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The most beautiful walking routes in Tuscany: discover the area, step by step

  • 10/06/2021

​Green hills dotted with elegant vineyards and olive groves, historic villages with cobbled streets and turreted profiles surrounded by ancient mountains and beautiful cities of art a stone's throw from majestic forests, not to mention the breathtaking beaches that plunge into a blue and crystalline sea … We are in Tuscany, a region famous not only in Italy - but all over the world - for its incredible and heterogeneous natural heritage. A territory, therefore, that deserves to be explored, also thanks to the numerous trails and panoramic itineraries that can be walked through woods and wheat fields, will lead you to the discovery of castles and estates, waterfalls and other natural wonders, to the delight of all hiking enthusiasts.

From the hills of Siena to the hills of Chianti and Val d'Orcia, from the streets of Florentine art to enchanted places, today we recommend where to walk in Tuscany, leading you along some exciting paths and walks, of low or medium-low difficulty and therefore suitable for everyone. Ready to leave and be enchanted by this region to discover its truest essence?


Where to go trekking and hiking in Tuscany: 4 trails not to be missed

From the most beaten and classic paths to the less known ones but which will leave you speechless for their beauty. Walking in Tuscany means choosing to experience an adventure that combines physical activity, breathtaking landscapes and a unique artistic, architectural and gastronomic richness. A variety of perfect routes both for those who want to go trekking and therefore longer and more demanding trips and for those who want to dedicate themselves to hiking and undertake daily or short-term excursions. Here are four walks to be discovered slowly, step by step, keeping your eyes wide open so as not to miss the treasures you will encounter along the way.


Via Francigena

We cannot fail to start from the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrim path that crosses the entire region from north to south, offering truly unique walks and excursions ideal for those who want to discover where to go trekking in Tuscany. In fact, the region is crossed by 15 stages and, from the Lunigiana mountains, passing through the Sienese hills, up the hills of the Val d'Orcia, you can discover exceptional natural places and cities of art and villages such as Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni or Bagno Vignoni. These are walks within everyone's reach, perfectly marked thanks to the "official" route and dotted with infrastructures dedicated to supplying pilgrims and tavelers and places equipped for rest. Whether you walk it entirely or just for a while, it doesn't matter: any stage of the Via Francigena will lead you to explore some of the most beautiful places in this region, giving you an unforgettable experience


The “SentierElsa"

The Elsa river is the undisputed protagonist of this itinerary in the province of Siena, in Colle Val d'Elsa, a charming medieval town that hides a jewel. A river park, whose interior is a path that leaves you speechless for the beauty of the turquoise and crystalline waters of the river and the views it offers, making it conquer the title for one of the most evocative walks in Tuscany. There are six accesses to the path (Ponte di Spugna, ANPIL headquarters, Catarelli, Selvamaggio, Gore Rotte and Ponte di San Marziale), and it is certainly during the summer that the SentierElsa gives its best thanks to its bathing waters that make it a little paradise. Walking the SentierElsa, round trip, takes about 2 hours, but there are several natural pools where you can dive and areas where you can stop for a picnic, which will certainly extend your stay. One of the most evocative points of the route is the Diborrato waterfall which, with a drop of 15 meters, ends up in a pool of crystalline water about 10 meters deep. This walk is therefore the perfect choice for lovers of hiking and nature walks to do during the day.


The ring between “Balze del Valdarno"

Tuscany offers a unique natural wealth. Not only postcard like landscapes, dotted with vineyards and cypresses but also totally unexpected views, which will be able to transport you to another world. One of the lesser known treasures, not too far from Florence, is constituted by the Balze del Valdarno: these are formation of clay, sand and gravel stratified, with a characteristic reddish color, modeled over the centuries that will take you directly ... to the Wild West! To admire them you can follow a ring that joins two paths - that of the Fossate (931 meters) and that of the Acqua Zolfina (1000 meters) - in a scenic route of 13 stages for the first and 14 for the second, for a total of about 2 km and 170 meters of total altitude gain to cover admiring the surrounding landscape. The difficulty of the route is medium-low and all the trails are marked with the CAI n ° 51. The advice is to continue up to the village of Pietravigne to admire a panorama of the Balze from an elevated position or to go up to Castelfranco di Sopra, among the most beautiful villages in Italy.


Bosco delle Fate and Santuario della Verna

A place with a fairytale name, which does justice to the beauty of this territory. We are located in the province of Arezzo, within the national park of the Casentino Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna, where there is one of the most beautiful routes for trekking in Tuscany, which crosses the Bosco delle Fate. The route is also particularly full of charm because La Verna is one of the hearts of the Franciscan cult and here, a few kilometers from Chiusi della Verna, there is the Franciscan sanctuary of La Verna on Monte Penna, famous for being the place where San Francesco of Assisi would receive the stigmata on 14 September 1224.

It is a ring route of medium-low difficulty lasting about 3 hours, particularly suitable during the autumn season to admire the foliage. You can start right from Chiusi della Verna following the path n ° 50 and deviating to the n° 51, which will take you to a suspended place: the Bosco delle Fate. In the twilight of this millenary forest of maples and beech trees, you cannot help but be enchanted by the unreal silence and the tongues of light that illuminate ancient moss-covered boulders, transforming this walk into a truly unique experience. Continue up to “Cappellina" that will announce the entrance to the Sanctuary, where you can visit the whole complex with its extraordinary wonders, and you cannot miss a visit to the Devil's Balcony, which directly overlooks the Verna cliff. After the visit to the sanctuary, for those who want a breathtaking view of the valley it is possible to go up to the top of Monte Penna thanks to the path n° 51 and then return to the Sanctuary following the path n° 50 towards La Beccia: it is a long mule track which will take you first to the Chapel of the Birds - another place visited by the Saint - and then, in about 15 minutes, to the town of Chiusi.

A tip for a panoramic view? After about a hundred meters from the Chapel of the Birds, take path n° 53 to admire the sanctuary from below and the majesty of the cliff.


Walking in Tuscany: other rais on the road of regional excellence

As we have seen, there is no shortage of hiking trails in Tuscany. In addition to admiring the natural wonders, some of these walks will make you discover and enjoy all the specialties that this region has to offer, such as a very rich food and wine tradition and the possibility of staying in enchanting places a stone's throw from some of the cities of most beautiful art in Italy. Let's find out!


From Fattoria del Cerro in Montepulciano in the middle of the vineyards

Choosing to go trekking or hiking in Tuscany also means not to miss the opportunity to visit the architectural and artistic treasures of the region. For those who want to combine discovery of nature with a walk through historic villages, Acquaviva di Montepulciano is the ideal destination. Here is the Fattoria del Cerro, in a strategic position for visiting Montepulciano and the wonderful surroundings of the Val D'Orcia. In fact, from the splendid Villa Grazianella starts a path of about 11 km - perfect for both walking and mountain biking - that allows you to reach the imposing entrance to Montepulciano thanks to a dirt road - the "Fontellera" - which without haste, he will make you walk surrounded by rows of vineyards and admire the landscape that opens up around you. This walk, suitable for everyone, takes about twenty minutes and can also be covered in reverse to return to the farmhouse, where you can relax by taking a dip in the pool or enjoying a tasting with a visit to the cellar.

In addition to this walk, for those wishing to live a truly unique experience off the beaten track, you can consult this map of trails that will allow you to explore the Tuscan territory in an absolutely new way, with easier and shorter or longer routes. like the one that allows you to visit the three lakes by mountain bike going up in Umbria to get to look out over the waters of the Trasimeno, not too far from Perugia, another jewel to discover.


Walk to explore the Monterufoli-Caselli Natural Park

Not to be missed is the Monterufoli-Caselli Natural Park, a place of high naturalistic value: 4130 hectares of land - which cross the territory of the municipality of Pomarance, in the province of Pisa - of centuries-old woods, suggestive vineyards and even an old mine. of lignite. From the Tenuta di Monterufoli, a historic diamond and an ideal place of well-being at 360° where you can stay, for example the Path S3 of the Ghost Bridges and Poggio Miniera starts, almost 9 km long and can be covered in about 3 hours for medium difficulty, which along the route of the old railway and through streams of crystalline water, will lead you to discover the remains of imposing stone bridges, which appear one after the other in an abandoned and wild landscape, and the deposits of various calcium carbonates and magnesium from ancient mines. Or again, for those looking for a shorter and simpler route, there is the Sentiero delle Sughere S1 which, as the name suggests, will make you walk in the middle of a characteristic cork oak grove, where you can have fun looking for a cork oak with a diameter of over one meter. These are just a few examples: also in this case, there is a map of the trails that can be consulted to discover all the routes to explore this very rich and unique territory.


As you have seen, the possibilities for walking in Tuscany are not lacking, long or short. Whichever path you choose, you can explore the region from another perspective, admiring new landscapes and views that you would never have seen otherwise. Are you ready to put on comfortable shoes and get on the road?

 

 

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