Pistoiese lies on the border between the Val di Nievole and the Pistoia area. Remains of ancient fortifications which we can still admire today - the Torre del Barbarossa and the Rocca Nuova - bear witness to the considerable importance of this area, as it was where many pilgrims used to pass through and which takes us back to the warmongering times of the Lombards. Nearby was once an impressive building built by the Knights of the Jerusalem Hospital “La Magione”, where pilgrims used to find a warm welcome; nowadays all that is left are the remains of its outside walls.