Wonderful Tuscany, the SloWays Way

05 Jul 2024

We are surely biased, since we’re talking about our home: our office is in Florence, and Tuscany is our backyard, a place that continues to amaze us even after decades of living here. But we are also justified, as this region is known for its beauty worldwide. This week, we want to introduce you to a lesser-known side of this stunning region. We invite you to discover it through an active holiday, exploring hidden gems by walking or cycling. 

Walking through Tuscany is the best way to truly discover it, far removed from the usual eat-and-go tourism. Strolling along its paths and gravel roads, reaching its art cities on foot, and sleeping in hamlets nestled among hills and cypresses reveal the region's true essence. It’s a way to uncover the hidden treasures this beloved land still has to offer to those who take the time to listen and explore. 

It merges the intangible heritage of Tuscany—its gastronomy, welcoming spirit, and popular traditions—with its tangible beauty, from art cities to iconic hills. It also allows you to discover lesser-known sides of Tuscany, along the trails and in the heart of enchanting territories that even many Italians are unaware of.  

Our catalog offers a great variety of trails and itineraries. From well-known routes like the Via degli Dei and Via Francigena, the Camino to Rome, to lesser-known but equally surprising paths such as the Via Lauretana from Siena to Cortona or Hiking the Chianti hills, there’s something for everyone. 

Cammini and Pilgrim Routes 

The Via Francigena is undoubtedly the best-known Camino. This pilgrimage routes enters Tuscany through the Apennines Pass of Cisa, which pilgrims cross before immersing themselves in Lunigiana, a northern area of Tuscany. Here, they encounter the mysterious Pontremoli and its fascinating Statue Stele. The route then continues through coastal Versilia and Lucca, leading into the heart of the Tuscan Via Francigena.

From the walls of Lucca to the Contrade districts of Siena, through the towers of San Gimignano and the castle of Monteriggioni, to the lunar landscape of Val d’Orcia and the hilltop hamlet of Radicofani, which watches over pilgrims for much of the Tuscan journey. 

The Via degli Dei, another very popular path, connects Bologna to Florence through mountains named after gods, in the Mugello region. This fascinating pilgrimage takes you through the forests of the Apennines, past military cemeteries deep in the woods, and offers stunning views from Fiesole,  overlooking the Renaissance city of Florence. 

If you have plenty of energy, from Florence you can continue along the St. Francis Way through Stia and Val di Sieve until you reach the La Verna Sanctuary, nestled in the magical forests of Casentino. From there, you can continue along the St. Francis Way towards Umbria or take the Via Romea Germanica to Castiglion del Lago, passing through the fascinating Subbiano, medieval Arezzo, and beautiful Cortona. 

For those looking to explore lesser-known routes, there are plenty of options. One such route is the Cammino di San Jacopo (Way of Saint James), the official Italian section of the Cammino di Santiago, which passes through Pistoia, where the remains of Saint James are preserved. On the way, you'll pass through lively, multicultural Prato, where we highly recommend visiting the Pecci Center for Contemporary Art.  

Another option is the Via Lauretana, a camino that immerses you in the pure beauty of the Tuscan countryside. This route takes you from Siena to Cortona, passing through Rapolano and the Crete Senesi. Along the way, you'll be surrounded by scenery that is famous worldwide: softly rolling hills in warm colors dotted with farmhouses and rows of cypresses, hamlets nestled between terracotta-colored paths and the bright blue sky, and landscapes filled with fig trees and vineyards. 

And then there’s the Etruscan Way, from Buonconvento to Chiusi, a journey that follows the traces of these mysterious peoples, immersing you in the most iconic Tuscan beauty. Along this route, you'll experience the stunning Crete of Val d’Orcia, the ideal city of Pienza, the wineries of Montepulciano, the Etruscan Museum in Sarteano, and the underground city of Chiusi. 

A heaven for cyclists 

Are you a cycling enthusiast? No problem—cycling in Tuscany is a fantastic idea. For example, you can start in Pisa and head to Florence, passing through Lucca with its bike-friendly walls and Vinci, the city of Leonardo. 

You can also opt for a ride along the Southern Tuscan Coast, a cycling holiday starting from the azure waters of Castiglione della Pescaia and to Castagneto Carducci: this wonderful itinerary alternates coastal views with a serene and gently undulating scenery of hills and vineyards. 

Elba Island, from Coasts to Summits 

Craving the sea? Then we suggest heading to Elba for a walking holiday that explores its wildest beauty. Elba's allure lies in the mix of water and earth that makes it so fascinating; while well known for its charming beaches, the island's most natural, untamed parts – the earthly component - are often overlooked.

Our itineraries take you along the coast and through myrtle-scented paths, past lighthouses and forts, and through stories of fishermen and shepherds. This journey reveals an island far removed from the typical tourist experience of those who come only to bask in the sun. 

A holiday in Tuscany, your way 

Planning an active holiday with a few days of exploration is really easy. Tuscany is well connected with public transportation, and we’ll be more than happy to personalize your trip. We can include extra days to better explore the most interesting cities along your route or plan a tailor-made trip that includes everything you want to see and experience during your Tuscan holiday. 

More Inspiration: 


Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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