If seeing as many monuments, piazzas and palazzi as possible was once a must for every tourist, travelers now know that to truly get to know a territory, you need to really live it, and the best way to do that is through authentic experiences. The watchword is try in Valdinievole and Empolese Valdelsa, where everyone can choose from among a variety of activities based on their own tastes to discover the essence of this place. Athletes, foodies, nature and relaxation lovers: the land of Leonardo and Pinocchio is perfect for everyone. Here are a few suggestions for what to do so you can return home with a suitcase full of experiences:
Hiking with Leonardo da Vinci
Inventor, painter, architect, Leonardo is the genius known around the world for having been born in Vinci. In reality, his childhood home is in the hamlet of Anchiano, about 3 kilometres from the historic centre: an itinerary called Strada Verde, or “Green Road,” allows visitors to take a pleasant walk from the Leonardo Museum in Vinci to the home where this famous Tuscan was born.
For those who love adrenaline and can’t stay still, Monsummano Termehas just the right thing, the perfect destination for anyone interested in playing a bit of extreme sports. Well-known amongst true enthusiasts, the territory’s cliffs are natural climbing walls that offer spectacular adventures. And if you’re truly looking to get your veins pumping, climb up to Monsummano Alto to take flight with a paraglider and see Valdinievole from another perspective.
If vacation means relaxation, pamper yourself at the hot springs in Montecatini. Tettuccio, Regina, Excelsior and Redi: the choice is vast, the quality consistently excellent and the treatments super varied. In addition to the chance to relax in the thermal waters, skilled experts offer, pleasant massages and mud baths, among other things, so you can return from holiday regenerated and resplendent.
The largest wetland in Italy is right here in Tuscany: the Fucecchio Marsh, 1,800 hectares home to a great variety of plant life and 200 species of birds, including herons, cranes and black storks. Guided excursions organized within the nature reserve include birdwatching for all ages and fun boat trips out on the marsh’s waters.
The hills around the characteristic medieval village near Lucca are dotted with farms and cellars whose barrels are filled with Montecarlo DOC wine. An itinerary that follows the Wine and Oil Trail through this area brings visitors to wineries that are ready to welcome them with their famous products.
In Collodi, an entire park is dedicated to the famous wooden puppet, where children and adults alike who still love fairy tales can immerse themselves in the classic tale, surrounded by sculptures of the main characters and many fun games. A special area is reserved for adventure, with suspended trails designed for children.