Tuscany: off the beaten path

Highlights

Tuscany is probably Italy’s most renowned region, famous for its artistic legacy, history and traditions, as well as its lovely landscape: those gentle undulating hills dotted with verdant cypresses and ancient farmhouses are considered one of the most beautiful and harmonious landscapes in the world. Discover a different Tuscany, off the beaten path along little known routes through a lovely combination of mountains, hills, culture and local food.

 

Location: Tuscany (Italy) – Main places to visit: Buggiano Castello, Medicina, Pescia, Collodi, Lucca, Pietrasanta

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights

Begins in: Buggiano Castello (Pistoia) on Saturday, Day 1

Ends in: Pietrasanta (Lucca) on Saturday morning after breakfast, Day 8

Departures 2020: May 23rd – Oct 24th

Maximum group size: 14

Minimum group size: 04

Price 2020: starting from €3,300 per person and based on double occupancy. €350 single supplement is applicable. Two guides will accompany departures of 9 or more people.

ITINERARY – fully customizable

DAY 1  (Saturday)

Arrival Day – Buggiano Castello – Ciao Italia! 

Arrive independently at Montecatini Terme-Monsummano Train Station. You will need to be there at 2:30pm.
Should you arrive from Florence, there is a direct train from Florence Train Station which departs at 1:38 pm and arrives in Montecatini Terme at 2:27pm.
Should you arrive at Pisa airport, please make sure you’re ready for pick up at 1pm.
Your guide will meet you at Montecatini Terme Station and drive you to Buggiano Castello, where your XVI century Villa awaits your arrival! Once you have checked in and had some time to refresh, put your hiking shoes and be ready for a short walk through olive groves and around the old village of Buggiano Castello to enjoy the verdant Tuscan landscape! At around 7 pm, we will regroup on the hotel terrace for a welcome aperitif and a short briefing, followed by a real Tuscan dinner at the Hotel’s restaurant.
Overnight at Buggiano Castello
Hotel, transfer, welcome aperitif and welcome dinner included

DAY 2  (Sunday)

“Shepherd’s day!” – Medicina Village

Morning transfer by private van (approx. 30 minutes ride) to Medicina Village, one of the: “10 Castella di Pescia” (Medieval villages). There we will meet our friend and shepherd Stefano, who will lead us and his beloved animals for a relaxing walk to our lunch spot where we will have a cheese tasting and learn how to make cheese! After our yummy lunch we will take a short walk back to the van which will drop us back at the hotel for a rest, before driving to Pescia for the Home Hosted Experience and a special cocktail event organized by a professional bartender!
Overnight at Buggiano Castello
Hotel, breakfast, lunch (including cheese tasting), special cocktail event and home hosted dinner included

DAY 3  (Monday)

«Svizzera Pesciatina» – Castelvecchio – Sorana

Morning transfer by private van (approx. 30 minutes ride) to Castelvecchio, our starting point for today’s hike through a mountainous area called Valleriana or “Svizzera Pesciatina”, so named, in one of his many articles, by the famous swiss literary man Mr Sismonde de Sismondi because it reminded him of his native country. At the end of our hike we will stop at one of the most sought-after local restaurants where, among other things, we will relish the famous white beans of Sorana. Back to the hotel in the early afternoon, followed by another exciting experience: Cooking Class.What could be better than learning how to cook Italian food!

Overnight at Buggiano Castello
Hotel, breakfast, lunch, cooking class and dinner included

DAY 4  (Tuesday)

Transfer to Lucca – Pescia – Collodi – Lucca

Today we start with a brief drive to Pescia, starting point of our gentle hike called: “La via della Fiaba” (The way of the Fairy Tale). The name is not accidental, given that we will reach Collodi, the birthplace of Pinocchio!
At the end of our walk we will visit The Historic Garzoni Garden (National Monument), it’s an enchantment of the ’700s, and has remained almost untouched up until now. After lunch in a local restaurant, we will proceed by van to Lucca and its bastion fort, the second longest and well preserved fortified wall ring in all Europe after Cipro’s capital Nicosia.
We will check in at our 4-star hotel and take a moment to refresh before a private guided tour of this unique and splendid town. Our day is not over yet and tonight’s dinner is a special one! Dream about our gourmet set menu in a Michelin Star Restaurant.
private guided tour of Lucca, an ancient charming town founded by the Etruscans around the 3rd century B.C. and which became a colony of the Roman Empire and later an important medieval city fortress. Thereafter we take a private transfer to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, a lovely town dating back to the year 740. A gentle walk along the trail of Ludovico Ariosto, one of the foremost Este’s governors, will build our appetite in time for delicious picnic lunch. We will then make our way to the hotel where you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Lucca
Hotel, breakfast, guided tour and dinner in Michelin Star Restaurant included

DAY 5  (Wednesday)

Lucca and its «Royal Lineage»

A short private transfer will take us to Marlia to visit the enchanting Villa Reale, considered one of the most important historical properties in Italy. Home in the 19th century of Napoleon’s sister and Duchess of Lucca, Elisa Bonaparte Paciocchi. Thereafter we begin our hike through olive groves and vineyards, stopping for a wine tasting and a picnic lunch at a local farm. We return to Lucca in the afternoon and today you will have plenty of time to enjoy the city at your leisure.

Overnight in Lucca
Hotel, breakfast, museum entrance, wine tasting and lunch included

DAY 6  (Thursday)

Transfer day to Versilia area: Stazzema and the Apuane Mountain range

Early start and private transfer (approx. 1hr ride) to Stazzema, starting point of our toughest trek of the week. Today’s hike will take us into the heart of the Regional Park of the Apuane Alps. Breath-taking views are waiting for us on this loop hike. We will reach our hotel in the afternoon where we will have some free time to rest before going out for dinner.

Overnight in Pietrasanta
Hotel, breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner included

DAY 7  (Friday)

«A marble experience: Michelangelo steps!»

By private transfer we will reach the city of Carrara and its quarries which lie at the foot of the Apuane. We’ll hop on a 4×4 for an adventurous ride (approx 1 hr activity), ready to climb and discover the “Fantiscritti Marble Quarries”, where Michelangelo used to go and pick the best marble blocks for his masterpieces. We’ll continue our day visiting a prestigious “Larderia”, local farm and manufacturer of the worldwide famous delicatessen: Lardo di Colonnata. After lunch we’ll take a short hike to enjoy the final and unforgettable moments of our journey together. Once we are back at the hotel and after a rest, we will meet for our farewell dinner in a splendid location.

Overnight in Pietrasanta
Hotel, breakfast, 4×4 experience, lunch, farewell aperitif and farewell dinner included

DAY 8  (Saturday)

Departure day

Unfortunately, today it’s time to say goodbye!

After breakfast at the hotel you will have a private transfer (about 30 minutes ride) to Viareggio train station that will offer you connections to the main cities, or, if you prefer, we can drive you to Pisa airport, at your convenience.

Breakfast and transfer included

Please note: the above itinerary may change at any time due to circumstances beyond our control

INFORMATION

Activity rating: 3-/5 = moderate. The trail terrain is largely compact, although there may be some sections that are uneven and stony. There will be frequent descents and climbs. The maximum distance is about 15 km/9.3 miles.

 

Booking: please contact us at hello@theyummywalker.com to receive a booking contract.

 

Insurance: we strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance which has to be adequate for your requirements. The insurance policy should ensure appropriate coverage to meet your needs, and the needs of your family and dependents, in case of personal injury, medical and repatriation costs, together with cover for any loss of property, personal liability, delay, cancellation, curtailment, missed departure and legal expenses.

GETTING THERE

Located in the northern Tuscany, Montecatini Terme can be easily reached by public transport or by car.

 

By Air: Montecatini Terme doesn’t have its own airport, so the closest are: Pisa, Florence, Bologna and Genova. The best approach is from Pisa: daily flights are available from the largest European cities, including from Hub airports (such as Stansted).
 
By Train: the Montecatini Terme Train Station is directly connected to the main cities of Tuscany: if you arrive at Florence airport, you first need to reach the Florence’s main train station (Santa Maria Novella) from which you can take a direct train to Montecatini Terme: the trip will take about 45 minutes and there is service about every 30 minutes. If you arrive at Pisa airport, you will need to take the train to Pisa’s main train station (Pisa Centrale) where you can take a direct train or you will need to catch the train to Lucca and then to Montecatini Terme: the full trip will take about 1 hour (direct train) or 1 hour and 30 minutes (with stop in Lucca), and from Pisa Centrale there is a direct service about every 90 minutes.
For additional information, please check the TRENITALIA website.
 
By Car: Montecatini Terme is located on the highway A11 Firenze-Mare that connects Florence with Pisa and the Versilia coast (the trip from Florence will take about 1 hour). If you arrive from either the North (Bologna: about 1 hour and 30 minutes) or South (Roma: about 3 hours and 15 minutes) you have to take the highway A11 and take the exit Montecatini Terme. Should you arrive from the coast, both North (Genova: about 2 hours) and South (Roma: about 4 hours), on the highway A12 Genova-Roma, you will need to connect at Viareggio and then proceeding to Lucca Ovest and then Montecatini Terme (a toll must be paid on both highways).

IMPORTANT: in the highways don’t pass through the lane with a yellow sign called TELEPASS: it is for only locals who pay monthly. Please note if you arrive at your destination without a ticket, you will probably be fined.

By Taxi: a private transfer by taxi from your arrival airport can be arranged upon request.

INCLUDED

Accommodation (7 nights): boutique hotels, 3/4 stars (charming hotels ideally located. Bedrooms are for double occupancy. Single use supplement is applicable).

Meals: all breakfasts (7) plus 6 dinners and 5 lunches (2 picnic lunches)

Welcome aperitif, cheese tasting, special cocktail event and wine tasting

All visits and activities mentioned in the itinerary (cooking class, home hosted experience)

Guides: private local bilingual guides (as and when required).

Tour leader: at least one bilingual tour leader for groups up to 8 participants and two bilingual tour leaders starting 9 participants (around-the-clock support during the duration of your trip).

All transfers

Gratuities

All local taxes

NOT INCLUDED

 

Flights
Car hire
Personal purchases
Drinks
Travel insurance

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