Walking in Tuscany

43 walks including Val d'Orcia, San Gimignano and the Isle of Elba

By Gillian Price

Guidebook to 43 graded, mostly easy walks in Tuscany. Taking in the Renaissance splendour of Florence and Siena, the World Heritage scenery of Val d'Orcia and San Gimignano and the stunning island of Elba, the routes use historical pathways used by traders, pilgrims and armies, and include some brief, trouble-free climbs/descents.

Seasons

Seasons

Tuscany's mild climate makes it suitable all year round: spring and autumn can be divine; summer months are sometimes hot and hazy at low altitude, and that's when the higher altitudes come into their own
Centres

Centres

Florence, Fiesole, Siena, Elba, San Quirico d'Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona, Montalcino, Radda in Chianti, Volterra, San Gimignano, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Abetone, Pitigliano, Chiusi della Verna
Difficulty

Difficulty

mostly easy walking; clear paths (not all waymarked), some with brief, trouble-free climbs/descents
Must See

Must See

medieval hamlets, Medici villas, Renaissance towns, Etruscan remains, unspoilt coastline, nature parks; magnificent forests and monasteries in the Casentino National Park above Arezzo, the wild Alpi Apuane and Apennine ridge, little-known Montalbano and Pratomagno, the hills of Chianti and World Heritage scenery of Val d'Orcia and San Gimignano; superb Tuscan food and memorable wines
ISBN
9781852847128
Availability
Published
Published
11 Jan 2018
Edition
Fourth
Pages
240
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
Weight
270g
  • Overview

    A guidebook to walks in the Italian region of Tuscany. 43 graded routes range from 2.5 to 18km, and take in the Renaissance splendour of Florence and Siena, the World Heritage scenery of Val d'Orcia and San Gimignano and the stunning island of Elba. Alongside detailed route descriptions and clear mapping there is essential practical information on public transport and food and drink, as well as a comprehensive list of accommodation, and a useful Italian–English glossary. The guide is packed with interesting details about the area’s wildlife, landscape, culture and history, making it a perfect companion to getting to know this beautiful region.

    Tuscany is justifiably renowned for its glorious landscapes. Romantic hilltop villages clinging to rolling hills contrast with dense forests, rugged mountains and long, sandy beaches. This is a region that resonates with history - Etruscan remains, Medici villas, Renaissance towns and landscapes that inspired Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dante. Add in the climate and superb food and wine and you have a perfect walking destination.

  • Contents

    Contents
    Introduction
    Exploring Tuscany
    Plants and flowers
    Wildlife
    Getting there
    Local transport
    Information
    When to go
    Accommodation
    Food and wine
    What to take
    Maps
    Emergencies
    Using this guide
    The walks
    1 The environs of Florence
    Walk 1 Fiesole to Settignano
    Walk 2 Around Artimino
    Walk 3 The hills of Vinci
    2 The foothills and high Apennines
    Walk 4 Collodi and Pescia
    Walk 5 Le Piastre to Pontepetri
    Walk 6 Lago Scaffaiolo
    Walk 7 Libro Aperto
    Walk 8 San Pellegrino and Giro del Diavolo
    Walk 9 Monte Prado
    3 Alpi Apuane
    Walk 10 Monte Forato loop
    Walk 11 Monte Croce
    Walk 12 Around Monte Procinto
    4 Pratomagno and the Foreste Casentinesi
    Walk 13 Vallombrosa
    Walk 14 Monte Falco, Monte Falterona, Lago degli Idoli
    Walk 15 Eremo di Camaldoli loop
    Walk 16 Monte Penna
    Walk 17 Cortona
    5 Chianti
    Walk 18 Gaiole and Badia a Coltibuono
    Walk 19 Castellina to Radda in Chianti
    Walk 20 Volpaia loop
    Walk 21 Poggio San Polo
    6 West of Siena
    Walk 22 Sovicille loop
    Walk 23 Monteriggioni circuit
    Walk 24 San Gimignano
    Walk 25 Volterra to Saline di Volterra
    7 The Crete and Val d’Orcia
    Walk 26 Chiusure and San Giovanni d’Asso
    Walk 27 Montalcino to Sant’Antimo
    Walk 28 San Quirico d’Orcia to Pienza
    Walk 29 San Quirico d’Orcia to Bagno Vignoni
    Walk 30 Bagno Vignoni circuit
    Walk 31 Montepulciano loop
    Walk 32 Radicofani
    8 Elba and the Tyrrhenian coast
    Walk 33 The Enfola promontory
    Walk 34 Marciana Marina circuit
    Walk 35 Marciana to Pomonte
    Walk 36 Porto Azzurro
    Walk 37 Baratti and the Populonia headland
    Walk 38 Campiglia Marittima–Suvereto circuit
    9 The Maremma coast and hinterland
    Walk 39 Le Torri loop
    Walk 40 San Rabano circuit
    Walk 41 Feniglia
    Walk 42 Pitigliano to Sovana
    Walk 43 Sorano to San Quirico

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Italian–English glossary
    Appendix C Accommodation
    Appendix D Useful information
    Appendix E Further reading

  • Updates
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    Oct 2018

    Walk 22: when you reach the Romitorio take a look at the building and the nearby Scala Santa then return to the lane and continue E. After approx 500 metres, immediately after a curve R, take the faint path off L to the nearby unsurfaced road you followed earlier. Turn R and back to Villa Cetinale. Walk past the villa and you soon veer L (S) as described in the book, towards Ancaiano.

    Aug 2018

    There's been an increase in cases of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) across Europe, Italy included. Walkers should be aware that they may pick up ticks while walking through grass and woodland up to approx 1500 metres altitude. Not all ticks carry the disease but better safe than sorry. Simple precautions and plenty of useful information is available on the website: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tick-borne-encephalitis. Vaccination is also an option.

  • Reviews
    Very useful for exploring Tuscany

    Very useful for exploring this area as well as Amiata and Maremma.

    Chris by email


    We love this book

    We just purchased your book and love it. Thank you for giving us the gift of your efforts through your book.

    Monty and Karen, by email


    Very useful information for all kinds of travellers

    Although the guidebook is for walkers in Tuscany including Val d'Orcia, San Gimignano and the Island of Elba, it has some very useful information for all kinds of travellers. Walking is one of the best ways to visit both a city and countryside and appreciate a place at one's own pace.

    The book begins by exploring Tuscany with its array of plants and flowers, wildlife, getting there, local transport, information, when is the best time to go, what to take, accommodation, food and wine, maps, emergencies and how to use the guide. The starting point is Florence and surroundings, followed by the foothills and high Apennines visiting Pinocchio's town of Collodi and neighbouring Pescia. Walks continue along the Alpi Apuane, Pratomagno and the Casentinesi Forests down to the Chianti area, west of Siena visiting places such as San Gimignano and Volterra, the Crete and Val d'Orcia to the Tyrrhenian coast and the island of Elba, then back to the mainland to Tuscany's cowboy land, the Maremma.

    Gillian Price is an experienced trekker, not only in Italy but also abroad throughout Asia and the Himalayas. She now lives in Venice and has written a number of Cicerone guidebooks on trekking in different parts of Italy. What better way to appreciate Tuscany, as the author herself describes in the introduction: "Everywhere you look are landscapes like paintings, pristine hill villages and hamlets crafted from stone that seem unchanged since ancient times. Gently rolling hills are clothed with fields of golden wheat dashed scarlet by poppies. Winding lanes lined with pencil-straight cypress trees lead to inviting villas with views to picture-perfect hill towns of medieval and Renaissance splendour... Visiting Tuscany on foot is akin to making a voyage through time".

    Living Italy magazine


    All [walks] were glorious and we really hardly saw a soul... I suspect [Gillian] will be coming on future holidays with us!

    We have just spent a wonderful holiday in Tuscany with your book walking circuit numbers 2, 20, 21, 22 and 30. All were glorious and we really hardly saw a soul.

    Absolutely loved our walks - especially the Scala Santa on the Sovicille loop - you were probably our favourite person on the whole holiday and we have sung your praises ever since! I suspect you will be coming on future holidays with us also - I think you have done an Umbrian guide and Abruzzo also which I’d love to try.

    Anne, by email

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Gillian Price

Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.

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