Walking in Tuscany
43 walks including Val d'Orcia, San Gimignano and the Isle of Elba
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.
SeasonsTuscany'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
CentresFlorence, 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
Difficultymostly easy walking; clear paths (not all waymarked), some with brief, trouble-free climbs/descents
Must Seemedieval 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
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.
Plants and flowers
When to go
Food and wine
What to take
Using this guide
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
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
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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.
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.
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 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.View Articles and Books by Gillian Price