Via degli Dei a view from Fiesole in Florence
Via degli Dei a view from Fiesole in Florence

Via degli Dei, Bologna to Florence

Level
3
Distance
107 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 759
CO2 footprint
140 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Hiking Tours
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW330

An ancient Roman military road connects Bologna to Firenze, running through an incredible landscape where history and nature merge in a six-day walking tale. Have you heard of the Via degli Dei, the Road of the Gods? Now you can walk it in a guided group, with each step telling you its one thousand legends. 

We start in Bologna and arrive in Florence along the ancient “Flaminia militare” Roman road, the traces of which are still to be found under our feet; along the way we will encounter mountains named after Roman Gods, Roman amphitheaters, military cemeteries enshrined within the woods, and fossils of prehistoric shells embedded in the rock.

Our journey takes us from Piazza Maggiore in Bologna to Piazza della Signoria in Florence, the cradle of Renaissance, the much-coveted destination of the trip, where, after emerging from the beauty of Nature, we will admire the mastery of the human hand.

Highlights

  • Discover the fossil shells set into the rocks of Mount Adone
  • Surprise yourselves walking along an ancient Roman paved road in the heart of the Apennines forest
  • Visit the military cemetery of La Futa where more than 30,000 German soldiers are buried
  • Listen to the macabre legends about the burned tavern, ancient inn and crossroads of communication roads
  • Admire the dome of Brunelleschi and Giotto’s tower on the horizon from the Monastero dei Sette Santi of Mount Senario, one day’s walk from Florence

Itinerary

Day 1

Bologna

Bologna

Individual arrival in Bologna, a city with many attractions: you will be able to walk across the 7 chapels of the Santo Stefano Basilica, admire the city from the Torre degli Asinelli ("the Donkeys' Tower"), and of course taste some tagliatelle al ragù. Do not miss a view of the illuminated Piazza Maggiore or the Piazza Grande, the subject of a famous song by Lucio Dalla, a bolognese songwriter who used to live a few meters away.

Day 2

From Bologna to Sasso Marconi, 20 km

From Bologna to Sasso Marconi, 20 km

From Piazza Maggiore, the heart of the city, you walk to the Portico di San Luca, built in 1674: this is the longest covered street in the world, 4 km dominated by 666 arches, which extends all the way to the Basilica of San Luca.

You walk across Parco Tolon where the Casalecchio lock-gate has been managing the flow of the Reno River into the city of Bologna for 800 years. You reach your accommodation in Sasso Marconi, named in honour of the Nobel Prize winning scientist Guglielmo Marconi who was born here.

Distance: 20 km

Elevation gain: +522/-504 m

Day 3

From Badolo to Monzuno, 16 km

From Badolo to Monzuno, 16 km

After breakfast you take a short transfer to Badolo, from where you start walking towards Monzuno.

The star of today’s walk is the Contrafforte Pliocenico, a rocky bastion that rose from the shallow sea during the Pliocene age (2-4 million years ago) – the proofs of which are to be found in the fossils of ancient shells still embedded in the local rocks.

Along the route you encounter sandy trails that climb to the edge of the abyss along the spectacular path that assends to the top of Mount Adone, with its characteristic stone towers.

Your destination is Monzuno, where we recommend you visit ’s charcuterie shop, the temple of local food and wine thanks to its meat protected by Slow Food. 

Distance: 16 km

Elevation gain: +696/-497 m

Day 4

From Monzuno to Bruscoli, 19 km

From Monzuno to Bruscoli, 19 km

This section is especially beautiful as you walk through immense green fields and chestnut woods. At your feet are Roman paving stones of the “Flaminia Militare”, the Roman road that used to link Bologna to Arezzo; you will see  traces of the Roman passage still visible on the stones to Pian di Balestra, where you find ourselves at the border between Emilia and Tuscany. 

Today's destination is Bruscoli, where you spend the night in a charming Agriturismo in the hills. 

Distance: 19 km

Elevation gain: +971/-575 m

Day 5

From Bruscoli to San Piero a Sieve, 21/28 km

From Bruscoli to San Piero a Sieve, 21/28 km

We continue to the Passo della Futa, the biggest German cemetery in Italy, where more than 30.000 German soldiers were laid to rest. A place built for the war, now immersed in silence and peace. 

You then descend the Futa Pass. Monte Gazzaro, with its white cross, is the highest peak that we reach today; from here you will admire the breathtaking view of the Firenzuola valley and Mugello.

A wide down-hill path leads you to Sant’Agata, with its museums dedicated to both sacred and peasant art. At this point you will begin to notice the scenery changing around you, a more typical Tuscan landscape.

At San Piero to Sieve you can treat yourself to the robust local cuisine of Mugello, and enjoy the typical Ramerino bread (a Tuscan Rosemary bread).

Optional transfer: form Sant'Agata take the bus to San Piero a Sieve to shorten the itinerary

Distance: 21/28 km

Elevation gain: +676/-1465 m

Day 6

From San Piero a Sieve to Olmo, 20 km

From San Piero a Sieve to Olmo, 20 km

After leaving San Piero you continue towards the Castello del Trebbio, one of the residences of the Medici family, now private. This spot offers exceptional views that extend over the Mugello valley and Lake Bilancino.

The route continues through large olive groves, continuously climbing to finally reach the Montesenario Monastery, which dominates the mountain with the same name - the view from here, encompassing the entire Mugello Valley, is the "gift from the gods" for your efforts!

Distance: 20 km

Elevation gain: +1019/-803 m

Day 7

From Olmo to Fiesole/Florence, 10,5 km

From Olmo to Fiesole/Florence, 10,5 km

You are now on the outskirts of Florence, the end of your journey is at hand and there is much excitement! Today’s walk is shorter and we begin by heading towards Fiesole, where you pass through Vetta le Croci, a place where 200,000 barbarians (killed during the battle of Montereggi, 405 A.D.) are said to be buried.

From there you continue descending towards Fiesole, a terraced Etruscan town overlooking the city of Florence. Here you can visit the well preserved Roman amphitheatre, climb to reach the San Francesco Church and admire the view of Florence, before heading to the Reinassance city for your last triumphal steps. 

Florence doesn't need presentation - but you can decide how to enjoy it: after visiting the must-sees such as the Cathedral and the Uffizi, look for the Florence out of the beaten path. Enjoy a walk in the Oltrarno area, through narrow streets filled with artisanal workshops and little restaurants, and enjoy your last dinner in a rustic trattoria. 

Distance: 10,5 km

Elevation gain: +381/-529 m

Day 8

Depart from Florence

Depart from Florence

Last day included. Tour ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


This is one of our travellers' favorite trips: it's the right choice for you if you'd like to visit Bologna and Florence but also hike through woods, forests and mountains, along the ancient Flaminia road. The hotels are comfortable, but very simple. We do not recomment this trip to beginners, as the unstable ground and continuous ups and downs are quite challenging. 

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in hotels and B&B with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • Transfer from Sasso Marconi to Badolo
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary in digital form, app
  • Pilgrim Credential
  • medical-luggage insurance
  • Telephone support 24 hours

What is not included

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • official camino guidebook, shipped to the first hotel
  • travel documentation in printed form (maps and detailed description of the itinerary), shipped to the first hotel

Accommodation


Hotel University Bologna
Hotel University - Bologna

Hotel University is a small family run hotel centrally located in Bologna, near Piazza Maggiore and University, one of the oldest in Italy. Rooms are basic, spacious and welcoming with TV, free Wifi, private bathroom, air conditoning/heating, electric kettle, fridge. Buffet breakfast is rich of sweet and savoury dishes. Staff is courteous and helpful. 

www.hoteluniversitybologna.it

Hotel Ca Vecchia in Sasso Marconi
Hotel Ca Vecchia - Sasso Marconi

Ca’ Vecchia Convention Center is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the fine cuisine of Emilia Romagna, at the foot of the Apennine hills, surrounded by a magnificent park with century-old trees.

The main building of the Hotel, dating back to 1770, was originally a Manor House, with three ample halls with fireplaces and eight rooms, a calash parkingspace, three small service rooms and a well inside the building. Moreover, there was an oratory (then become a laboratory for the making of the cheese), a barnwith a stable (the present restaurant) and a second barn behind the House (one of the current outbuildings).

www.cavecchia.it

Hotel Montevenere
Albergo Montevenere - Monzuno

A family - run hotel with simply furnished rooms. All rooms have a private bathroom. The hotel has a resturant where you'll be able to taste typical homemade dishes.

http://albergomontevenere.it/

Agriturismo il Passeggere
Agriturismo Il Passeggere - Bruscoli

The Agriturismo is situated in a very special location surrounded by lush hills. All the rooms are spacious and confortable and have its bathroom. The Agriturismo has a restaurant where is possible to taste typical tuscan dishes and game dishes.

www.passeggere.it

La Pieve B&B San Piero a Sieve
La Pieve B&B - San Piero a Sieve

The B&B is centrally located in the Mugello region and it offers a quiet place to stay, far from any hustle and bustle. Owners are welcoming and helpful. Rooms are comfortable and clean with private bathroom outside the room. Breakfast is rich and natural. 

www.lapievebeb.it

Hotel Dino Olmo
Hotel Dino - Olmo

Hotel Dino is located in a wonderful position with a view on Florence and Fiesole. Rooms are basic and very welcoming, clean and well-finished with bathroom, telephone, TV and free Wifi. Some of these have a panoramic balcony. The restaurant is very good with traditional dishes of Tuscany cuisine. Owners are welcoming.

www.hoteldinofirenze.com

 

Hotel Camilla Florence
Hotel Camilla - Firenze

Located in the historic center of the cradle of the renaissance, Hotel Camilla is your place to reach all the iconic city masterpieces.

Just five minutes walk from the famous Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, you can enjoy your stay in a completely renewed building offering all the confort you would expect.

Near the hotel you can find the famous San Lorenzo market in which you can find excellent typical local foods.

www.hotelcamillafirenze.com

When to travel


The climate in Central Italy is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography of the region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas. The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C; the valleys can often see higher  temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice warm weather. Of course, there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot.Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high.The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn. 

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


From Florence airport (FLR), take the direct local bus to downtown and then the train to Bologna.

From Pisa airport (PSA), you can take either a direct train or bus to Florence and then the train to Bologna.

From Bologna airport (BLQ), take the bus downtown.

To return from Florence you can reach both Pisa and Bologna by train.

Check train and timetables on:

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

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Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
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