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Day 1: Arrival in Tuscany
Day 2: Pienza and Montepulciano with pecorino cheese and wine tasting
Today we start in the small town of Montichiello, in the middle of the beautiful Val d’Orcia. Hiking through this amazing landscape we reach Pienza. The history of Pienza is closely interwoven with Pope Pius II., who chose this small medieval village as his papal residence. The town is particularly well known for its “pecorino cheese”. At a local farmhouse we learn all about this delicacy and enjoy a late lunch, tasting several traditional local products. In the afternoon, we take the coach to Montepulciano and enjoy a tasting of the famous Vino Nobile together with several other red wines, accompanied by typical local specialties. Salute!
Hiking time: about 2 hours
Difference in altitude: 170m
Day 3: The secrets of Siena
Our route sees us making our way around Siena, a wonderful medieval walled town famous for its Palio horse races, where we explore ancient watercourses and fountains.
Our route takes us through narrow cobbled streets to discover the many hidden lanes and squares of this beautiful city and find a complex system of pipework throughout the city, as Siena did not have access to natural sources of water in the past. Our tour begins with a visit to the Branda brick fountain which took on its present form, so typical of Siena, in 1248, before viewing the famous seashell shaped Piazza del Campo, Siena’s main square with the Fonte Gaia monumental fountain Walking time duration: about 3 hours in Siena
Height difference: 250m
Degree of difficulty: easy
Day 4: Lake Trasimeno and tasty experience at a local farmhouse
We start our trip on the hills surrounding Lake Trasimeno and take in an excellent view of Val di Chiana and the lake. For lunch we enjoy a break at the farmhouse of Flavio, who tells us all about the local traditions and his passions: his land and the “Fagiolina” bean which grows only in the proximities of Lake Trasimeno. We can admire the freedom of his DOP pigs, a breed that according to strict regulations guarantees the quality of the final product that you later get to taste: the Cinta Senese. After the visit we will taste some of Flavio’s products produce (different various kinds of salumi and other specialities of the house) accompanied by local wines.
In the afternoon time at leisure in Passignano and chance to take a boat trip to Isola Maggiore.
Hiking time: about 3 hours
Difference in altitude: 200m
Level: easy to medium
Day 5: The Abbey of Sant’Antimo and Montalcino
We reach the surrounding of the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and start our hike with stunning views of the entire Orcia Valley and Monte Amiata until we reach the Abbey. This track allows us a beautiful overall view of this impressive building, probably Tuscany’s prettiest Romanesque country church, which dates back to the 12th Century. After a brief visit we go on to Montalcino by coach, where we have the opportunity to sample one of the region’s most highly regarded wines, the Brunello.
Walking time duration: about 3 hours
Height difference: 300m
Degree of difficulty: easy to middle
Day 6: Discover Tuscia: Lake Bolsena, amazing Civita and wine tasting
We travel today into Latium, and the area of Tuscia. Departing from the village of Lubriano we hike in the ‘‘Calanchi“ Valley with its curious eroded gullies until we reach Italy’s Jewel on the Hill, Civita di Bagnoregio. Enjoy a walking tour through the so-called, erosion-threatened ‘‘ Dying City‘‘ which teeters atop a pinnacle, rising high above the vast canyon below. Around midday, we continue on to Bolsena, where we discover the town, which gives its name to the lake. We see the Basilica of St Christina, scene of the Corpus Christi miracle. Free time for lunch, before a short walk along the old Via Francigena, the route taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the 10th century on his journey to and from Rome. Our final stop today is in Montefiascone, situated on the highest of the Volsini hills with a wonderful view down onto Lake Bolsena. This town is renowned for its white wine, EST! EST! EST!, which we sample in a local wine cellar.
Effective hiking time: 3 hours in total
Vertical height difference: approx 200 m
Degree of difficulty: easy
Day 7: Departure
1 x lunch with pecorino cheese near Pienza
1 x wine tasting in Montepulciano
1 x typical lunch at a farmhouse
1 x wine tasting in Montalcino
1 x wine tasting in Montefiascone
1 x 3-hour walking tour in Siena
4 x English-speaking hiking tour guides
1 Pair of ACTIVO hiking poles