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Photo © Alessandro Ghedina
Photo © Alessandro Ghedina

Hiking trails in Tuscany

Tuscany is a region suitable for hiking and little big adventure

by  Ciclica

Rolling landscapes alternating with rugged panoramas, Tuscany is the land of the Alps and the Apennines, and just stepping outside the towns, a patrimony of nature is waiting to be discovered: hectares and hectares of wild nature, ready to be explored thanks to a dense network of hiking trails that offer memorable experiences.

Mother Nature in Tuscany always puts on the best show of itself, ensuring that the dialogue between man and nature is continuously harmonious; landscapes with perfectly ordered cultivated fields, lush forests, peaks to conquer with breath-taking views, spectacular coasts dotted with promontories that overlook the crystal-clear sea. This variety of landscapes is home to rich biodiversity, an unspoilt nature waiting to be discovered on two feet. The entire territory is sprinkled with hiking itineraries that wind through mountain trails, mule tracks and ancient roads, offering an array of opportunities for a day of trekking, no matter your tastes or skill level.

Hiking on Monte Fiocca
Hiking on Monte Fiocca - Credit: Daniele Paolini

A natural watershed with the neighbouring regions, the Apennines and its sinuous landscape of peaks that reach as high as 2,000 metres a.s.l. is permeated with crisp air and ups and downs that make for proper mountain hiking. From the ski lifts on the Abetone and the Doganaccia, you can head out for incredible high-altitude hiking, while moving downhill just a little, you can explore the Svizzera Pesciatina, walking along the ring route of Monte Battifolle before resting at the thermal baths in Montecatini. The Apennines become “Florentine” once you get to the Mugello, the green lung of a hiking network that’s enviable by all, suitable for all, especially lovers of the peaceful quietude of the forest.

Hiking on the Pania
Hiking on the Pania - Credit: David Bonaventuri
Monte Forato in the Apuan Alps
Monte Forato in the Apuan Alps - Credit: David Bonaventuri

The Casentino is perfect for trekkers who like to take on ridges and forests. The routes can be walked over several days to quench a thirst for adventure, even encountering the age-old beechwoods in the Sasso Fratino nature reserve, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the nearby slopes of Pratomagno, the massif that divides the Casentino from the Upper Valdarno whose summit affords all-round views, nature protects record breaking giants like the Douglas fir that stands 62 metres high in the Vallombrosa forest, the tallest tree in Italy. But if we talk about mountain hiking in Tuscany, it’s impossible not to mention the Apuan Alps, a mountain chain running along the coast with rugged slopes and similar to the Dolomites in appearance. 

If you have a craving for trekking but you prefer the sea to the mountains, the Maremma will fulfil your urge for hiking boots and brackish breezes with hiking routes in the Mediterranean shrub, tall cliffs and trails that lead to the beach

Enjoy the all-round sea views on Elba Island due to the unexpected hikes provided by the GTE (Grande Traversata Elbana), which rises as high as the top of Monte Capanne, boasting unbeatable vistas over the other islands inthe Tuscan Archipelago.

Trekking is equally gratifying for body, eyes and spirit, even more so when the taste buds areadded into the mix. The hills of Siena, from Chianti to the Crete, Valdelsa and Val d’Orcia, combine to conjure up an exciting day of hiking among verdant hills, expanses of oak forestsand centuries-old villages, with tasty locally made snacks and wine along the way. Monte Amiata rises up to the south in the distance of this hilly landscape: try the 30-kilometre trekking route that runs around this ancient volcano.

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