A walk between those famous cities: Florence and Siena, Toscana Italy
paesaggi de rara belezzi
Getting there: a low cost airlines flight to Pisa, the bus to town center (15 min) and you can admire - for instance - the famous tower and all the other historic buildings. In the evening by direct train to Florence (about 1 hour). The cultural inheritances from and at Florence must be seen! We reserved a day to admire some highlights. In early spring on a weekly day - perhaps - the queue to visit the Uffizi museum is short…...
The route between Florence and Siena is about 85 kilometers and can be covered in 4 or 5 days. Over centuries travelers must have walked here……..
Maps: In Florence we bought the Edizioni Multigraphic maps nr. 42 and 43. Sometimes difficult to read. But the local residents always are willing to help you in case of doubt. Perhaps better: Map 2458 Firenze - Siena - Chianti | Kompass (9783850266024). de Zwerver.
Accommodation: plenty . As well as the possibilities to enjoy the local Chianti and the genuine Tuscan cooking.
To really get to know Tuscany well, a walking tour from "agriturismo to agriturismo ( lodging and eating in the countryside) might be the best thing.
A must. A must before you go hiking is to set aside a day for a visit to the Palazzo degli Uffizi, or Uffizi for short, in Florence.It is famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings (from the Middle Ages to the Modern period). The collections of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include some absolute masterpieces: Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio, in addition to many precious works by European painters (mainly German, Dutch and Flemish).
March 2006: a trail between Florence and Siena in the heart of Tuscany. In early spring, in tolerable temperatures, the trail passes fortified buildings, old farmsteads, vineyards and olive orchards, through a hilly country woods, mediaeval villages, Romanesque churches, chapels, mostly bordered by old cypress avenues.
The best months to hike in Tuscany are: April, May, early June, September and October. Also because then the hordes of tourists are still limited.
Highest point: 530 m.
Day 1: Florence - S. Polo in Chianti *............................18 km
Day 2: S. Polo in Chianti - Passo dei Pecorai................15 km
Day 3: Passo dei Pecorai - Grȇve in Chianti................ .11 km
Day 4: Grȇve - Panzano - Castellina in Chianti.............20 km
Day 5: Castellina in Chianti - Basciano ** - Siena........23 km ( excl. bus)
And, next day, by train to Pisa airport, via Empoli (about 2,5 hours).
* take bus 33 to Bagno a Ripoli and you can skip the suburbs of Florence.
** take here the bus to Siena, old town, and you can skip the boring suburbs of Siena
On trail: at day 1 great views at Florence in the morning, in the afternoon at the Arno-river, and after that woody. Off S. Polo in Chianti the scenery is more open, walking the wide and almost white footpaths, passing the farmsteads and fortified buildings: the classic Tuscany image.
Rolling hills, winding roads and a colorful landscape full of pine trees, sunflowers and cypresses. Picturesque villages, and endless vistas.
S. Polo in Chianti, famous for growing iris; the iris is in the coat of arms of Florence. Then it is also clear who won the battle for this city. August is the Tuscan iris harvest; "everything" light blue.
Montefioralle, Panzano and Pietrafitta (day 4) with mediaeval atmospheres. Grêve in Chianti with its distinctive piazza and Castellina in Chianti with an Etruscan tomb.1,5 km off route.
A powerful and wealthy civilization in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, south of the Arno river, western Umbria, northern and central Lazio. A people much more progressive than the conservative farmers of the Roman Empire.
Grȇve in Chianti has - as said - a beautiful central square. In Piazza Matteotti you walk under the covered galleries past (in?) the many wine shops and artisan products - a bit touristy too,,,,- and a moment's rest with coffee or tea under these galleries overlooking the square: nothing wrong with that!
Montefioralle, between Greve and Panzano seems straight out of a picture book by the Italian Anton Pieck. Winding alleys, ancient houses and other buildings. With beautiful views of the immediate surroundings. Which you will soon be allowed to walk through again. If your legs can stand it, a glass of Chianti Classico at this place is highly recommended.
Panzano, beautifully built on a hill, about halfway between Siena and Florence. Overlooking the conca d'oro, the golden valley, all viticulture (!), formerly grain ( hence). Well, these are the places you never want to leave.
There was some fighting between Siena and Florence over this strategic place.
And at day 5 a long but even stage in the Siena direction. We advise to take a bus at the suburbs of Siena.
Tuscany as it is now is made by people. By farmers eg. Cities and villages are situated on hills. Most of the time walled.
Florence and Siena can't be described on one page! It takes weeks to admire everything...
Along the way, often just outside the village or town, you come across the weekday abandoned houses of the weekend residents. Many of these houses are guarded by dogs of the most aggressive kind. Some on chains (with a "nice" round circle in the sand of the chain if the dog cannot go any further than the chain is long), others running and barking and growling with bare teeth behind a fence. When dog number 1 finishes dog number 2 is already warned, "Here comes another one." When you are really out of village the normal Tuscany returns.
Below a foto-video about the landscapes in Toscana/Tuscany ( landscapes of rare beauty/paesaggi de rara belezzi)