Before ever setting foot in Tuscany, I already had a very clear image of what to expect: vast panoramas of rolling hills in a pallet of green and gold; fortified medieval towns perched on hilltops; long lazy lunches on sun-dappled terraces with obligatory local red wine. Often such vivid expectations fall short in reality, but Tuscany: you surpassed my every wishful daydream. I can truthfully say that the Hill Towns of Tuscany was everything I could have hoped for in a walking holiday. Starting in Montepulciano, the route takes in some of Tuscany’s most celebrated towns, each with its own unique atmosphere. While Pienza was buzzing with street musicians and local shops tempting me to stash a wheel of pecorino cheese in my daypack, Bagno Vignoni was gloriously quiet and relaxing. Montalcino invites you to try its famous wine on every corner (recommended) and the agroturismo just outside Buonconvento was a welcome rest stop with its outdoor pool overlooking the Tuscan landscape. Siena is such a treat; winding streets, a stunning cathedral, interesting history and friendly locals. As on any good holiday, consuming as many calories as possible (or ‘fuelling for the hill climbs’ if attempting to justify it) was top of my list. I discovered a love of ‘pici’, a local pasta often served with breadcrumbs, and cemented my appreciation of Tuscany’s acclaimed red wines. And you absolutely have to try ‘cantucci’ dipped in a glass of vin santo to round off your meal; I was sceptical at first but it’s absolute perfection. However, the best thing about visiting Tuscany on a walking trip is really getting to explore the incredible countryside as you wander between the hill towns. As I mentioned before, it’s everything you imagine- iconic cypress trees lined up in rows, vineyards bulging with fruit, undulating golden hillsides. And don’t forget the long but gentle climbs up to the towns just to make the glass of wine at the top all the sweeter. The accommodation on this trip is a diverse mix of small hotels, B&Bs and agroturismos all with their own charms, so a comfortable room and a friendly face at the end of your walk is guaranteed. The Hill Towns of Tuscany should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s simply a great walking holiday in a beautiful part of the world. If you would like any more information on the Hill Towns of Tuscany or any of our other Italian Walking Holidays, don't hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Totally in love with Tuscany