Tuscany for hikers and good food lovers.
1°st day – Montecatini and its SPA
Arrival at the hotel in Montecatini Terme. Room accommodation and walk through the spa town dating back to the second half of the 18th century, whose water springs are among the most appreciated throughout the entire Europe. The town is reknown for its park and the unique Liberty style buildings: you will have the chance to visit the town hall, decorated by the painter and potter Galileo Chini, who is also well known to the public because he was the art director of the great musician Giacomo Puccini. Afterwards tour of the Tettuccio Spa, the flagship of Montecatini Terme, where it is possible to find the unique works of art by Basilio Cascella. Finally you will treat yourself to a cocktail in the historical cafè that will give you the chance to feel the atmosphere of other times.
2nd day – The hills of the Valdinievole area
Meeting with the trekking guide. Short transfer by minivan from the hotel towards Borgo a Buggiano and departure walk. It is a path that connects the historical medieval villages of Buggiano, Colle and Massa to wonderful views over the landscape of Valdinievole, walking along unique mule tracks, forest trails and roads, paved and secondary roads and trails, through olive trees and oak tree woods. Afterwards you will have the chance to discover the old local traditions, the old mills of the Cessana Stream and local food. Stop at an olive oil mill and tasting of cold cuts, own produced olive oil, and local wine. In the afternoon unguided tour of the town of Pescia.
Pescia was established as a mighty castle but it soon had to come to terms with the much bigger city of Florence, that in 1339 subjugated it and won over Lucca. Since that time, the town was part of the Tuscan Grand Dukedom. In the town center you may visit the Gothic church of Saint Francis, the church that dates back to the year 1000 of Saint Stefano and Nicolao, the oratory of Madonna di Piè della Piazza (designed by Buggianino), the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, together with the town theater Giovanni Pacini and the old buildings Cardini and Cecchi. After the tour, stop at a reknown ice cream shop for a wonderful ice cream.
Return to Montecatini Terme by minivan.
Difference in altitude: +350, -250
Distance: about 10 km
Time duration: 4 hours (at walking pace)
3rd day – Pinocchio and the fairy tale route.
Meeting with the trekking guide. Short transfer by minivan from the Hotel towards Collodi and departure walk. The tour starts from Collodi, birthplace of the author of Pinocchio, where you can find the homonimous park and the magnificent Villa Garzoni. Before the tour starts, visit of the Park dedicated to the puppet master known all over the world. Then tour of the hills surrounding Lucca until the small village of Montecarlo, another renowned area for the production of both white and red wine. You will have the chance to walk through the woods, the olive trees and the vineyards, and you will end up before the huge 600 year-old oak tree so called “Quercia delle Streghe” (the oak tree of the witches), one of the most enchanting trees in Italy, where Pinocchio was hung by his killers. The witches used to dance on the branches of this tree during their Sabbath in former times. Then well deserved stop for a tasty brunch at a wine cellar for a wine tasting. In the afternoon departure for Lucca by minivan and unguided tour of the renowned city of art where you will have the possibility to see the old city walls almost entirely preserved and fully walkable (about 5 km), together with the birthplace of the great music composer Giacomo Puccini. Return to Montecatini by minivan.
Difference in altitudes + 250, -250
Distance: about 10 km
Time duration: 4 hours (at walking pace)
4th Giorno – Leonardo’s Hillside
Meeting with the trekking guide. Short transfer by minivan to Cerreto Guidi where the tour starts. This is an itinerary on foot through the unique hills of Leonardo and the Chianti Montalbano. After a short tour of the Medici Villa in Cerreto Guidi, you will experience a walk at a slow pace through unforgettable vineyards, olive trees and unique Tuscan views, just as Leonardo used to represent in his paintings. Arrival in Vinci, and lunch at a local farm house. After lunch, tour of the town, museum and Leonardo’s home. Return to the hotel after a well deserved stop in Montecatini Terme as to taste the so called Cialda, the most renowned local specialty, tour of the lab and finally ice cream tasting.
Difference in altitudes: +150, -200
Distance: 12km circa
Duration time: 4 hours
Parture: Cerreto Guidi
5th day – Montecatini Alto and the surrounding
Meeting with the trekking guide and departure on foot. This is a ring route around Montecatini Terme. You take the so called “funicular” (an old train, built in 1898 in order to connect the hilltop to the spa area) and you reach Montecatini Alto, the historical center of the town. Unique and enchanting small medieval hamlet with narrow streets and picturesque corners, this is exactly where the walk begins. After walking along the most wonderful alleys of the hamlet, you may reach Vico and then Poggio alla Guardia, where it is possible to have a wonderful view over the Valdinievole area and the Pistoia area. If you keep walking through olive trees and magnificent residential villas, you eventually get back to Montecatini Alto where you can stop for a brunch with local and genuine cold cuts and cheese in a restaurant in the small square. After the well deserved stop, return to Montecatini Terme on foot. In the afternoon departure by train to Pistoia, a renowned city of art which is popular for its old organs and the frieze by Della Robbia, a unique masterpiece by Giovanni della Robbia and Santi Buglioni. Pistoia is also famous throughout Europe for the production of ornamental plants which are exported worldwide, and for its culinary specialties. Unguided tour of the city. In the city center you can visit an old sweet shop that has been producing dragees and chocolate for almost 100 years, as well as the laboratory. You will b also given the chance to taste the products. After the stop, tour of the unique Piazza della Sala, a square that is located right in the city center, where many shops of past times are situated. The entire area is a pedestrian area that gives you the chance to taste local and cold cuts, cheese, first fruits and Tuscan truffle without rushing. You will be surrounded by unique and unforgettable flavors. Return to Montecatini by train.
Difference in altitude: +200, -450
Distance: 12 km ca.
Duration time: 4 ½ ore
Departure : Montecatini Terme
Arrival: Montecatini Terme
Back to the place of origin.
RATES vary according to the number of participant:
€.745,00 per person (minimum 6 participants)
€.700,00per person (minimum 10 participants)
€.685,00 per person (minimum 15 participants).
€. 75,00 single room supplement
The rate includes:
- Stay at a 3 star hotel in Montecatini Terme and half board
- Trekking guide for every programmed excursion
- Transfer by minivan during the excursions (day n. 2,3,4)
- Train round trip ticket to Pistoia
- Admission ticket to Tettuccio Spa and cocktail in the historical cafè
- Afternoon break with olive oil tasting at a mill
- Ice cream in Pescia
- Admission to Pinocchio Park
- Brunch in a wine cellar with wine tasting in Montecarlo
- Lunch in a farm house in the area of Vinci
- Admission to Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
- Visit of the laboratory of Montecatini’s Cialde and tasting
- Round trip ticket to Montecatini Alto by funicular
- Brunch with local cold cuts and cheese in a restaurant in Montecatini Alto
- Chocolate and dragee tasting in Pistoia
The rate doesn’t include:
- The city tax that has to be paid locally at the hotel
- The transfer from and to the place of origin (if requested we may organize transfers from and to Pisa and Florence Airports)
- Anything has not been included in the above list of what is included