Tuscany for Walkers
Posted by Sonia (15/05/2015)
Tuscany is a welcoming region for all sorts of passions, be it art, fine food, or shopping, there’s something for everyone. Of the many things that Tuscany is known for, walking often gets overlooked despite the beautiful countryside surrounding the cities and famous sites.
If you’re heading to Tuscany, and want to make the most of the outdoors, why not pack your best walking shoes, grab a map, sun hat, and plenty of water and try out some of these incredible walking routes.
The Via Francigena is a medieval pilgrim pathway that begins in Canterbury and ends in Rome, passing through Tuscany on the way. The journey doesn’t get as much interest from religious pilgrims currently with other routes across Europe garnering more attention, but it makes for an interesting walk or trek depending on how far you wish to travel.
Routes in Tuscany include Carmaiore to Lucca (approx. 24km) and Lucca to Porcari (approx. 10km). If considering walking part of the Via Francigena during your holiday, then be prepared to do your research. Unlike other walks and trails, there is no uniformed signage, which can make following the route a little tricky. It is best to purchase a special map book, or downloading GPS directions so avoid getting lost en route.
Vie CaveThese Etruscan routes are excavated roads that link Sovana, Sorano, and Pitigliano and providing a wonderful historical walk. Thought to have been created for religious purposes, the Vie Cave provide a beautiful and unique area of Tuscany to explore. The sites contain a number of information points so that visitors can learn about Etruscan culture and the routes themselves, and offer stunning views of nature.
The Vie Cave are in the province of Grosseto, which is only a 1hr 45min drive from Siena so are an ideal daytrip for anyone staying in Tuscany. You can download a map showing the Vie Cave routes here.
Craft your own City WalkVenturing into Tuscany cities guarantees a certain amount of walking, as many of the sites are best seen on foot. Those wanting to make the most of their visit could plan an inner city walk by choosing points of interest from guidebooks, or researching on Google maps. Pick out three or four points of interest and plan your route to bypass them all and you’ll have created a wonderful cultural walk. We’d recommend planning a bespoke walking tour of Siena or San Gimignano if you’re a confident walker who doesn’t mind a hilly town terrain.
Alternatively, you can book a tour with a local guide to find out about the rich history of Tuscany without having to consult your guidebook.
Stepping outside TuscanyWhile there are plenty of good walks hidden away in Tuscany, you may be tempted to take daytrips to areas outside the region. If you like the idea of a coastal walk, then taking the train to Cinque Terre is worthwhile. The five coastal villages are home to brightly decorated houses and are linked by the Azure Trail. The trail provides some incredible coastal walks, but visitors should be warned that they can be quite a trek on a hot summer’s day.
For a gentle route, walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola, as this is flat and paved, and get the train to the other villages. Take a towel and your swimsuit, as Cinque Terre has some lovely beaches that are great for a mid-walk dip.
A Tuscan villa with a pool can be the ideal relaxing destination after a long day of walking in the warm Italian sun. Take a look at our selection of stunning villas and see whether you can find your haven from a hard day’s walk on the hills.