A journey on foot around the Tuscan volcano discovering Monte Amiata, the green heart of Southern Tuscany, presiding over the Val d’Orcia and the Maremma.
Monte Amiata, the holy mountain of the Etruscans, is home to an incredible landscape: at 1000 metres above sea level the beech trees grow in abundance around the peak of the mountain, crowning the cone in emerald green during spring and summer. Further down the mountain the beech trees give way to the chestnuts, the source of food for countless centuries, and which stillprovide their precious gifts to those fond of gastronomyas they didfor the historic medieval “borghi”.
At a lower level still lie the painted hills of the Val D’Orcia and the Maremma: the realm of olive trees and vineyards that are the keynote images of Tuscany all around the world.
Although Tuscany certainly is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations, Monte Amiata, unlike Chianti to the north and the Maremma to the south, still remains off-the-beaten path, in spite of being centrally located.
This extinct volcano, 1,738 metres at its summit, still contains geothermal activity which heats the natural spring baths of little-known but bijoux spas at Bagno Vignoni and Bagni San Filippo, and is a worthwhile discovery for Tuscanyexplorers and Italophiles who are in search of unspoiled nature and hospitable salt-of-the-earth people, alongside genuine traditional cuisine just asNonna used to cook. The perfect place to unwind and pull the plug out of stress!
Day 1 – Arrival Day
Pickup at the airport of Florence, Rome or Pisa. Arrival at the hotel and check-in. It takes about three hours to reach Monte Amiata from the airport. If the group arrives in time we will stop for lunch.
After checking in at the hotel, take your time to recover from the journey and enjoy a welcome cocktail followed by a tour briefing. Then dinner with traditional local dishes and wines from the Monte Amiata region.
Day 2 – The Tuscan’s Volcano, Monte Amiata
- Distance covered: 13km / 8 miles / height gain 750m
After breakfast, we will depart from the hotel and head to Amiata’s summit by minibus.
Once there we will follow a trail in the direction of Santa Fiora. The walk will take you beneath a canopy of beech trees, whose colour varies considerably according to the season. Along the way we will see the old “carbonaie,” where charcoal was produced up until last century.
Arrival in Santa Fiora where we will enjoy lunch and wander around the old medieval centre. We will find ourselves in front of a glass of wonderful wine in a wine bar frequented by locals in their free time, and then transfer back by minibus to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – The Brunello di Montalcino wine trail
- Distance covered: 8km / 4.7 miles / height gain 250m
After Breakfast the minibus will take the group to the Poggio Antico winery. There we will enjoy a guided tour and tasting of Brunello di Montalcino. We will then depart for Montalcino for a sightseeing. Lunch on our own and enjoy some free time to wander around the shops.
After lunch, a guided hiking tour will take us from Montalcino to the 12th Century Sant’Antimo Abbey. Partially constructed of luminous alabaster, the monastery is home to Cistercian monks who sing Gregorian-style chant.
Transfer to the hotel by minibus and dinner.
Day 4 – Siena
After Breakfast, departure will be by minibus to Siena. Known all over the world for its Palio horserace, Siena is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany. Experience a half-day guided tour of the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, then enjoy lunch on your own and free time to wander round the shops.
In the afternoon, return to the hotel and dinner.
Day 5 – The Val d’Orcia
- Distance covered: 12km / 7.1 miles / height gain 520m
The Vald’Orcia, is a region of Tuscany, Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. It is characterised by gentle, cultivated hills occasionally punctuated by streams and rivulets, picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza, Radicofani, Montalcino. It is a landscape which has become famous through its depiction in works of art, from Renaissance art to the modern photograph. In 2004 the Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Today your hiking trail begins from Montepulciano, the medieval town famous for its Tuscan red wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The walk starts at San Biagio and reaches the castle of Monticchiello where we will enjoy lunch and a views across the valley to Pienza, the volcano and the glorious hills that roll up to the foot of Monte Amiata. After lunch we will continue on to Pienza. Take in some leisurely sightseeing of Pienza, and olive oil tasting.
In the afternoon, transfer back by minibus to the hotel and dinner.
Day 6 – The Etruscans’ Trails: Via Cave
- Distance covered: 12km / 7.7 miles / height gain 300m
Today the tour starts from the town of Pitigliano, an Etruscan jewel in the heart of Maremma. It is the oldest Etruscan village, first established around 450 BC, and was home to the ‘Piccola Gerusalemme’ (Little Jerusalem), the ancient jewish quarter. After sightseeing we will follow a path made 2000 years ago called “Vie Cave”. This fascinating network of Etruscan roads were dug into the tuff stone.
After a 12km hike we will reach the town of Sovana, the Etruscan capital of art, culture and beauty. After lunch you will be transferred to the hot springs of San Filippo for a walk along the natural offsprings.
Day 7 – The Tuscan Coast – Porto Ercole
- Distance covered: 9km / 5.6 miles / height gain 300m
After breakfast, departure to Porto Ercole, a charming town situated on the promontory of Monte Argentario, along the Tuscan coast. We will tour on foot to the Spanish fortress called La Fortezza and then to the old town of Porto Ercole. The walk, a string of paths overlooking the sea, meanders through mediterranean scrub and offers amazingpostcard views of the coast and lagoon.
Enjoy lunch in Porto Ercole on your own and sightseeing of the old town. In the afternoon we will depart to a hidden cove nearby to bathe.
Transfer back to the hotel and dinner.
Day 8 – Departure Day
After breakfast, transfer and set down at the airport of Florence, Rome or Pisa
For groups or individuals.
Available all year long