8 days

Colours of Tuscany

Colours of Tuscany

UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval Siena

Tuscan towns and villages

Trip rating
  • Mouth watering feasts, undulating landscapes, rustic villas and a network of scenic trails – Tuscany is the walking adventure you’ve been dreaming of.

    Why we love it

    • Mouth watering feasts, undulating landscapes, rustic villas and a network of scenic trails – Tuscany is the walking adventure you’ve been dreaming of.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Florence

    • Your trip starts today with your arrival in Florence, the cultural capital of Italy and the gem in Tuscany’s crown.
    • No activities are planned so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the hotel that is centrally located (details are in your travel documents).
    • Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving/ departing by train where possible within Europe due to this method of transport’s minimal carbon emissions.
    • In the evening you will meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions at a welcome meeting (this is usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place on a notice, located near the reception of our hotel), where your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead on the tour.
    • There is so much to see and do in Florence so if this is your first time to the city we strongly recommend booking some extra nights' accommodation before the tour to make the most of your time here.
    Hotel La Fortezza/Hotel River or similar

    Day 2 - Florence

    • By local bus you will travel to the stunning small town of Fiesole, beautifully set in the hills above Florence and boasting many Roman and medieval monuments.
    • You will have some free time here for sightseeing, before setting off for our amazing walk, the so-called ‘Renaissance Ring’ – Anello del Rinascimento, a great excursion for getting to know the surroundings of Florence, fascinating for their landscape and nature as well as for the art and history they contain.
    • There has been a strong unbroken tie over the centuries between the city of Florence and the surrounding countryside, which is something you can feel to this day by walking through the nature of the countryside and encountering the many examples of its art and history.
    • Walking through the hills, in the woods, by the ploughed fields, you will cross some of the most stunning landscapes. You will encounter everything from monasteries, castles, and hospices, to welcome pilgrims, ancient walled communities, and country churches.
    • You will also witness sections of paved road that date back to Roman or Medieval times, and magnificent views of the city centre, whose focal point is the dome of the cathedral, the masterpiece of Filippo Brunelleschi, which so defines Florence.
    • You will return to Florence in the late afternoon.
    Hotel La Fortezza/Hotel River or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Florence - Siena - Volterra

    • This morning you will travel by private minibus to Siena and have time to discover the best of this most celebrated medieval city. Its heart, in every sense, is the famed ‘Piazza del Campo’, a grand fan-shaped piazza built on the site of the old Roman forum.
    • Bordering the southern flank of the square is the 14th-century Palazzo Pubblico, with some fine early Renaissance frescoes.
    • Also of interest is the main church, the Duomo, a wonderful mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, with a particularly splendid façade.
    • A short walk with your guide will unveil the most interesting monuments, and then you will have some some free time to explore.
    • You will be picked up by a bus and driven to the ancient town of Volterra next, situated high on a plateau with sweeping views of the valleys below.
    • After settling in to our rooms we take a short walk into town, past the Etruscan walls and Roman theatre. (4 hours).
    Allbergo Etruria or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - Volterra

    • Today you will walk to the west, partly through the forest, partly through open countryside, enjoying spectacular views of the soft rolling Tuscan hills down to Saline.
    • You’ll pass alongside the famous ‘calanchi’ of Volterra, eroded hills with spectacular shapes.
    • Along the way you will enjoy a nice picnic lunch, whilst contemplating the quiet Tuscan countryside.
    • In the afternoon, you will arrive at the charming medieval village of Montecatini. Here you’ll stroll around the medieval alleys, walk around the town walls with wonderful views over the whole area. You will also have the option to visit the interesting Mineral & Mining Museum of the Val di Cecina area, and perhaps even go down into a copper mine.
    • After a nice rest on a terrace with a drink you will take the local bus back to Volterra. In the evening there is a myriad of restaurants to choose from. (Total walking distance: approximately 12km. Total walking time: around 4.5 hours.)
    Allbergo Etruria or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Volterra - Monte Volltraio

    • Today you will walk towards Monte Voltraio, a sandstone hill once dominated by a castle known as the Rocca di Monte Voltraio.
    • At the foot of the hill stands the beautiful abandoned medieval building of the Casale Rocca. You will pass through a pleasant landscape, meet with farmers, still cultivating their land like in ancient times and pass the small 13th Century church of San Lorenzo.
    • The goal of your walk is the Villa Palagione. It is an ancient country residence, built in 1598 by Geronimo Minucci, cupbearer of the Medici at the peak of Florentine power and culture.
    • In a setting, that has seen four centuries of history, the villa still offers frescoed halls, a Gentility chapel, and an Italian garden full of flowers and perfumes.
    • Here you will stop for a short break, and then for those who are interested, there is an optional climb up to the ruins of the castle on the top of Mt Voltraio, which offers superb views over the Tuscan countryside.
    • You will then enjoy a picnic lunch at a picturesque spot from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of Volterra.
    • In the afternoon you will make your way back to Volterra on foot. Here you will have the chance to relax in the gardens of Villa Palagione and dive into its panoramic swimming pool (and then travel back by bus) so pack your swimsuit!
    • In the evening you will all join together for dinner in a local restaurant (cost not included). (Total walking distance: approximately 8/16 kilometres. Total walking time: 3-6 hours.)
    Allbergo Etruria or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 6 - Volterra - Colle Val d'Elsa - San Gimignano

    • Today you will farewell Volterra and travel to the medieval town of Colle Val d’Elsa, perhaps not as famous as other Tuscan towns, but absolutely fascinating.
    • The beginning of this walk takes you through the historical centre of Colle Val D’Elsa, with time for sightseeing and a drink.
    • You will then descend into the valley and pick up one of the supposed routes of the ancient Via Francigena, a pilgrim’s route dating back to the early Middle Ages.
    • After walking through a pleasant hilly landscape of vineyards and forests you will reach the small hamlet of Bibbiano.
    • Another descent takes you into the valley of the river Foci, where an ancient water mill still stands.
    • A comfortable track leads through woods and fields before taking you to one of Tuscany’s most beautiful agriturismo’s, and your home for the last two nights of the trip.
    • An optional longer walk is available, but you will have to make sure you arrive in time to enjoy the agriturismo’s fabulous setting, its surroundings, and perhaps its library or swimming pool.
    • Dinner in the private restaurant of the agriturismo is included tonight.
    • Total walking time 4 hours.
    Torraccia Di Chiusi or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - San Gimignano and surrounds

    • After breakfast you will begin your walk to San Gimignano, directly from your agriturismo. As you leave your base behind you, you will make your way up along the ridge to the small hamlets of Ciuciano and San Donato, passing by several old ‘pievi’ (countryside churches) and villas and often with wonderful views of the skyline of San Gimignano.
    • This town - sometimes referred to as having the only “skyscrapers” in Tuscany – is an absolute must, a wonderful medieval city with picturesque vineyards and olive and cypress groves on either side.
    • You will have the afternoon to explore this romantic old town with towers that remain from medieval times. The town once had 52 of these towers (today there are less than a dozen).
    • Wealthy, prominent families would use the height of these towers to distinguish themselves, and the towers also served to alert the inhabitants of approaching friends and foes.
    • You will approach the town from the west side, and before entering through one of the main gates, you will take a nice stroll along its impressive medieval town walls.
    • In the town itself there are numerous places to enjoy lunch, and of course you will take your time to explore.
    • Towards the end of the afternoon, you will follow Via Francigena back to the agriturismo. En route, you will stop at the convent of Monte Oliveto, located on a wide ridge, before winding down towards a beautifully located winery.
    • You will enjoy a break here and may even enjoy a relaxed drink before heading on to the agriturismo.
    • (Total walking distance: approximately 14 km, plus around 2 km in San Gimignano. Total walking time: around 5 hours + sightseeing.)
    Torraccia Di Chiusi or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - End Poggibonsi

    • This morning you will transfer from San Gimiginano to the Poggibonsi train station and will arrive at approximately 10am. From here there are many onward bus and train connections to Siena and Florence.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
    • City tour of Siena; San Gimignano; Convent of Monte Oliveto, Colle Val d’Elsa; Volterra’s Etruscan walls; medieval village of Montecatini; and Villa Palagione.
    • Guided walks including: through the countryside near San Gimignano, to the town of Colle Val d’Elsa via Villa Il Convento and hamlet of Bibbiano
    • Guided walks including: along an ancient Etruscan road near Volterra, passing Prato d’Era, Etruscan Acropolis and the Roman theatre; and towards Monte Voltraio.
    • 2 nights ‘Feature Stay’ in an agriturismo overlooking San Gimignano, enjoying home cooked meals.
    • Free time to explore Siena, San Gimignano, Colle Val d’Elsa and Volterra.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Departure taxes
    • Visa fees
    • Insurance (compulsory on all trips)
    • Meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary)
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • City/tourist tax in San Gimignano
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Colours of Tuscany

    Ulrike - Shoreham, VIC, 02 Oct, 2011
    4
    Overall Rating

    From a totally selfish perspective, I found the constant adjustment of the routes and terrains to allow for those less prepared for the nature of the trek was annoying and a little unfair. I realise how difficult it is to ensure that those undertaking the trek understand what is involved. However I signed up for a particular level of activity and was disappointed that it had to be modified for those less able.or willing.  We were still able to complete most of the specified walks and all credit to Chiara for her adaptability and sensitivity.

    Colours of Tuscany

    Ulrike - Shoreham, VIC, 02 Oct, 2011
    4
    Overall Rating

    Most memorable part of the trip - the walks to Montecatini, San Gimignano and the wonderful concert we were lucky enough to hear in Volterra. The hilltop villages are so atmospheric and filled with stories.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PEFT
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Florence
End City: Poggibonsi

What to know

You'll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some up-and-down, and on varied terrain, from well-defined paths to rocky trails.

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