Walking in Tuscany
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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.
- 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
- 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
- mostly easy walking; clear paths (not all waymarked), some with brief, trouble-free climbs/descents
- 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
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
Topographic maps are provided with each route described in this guide. However, commercial maps showing a greater context and landmarks are also important.
Kompass have put out two useful overlapping collections of 1:50,000 maps for Tuscany. The three-map set n.2439 Toscana Nord takes in the Apennines, Alpi Apuane and the Florence area. The four-map set n.2440 Toscana (‘Heart of Tuscany’) covers Chianti, the Val d’Elsa west of Siena, the Crete, Val d’Orcia and the Tyrrhenian coast.
A handful of more detailed 1:25,000 maps are also available: Edizioni Multigraphic (
Dos and don’ts
- Don’t set out late on walks even if they’re short. Always have extra time up your sleeve to allow for detours and wrong turns.
- Tell your accommodation where you’ll be walking, as a safety precaution.
- Find time to get in decent shape before setting out on your holiday, as it will maximise enjoyment. You will appreciate the wonderful scenery better if you’re not tired, and healthy walkers react better in an emergency.
- Don’t be overly ambitious – choose itineraries suited to your capacity. Read the walk description before setting out.
- Stick with your companions and don’t lose sight of them. Remember that the progress of groups matches that of the slowest member.
- Route conditions can change; if you have any doubts about the way to go, don’t hesitate to turn back and retrace your steps rather than risk getting lost. Better safe than sorry.
- Avoid walking in brand new footwear as it may cause blisters; on the contrary, leave those worn-out shoes in the shed as they will be unsafe on slippery terrain. Sandals are totally unsuitable for walking in Tuscany.
- Check local weather forecasts and don’t start out if storms are forecast. Paths can get slippery if wet, and hills and mountainsides are prone to rockfalls.
- Carry weatherproof gear at all times, along with food and plenty of drinking water.
- In electrical storms, don’t shelter under trees or rock overhangs and keep away from metallic fixtures.
- DO NOT rely on your mobile phone as there may not be any signal.
- Carry any rubbish away with you. Even organic waste such as apple cores is best not left lying around as it can upset the diet of animals and birds and spoil things for other visitors.
- Close all stock gates behind you promptly and securely.
- Be considerate when making a toilet stop and don’t leave unsightly paper lying around. Remember that abandoned huts and rock overhangs could serve as life-saving shelter for someone else. It’s a good idea to carry a supply of small plastic doggy bags to deal with paper and tissues.
- Make an effort to learn basic greetings in Italian: buongiorno (good morning), buona sera (good evening), arrivederci (goodbye) and grazie (thank you).
- Lastly, don’t leave your common sense at home.
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Gillian Price was born in England but has lived in Venice for many years. Gillian has steadily explored the mountain ranges of Italy, and Corsica, and brought them to life for visitors in a series of outstanding guides for Cicerone. She is an active member of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) and Mountain Wilderness.View Articles and Books by Gillian Price
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