A look at the highlights of a walking a trip in Tuscany including the best destinations, food and wine.
Tuscany is a ramblers dream; undulating countryside, majestic forestry, delightful hill top towns and more often than not- great weather. Fine wine, traditional Tuscan cuisine, city culture and history are all highlights of a Tuscan walking holiday.
Depending on where you base yourself, there are a number of places to stay which offer the perfect starting point for a number of walks. Although some walkers prefer to keep moving, travelling through the region as they go. Tuscany’s capital city, Florence, is a perfect base as the city itself offers no end of fabulous walks as does the surrounding countryside which includes the Mugello Hills. Florence is frequently referred to as one of the most beautiful and cultural places on earth and is also bursting with history. Other city highlights include Bologna, Siena and Pisa.
Hill Top Towns and National Parks
More popular walking routes include the hill top towns. These include Volterra, where you can discover the fascinating history of the Etruscans. The hills themselves are the Chianti Hills so you can be sure to sample some of the region’s most famous tipple.
The region is brimming with national parks offering a range of forests, mountains, lakes and even islands. The national park of the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna includes both mountainous areas as well as one of Europe’s oldest forests. For both these reasons, it’s a popular place for walking holidays.
Food and Wine
Good food and fine wine is almost a mantra in Italy. It’s what you find in every establishment from tiny rural trattorias to central city restaurants and even snack stands. Italians have a passion for cooking like nowhere else on earth. Even walking through the countryside, away from the tourism and money of the cities, you can expect to encounter rustic Tuscan fare which has been cooked with a blend of love, knowledge and tradition. Whilst the old Italian favourites such as pizza and pasta are delicious in Tuscany, it’s worth discovering regional Tuscan foods. Highlights of Tuscan cuisine include Antipasti Toscano, a mixed plate of local meats and cheeses. Popular meat options include steak, hare and boar, whilst beans feature heavily in vegetable dishes. The truffles and olive oil of the region are famous world over, so be sure to sample plenty of these, or even pick some up to take home.
The most famous wine in the area is Chianti as already mentioned but the region is also famous for producing the white wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Tuscany is well known for its delicious desert wine in the form of Vin Santo, which goes perfectly with another Tuscan treat- Cantuccini. Whilst it’s hard not to sample wine at every stop, it is wise to avoid it during the day as the last thing you need on a walk is to be dehydrated. Even in the evening it’s smart to stay within safe levels, this will improve your enjoyment of the following day.
A walking holiday in Tuscany will take you on a journey of beauty, history, fine wines and culture. You won’t be able to do it all in one trip, so your first Tuscany walking holiday will undoubtedly be the first of many.