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Hiking and biking in the mountains

Explore the retreats, caves and parks

If you’re looking for a slice of paradise, somewhere you can escape from the stress and business of daily life and devote yourself to sports, culture and fantastic food, then Tuscany’s mountains are the place for you.

If you love outdoorsy activities, head off down one of the many hiking circuits, where, following the marked tracks, you can admire some breath-taking views and unique scenery. If you love cycling or horseriding, there’s certainly no shortage of things for you to do.

Hiking in the Apennines – The Grande Traversata Appenninica is the dream of every mountain lover. Covering approximately 400 km, invented by the Italian Alpine Club, the route takes you along old mule tracks, encountering medieval hamlets, green meadows and age-old forests. You can walk it all in six days, setting off from Abetone and finishing at Passo della Cisa. Enjoy the lakes, well-equipped shelters and the charm of places that have remained unchanged over time.

On horseback around Monte Amiata – You can still gallop at the foot of a dormant volcano, which is which full of heat and energy, by taking off along the Monte Amiata horse trails. Ring A in particular is 30-km long, perfect in the summer as it’s fully shaded and at high altitude. On the way you’ll cross the Monte Penna and Pigelleto nature reserves, which are interesting in terms of their nature and geological singularities, as well as Siele, a mining village in the Amiata Mining national park: here you can visit the hamlet of Abbadia Salvatore, one of the loveliest places locally.

By bike along the Lunigiana tracks - medieval charm and pristine nature are the ingredients for those who opt for a cycling route among the castles and Romanesque churches of the Via Francigena, in the Lunigiana area or along the road of the Holy Face, where you can follow in the footsteps of age-old pilgrimages.

From the sea to the Apuan Alps – among quarries and old customs, this is the stretch from the beaches of the Apuan Riviera of Massa Marittima as far as the incredible Carrara marble quarries. Not only history but also the visit of one of the world’s most famous marble reserves, which gave rise to great works of art, like Michelangelo’s David.

The caves of the Apuan Alps – Among the Tuscan beauty on high, the Apuan Alps cannot be missed, mountains born from the sea, whose very bowels are home to striking calcareous caves: including the Grotta del Vento and the Antrio del Corchia. This complex geological history formed curious-looking mountains like Monte Forato: at dawn, the circle of the sun blends perfectly with its shape, a sight absolutely worth seeing.

The retreats of the Casentinesi forests – One of the largest wooded areas in Europe, midway between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, you’ll find the Casentinesi forests, a corner of mystical paradise among nature, history, religion and architecture. Some of the local gems include the Sanctuary of La Verna, the monastery of Camaldoli and natural showstoppers like the Acquacheta waterfall and the Lago degli Idoli lake.