Tuscany is an Italian region famous for its natural beauty and cultural richness. In addition to its famous masterpieces, such as the Duomo of Florence and the Tower of Pisa, the territory also offers a wide range of breathtaking landscapes that can be explored through exciting routes. Here are 8 walks through the wonders of Tuscany to discover it with the slowness it deserves.
Located in the heart of Italy, Tuscany is a land rich in breathtaking landscapes, millennial history and lush nature. For this reason the trip to discover Tuscany can be organized in various ways.
Walking in Tuscany through exciting itineraries remains one of the best ways to discover all the wonders that this region has to offer. A wide variety of hiking trails, fascinating and suitable for everyone, await you. And if they attract nature lovers from every corner of the world, with such an abundance of options, finding the ideal path can seem like an endless maze.
So here are 8 walks through the wonders of Tuscany chosen by us:
- Ring between the cliffs of the Upper Valdarno
In the heart of the Upper Valdarno, a true natural treasure awaits to be discovered: the cliffs. These geological formations of sand, clay and gravel give the Tuscan landscape a unique charm, similar to the Grand Canyon. A circular itinerary allows you to explore this natural spectacle through two paths: the Fossate (composed of thirteen stages) and the Acqua Zolfina (which winds through fourteen stages).
You can continue with the path until you get to Piantravigne to have a privileged position from which to admire the cliffs and then you can reach Castelfranco di Sopra to get lost among its cobbled streets, the facades of ancient buildings and the medieval atmosphere.
- Grande Traversata Elbana
The Grande Traversata Elbana is the main route for trekking lovers who wish to explore the Elba Island, a true jewel of Tuscany. This itinerary crosses the whole island, starting from the villages of the north-eastern part, passing through the reliefs and reaching the coast to the west.
Starting from Cavo and going west, you pass the hinterland and arrive at Monte Perone. Then you arrive at Monte Capanne and more precisely at Passo delle Filicaie or Malpasso, where the route is divided into two branches: one cuts the northern part of Monte Capanne and ends in Patresi while the other leads south and allows you to reach Pomonte.
Despite being very challenging, it is equally beautiful because it is among the hiking trails in Tuscany that combines the beauty of the sea, unspoiled nature and the evidence of the past.
- Anello del Casentino
Within the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Mount Falterona and Campigna located in the Tuscan-ApenninesRomagnolo hides a circular path that can be walked in about three hours that allows you to make one of the most particular excursions in Tuscany through dense forests of beech trees, waterfalls and breathtaking mountain landscapes (and the colors of foliage if you are in autumn).
From Chiusi della Verna you walk towards the Bosco delle Fate (forest of maples and beeches of almost dreamlike beauty) and you reach the Cappellina that marks the entrance to the Sanctuary of La Verna (significant place of Franciscan spirituality).
After the visit to the Sanctuary, it is possible to extend the excursion reaching the top of Monte Penna and then return back passing through the mule track and La Beccia and arriving at the Chapel of the Birds and the village of Chiusi.
- Sentiero dei Pittori
The Path of the Painters is a trekking route in Tuscany that, although easier than the others, offers sweeping views of the natural and historical beauty of the Mugello valley and allows you to visit the most significant places in the life of Cimabue, Giotto and Beato Angelico.
The path connects the center of Vicchio to the birthplace of Giotto, making exploring charming hamlets (such as Pesciola, Pilarciano and Vespignano) and discover the bridge of Ragnaia (alias Ponte di Cimabue).
- Via Francigena in Toscana
The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route that connected Rome and southern Italy with western Europe and also passed through the territories of Tuscany.
The stages that cross this region wind between the mountains of the borderland Lunigiana, the Sienese hills and the hills of Val d’Orcia. Along these routes, you can discover unique natural places, cities rich in art and history as Siena and fabulous villages, such as Monteriggioni and Bagno Vignoni.
The river Elsa is the protagonist of a fascinating itinerary for those who want to explore Tuscany on foot: we are in the medieval village of Colle Val d’Elsa. This walk develops along a river park characterized by panoramic views and natural pools of turquoise colors. You can access the “water path” from Ponte di Spugna, Selvamaggio, ANPIL headquarters, Gore Rotte, Catarelli and Ponte di San Marziale.
Among the attractions not to be missed during this path there is undoubtedly the waterfall of Diborrato with a height of fifteen meters and a tank below about ten meters deep.
- Sentiero Garfagnana
You can discover the Garfagnana, starting from the village Isola Santa, skirting its lake until you get to the village Colle di Favilla.
Stone houses, the remains of the Molino di Mosceta, the dam of the hydroelectric power plant, Belvedere and Colle di Favilla: the wild beauty of Garfagnana and its historical remains offer an unforgettable trekking experience.
- Anello del Rinascimento
The Ring of the Renaissance is an itinerary that connects some of the most significant realities related to the Renaissance period. Everything winds around Florence and the 250 km and the many stages that make it up are also suitable for cycling tourism.
Along the way, picturesque scenery blends with places steeped in history, creating a unique atmosphere. Crossing cities, villages and Tuscan landscapes, visitors can admire the same views that inspired the great Renaissance artists. In addition to Florence, the ring touches Bagno a Ripoli, Calenzano, Campi Bisenzio, Fiesole, Impruneta, Lastra a Signa, Pontassieve, Rignano sull’Arno, Scandicci, Sesto Fiorentino, Signa and Vaglia.
What to taste in Tuscany
The journey to discover the landscapes, art and history of Tuscany can only be complete if you taste the Tuscan cuisine, known for its simplicity, authenticity and the use of typical ingredients.
The Tuscan crostini are slices of toasted Tuscan bread and seasoned with a variety of condiments, such as chicken livers, capers and anchovies. Each bite is a symphony of flavors, with a mix of sweetness, crunchiness and salty notes.
Among the first not to be missed are pici, that is, spaghetti made by hand, thick and rough, which go perfectly with thick and tasty sauces such as meat sauce. They are best expressed in the recipe pici all’aglione.
Ribollita is a thick, hearty and characteristic soup prepared with stale bread, cannellini beans, vegetables such as kale, savoy cabbage and carrots, and seasoned with olive oil. The magic of this dish lies in its simplicity and in the ability to turn humble ingredients into a true delight.
During the summer do not miss to taste panzanella, a salad made with tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and bread alternative to pappa al pomodoro. It is less liquid; it has less tomato; it is cold.
The Florentine steak is one of the most famous and beloved dishes in Tuscany. It is a cut of beef grilled and served rare that stands out for its succulence, its intense flavor and its tender texture.
To end a Tuscan meal in a sweet way, you can not help but try the cantucci and Vin Santo. Cantucci are dry biscuits made from almonds, crunchy and aromatic that are generally soaked