Wild Tuscany

A sensational week of walking in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany




From $1,780 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Variety of walks: ridges, summits, meadows, woods & olive groves
  • Five days of guided walking including the ascent of Monte Giovo
  • Beautiful Tuscan villa with stunning views and swimming pool
  • The Tuscan cities of Pisa and Lucca

The mountainous region of the Garfagnana in Tuscany is one of Italy's best kept secrets. North of the ancient walled city of Lucca, this region of Tuscany is home to olive growers and shepherds of the Serchio Valley which winds its way between the ‘marble mountains' of the Alpi Apunae and the limestone hills of the Apennines. Picture a landscape of verdant hills and dramatic limestone rock outcrops, dotted with Tuscan walled hill-towns, pretty terracotta villas and isolated farms, with their terraced fields, vineyards and olive groves. Now picture staying in a comfortable villa, high on a ridge overlooking the Serchio Valley and with ready access from your door to an array of established walking trails, which will take you from chestnut woods and azure-blue lakes to the high ridges and summits of the Alpi Apuane. In the warm evenings you can take a dip in the private pool before sitting down to dinner on the terrace beneath a trellis of vines and enjoy the best of Tuscan cuisine. With some of the best walking in Italy on your doorstep and the famous cities of Pisa, Lucca and Florence within easy reach, this is our new holiday in Wild Tuscany!

Is this holiday for you?

The Garfagnana is a mountainous region and participants will need a reasonable level of fitness to undertake the daily walks which will involve ascents of between 500 and 1000 metres. We walk mainly on well-established and sometimes way-marked trails and typically, we will be walking for around 6 - 7 hours each day, with one longer day of around 9 hours when we climb Monte Giovo. The walking is not particularly demanding and given that each day is optional, we have rated this holiday as grade 5. There is a free day in the middle of the holiday which can be used to enjoy the villa either poolside or its environs, or to make excursions to Lucca, Pisa or Florence.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Transfer from Pisa Airport to a villa near Promiana in the Tuscan hills, our base for the week.
  • Walk from Palagnana via Foce delle Porchette to Monte Croce (1314m). Descend via the hamlet of Pioppo.
  • Walk to the village of Campanaia (1358m) and the viewpoint summit of Pania di Corfino.
  • From Piglionico, make an ascent of Pania della Croce (1858m). Descend via the Canale d'Inferno.
  • A free day to enjoy the villa. Optional visit by train to medieval Lucca or even Florence.
  • Drive to Vetricia and walk via La Porticciola to the top of Monte Giovo (1991m). Also visit Barga.
  • From Fornovolasco, walk on a ridge to the summit of Monte Forato (1223m). Descend via Foce di Valli.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Pisa Airport is provided.
Sat 21 May - Sat 28 May Code WTI /01/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Limited Availability Book now
Sat 28 May - Sat 04 Jun Code WTI /02/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Sat 04 Jun - Sat 11 Jun Code WTI /03/16/ Adult$1,780 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 17 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code WTI /04/16/ Adult$1,780 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 24 Sep - Sat 01 Oct Code WTI /05/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 01 Oct - Sat 08 Oct Code WTI /06/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Sat 08 Oct - Sat 15 Oct Code WTI /07/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
We offer this holiday as a LAND ONLY departure, joining at Pisa's International Galileo Galilei Airport. A single, timed group transfer from Pisa Airport to the group hotel is provided. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Pisa. These include Ryanair who operate direct flights from Stansted, Liverpool and Edinburgh, Easyjet from London Gatwick and Luton, and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester. Note that the group transfer timings will not necessarily work with all of these airlines. Other airlines and airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Transfer from Pisa Airport to a villa near Promiana in the Tuscan hills, our base for the week.

    The group will rendezvous at Pisa's international airport. KE Land Only package services begin with a timed group transfer from Pisa airport to the group's villa near Promenia high in the Tuscan hills. The moment we arrive here we begin to fall under the Tuscan spell as we settle in to the relaxing environment of the villa La Fattoria, a traditional Garfagnana farmhouse with chestnut beams, old stone walls and terracotta tiles. Located on a ridge below the peak of Pania della Croce there are beautiful views accross terraced hillsides and over the Serchio Valley. Our guide will join us at the villa for dinner which we take on a wisteria clad dining terrace and will give a briefing on the week ahead and answer any questions we might have. The exact itinerary for the week will depend on the weather and other local conditions. The following days shown here are typical of the walks we will take but may be taken in a different order or alternative walks may be substituted at the discretion of the guide.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Meals d

  • Walk from Palagnana via Foce delle Porchette to Monte Croce (1314m). Descend via the hamlet of Pioppo.

    Our first walk is the perfect introduction to this remarkable area. From the villa we drive through the steep sided Fabbriche Valley to the Tuscan hill village of Palagnana. We can enjoy a cappuccino before setting off on the hike following a trail through beech forest to the Foce delle Porchette. This pass gives us incredible views over the srrounding hills and on a clear day we can see all the way to the Mediterranean and over the ancient marble quarries where the stone for Michelangelo's 'David' came from. From here we follow an impressive limestone gorge, before climbing out onto the grassy mountainside, and the final leg to the summit of Monte Croce (1314m). We make the descend by a different route through more beech forest and via the hamlets of Pioppo and Palgnana.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Ascent 580m

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 580m

    • Time 6 hours

  • Walk to the village of Campanaia (1358m) and the viewpoint summit of Pania di Corfino.

    After a short transfer to the town of Corfino (836m) on the Apennine side of the Serchio Valley, and up to the remote shepherd's village of Pruno, we follow a cobbled mule track through a delightful forest of beech to the Fonte del Amore (Fountain of Love). Continuing to the village of Campanaia (1358m), we then climb to the summit of the Pania di Corfino (1603m). This peak stands out from the main ridge of the Apennines not only physically but also in appearance, being a limestone peak in a range of sandstone. Its 'offset' position means it is a great viewpoint, both for the Apennines and also for views of the jagged peaks of the Apuane Alps across the valley. The long summit plateau is typical of karst mountains and is a meadow of wild flowers. Descending to the Rifugio Isera we can take some refreshment before returning to Pruno from where we transfer back to the villa. There will be time to relax in the sun beside the pool before dinner.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Ascent 775m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 775m

    • Time 6 hours

  • From Piglionico, make an ascent of Pania della Croce (1858m). Descend via the Canale d'Inferno.

    Now we are warmed up we can enjoy a 'big mountain day'. We begin the day with a short drive to Piglionico (1008m) and walk on a contour trail around the north side of the Pania and climbing gently to the Refugio del Freo (1200m). From here we make a rising traverse to Foce di Valli (1266m) at the base of the Pania della Croce. The climb of this peak is made on a steady zig zag path. Gaining the ridge we are treated to a wild landscape of impressive rock faces and cliffs as well as glimpses of numerous marble quarries. The Gulf of La Spezia lies in the distance and on a clear day the island of Corsica is visible. An easy path now takes us along the ridge to the summit 'cross' at 1858 metres and we can sit here to eat our picnic lunch while admiring the incredible views. Following lunch and much photography we make a swift descent using the 'Canale d’Inferno' and we finish today's walk across meadows and finally down through the beech forest.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Ascent 940m

    • Distance 12km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 890m

    • Time 7 hours

  • A free day to enjoy the villa. Optional visit by train to medieval Lucca or even Florence.

    Today we have a free day to either enjoy the tranquility and facilities of the villa or to explore the surrounding area. The medieval walled city of Lucca is 45 minutes away by train and is well worth a visit. Besides the famous city walls, the dity contains several basilica and churches with arcaded facades and elaborate bell towers (campaniles), some dating back to the 8th century. The situation and facilities of our villa have their own appeal and you may prefer just to relax in one of the several hammocks, read a book or swim in the pool. Lunch and dinner on this day are not included in the price so you have the freedom to choose where and when to eat.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Meals b

  • Drive to Vetricia and walk via La Porticciola to the top of Monte Giovo (1991m). Also visit Barga.

    Heading across the Serchio Valley once again, we drive up through the foot hills of the Apennines. Passing through the village of Renaio we reach Vetricia at 1308 metres where we begin our walk. The trail climbs initially through a delightful beech forest and leads to an alpine meadow. We continue across the hillside to la Porticciola (1700m) where we descend via 'Hannibals camp' to Lago Santo (1501m), a beautiful spot for a picnic lunch. After lunch we make an ascent of Monte Giovo (1991m), a steep climb to the elaborate metal cross on the rocky summit directly above the lake. We aim to reach the summit in time to eat our picnic lunch while again admiring the view. We then descend to the historic town of Barga where a gelato stop is not to be missed.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Ascent 930m

    • Distance 11km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 920m

    • Time 6 hours

  • From Fornovolasco, walk on a ridge to the summit of Monte Forato (1223m). Descend via Foce di Valli.

    A perfect end to our week of walking in Wild Tuscany is the ascent of Monte Forato. From the quintessential Italian village of Fornovolasco we begin today's walk along a cobbled street, before following a forest trail which climbs steadily to the Foce di Petrosciana pass. Here we have breathtaking views of the rock tower of Monte Procinto and of the mountain chain all the way to the Mediterranean. We now follow the ridgeline to reach the famous limestone archway below the summit of Monte Forato. We then make a final short climb to the summit itself where we can enjoy our lunch with the Tuscan hills spread out below us. After our picnic we continue along the ridge until Foce di Valli, and a descent through the meadows and forest back to Fornovolasco where we can enjoy well earned drink at the gelateria in Gallicano! We return to our villa for a final evening of exceptional food and warm conviviality.

    • Accommodation Farmstay

    • Ascent 915m

    • Distance 10km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 915m

    • Time 6 hours

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Pisa Airport is provided.

    We enjoy a last breakfast on the terrace before our single included transfer to Pisa Airport. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at the airport.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • The services of a qualified International Mountain Leader
  • Single group transfers between Pisa Airport and the group hotel
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals according to the Meal Plan
  • All transport required by the itinerary (excluding optional excursions)

  • Travel insurance
  • Aiport transfers other than group transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous personal spending

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A single, timed group transfer from Pisa Airport to the Villa is provided on Day 1. This transfer by private minibus takes approximately one hour and will normally depart the airport at 3.00 pm. If arriving later in the day it is very easy to reach the local town of Barga-Gallicano by train and we will pick you from the station and take you to the villa. If your chosen flight means you arrive earlier in the day, why not visit the ancient city and its famous leaning tower. There are left luggage facilities in the airport (approximately 7 Euro per day per piece) and there is a regular shuttle service to Pisa Central Station which takes just 5 or 10 minutes. The return fare is approximately 3 Euros. At the end of the holiday there will be a single timed transfer back to Pisa Airport which will depart after breakfast, arriving at the airport around 10.30 am.

Our base for this week of walking in wild Tuscany is a refurbished farmhouse villa situated on a ridge overlooking the Serchio valley and surrounded by woodland and traditional Tuscan field terracing. The villa is located on a working farm with a small vineyard, olive grove, and orchard. The traditional Garfagnana stone farmhouse of exposed stone walls, chestnut beams and terracotta tiled roof, has very comfortable bedrooms with shared bathrooms and a cosy sitting room with a log burner for cool evenings. Guests also have free use of a hot tub and an open-air 12m x 6m swimming pool which is purified with salt rather than chlorine. The pool is surrounded by stone paving and has a range of wooden sunloungers and chairs. Meals are taken on a wisteria-clad dining terrace with huge rustic table and benches.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On this holiday, eating is part of the experience and we will enjoy some traditional Tuscan hospitality. Breakfast, picnic lunch, afternoon tea (when we are at the villa) and a 2 course dinner with wine are provided. All meals are prepared by an experienced chef making use of local seasonal produce, which often comes from the villa's own gardens. Dietary requirements can be met - please contact the KE office. On your free day breakfast only is provided to allow you to make the most of your day. There is no shortage of excellent restaurants in the local area

All meals except lunch and dinner on the free day are included in the holiday price. This includes breakfast, picnic lunch, afternoon tea (when at the villa) and 2 course dinner with wine.

All meals including dinner wine, except 1 lunch and 1 dinner are included in the holiday price. For the non included meals we suggest you budget between 20 and 30 Euros in total including wine. If you intend to visit Lucca or Florence on your free day you will need to budget 9 or 20 Euros respectively for the train fare. You should also make your normal allowance for extra drinks and snacks etc as you would on any European holiday. In total we would expect 150 - 200 Euros to cover all miscellaneous personal expenditure.

All the walks will be led by a qualified English-speaking International Mountain Leader.

There is no weight allowance on this holiday other than that imposed by your airline. However, we ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and a small day pack.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

  • Please limit your baggage to one main bag and a small day-pack. When packing your bag, please bear in mind that you will have to carry your luggage from the vehicle to the room, including negotiating stairs.
  • You must bring the following items:

    • Walking boots or shoes
    • Socks
    • Walking trousers
    • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rain-pants
    • Underwear
    • Walking shirts (eg wickable materials)
    • Other shirts or T-shirts
    • Fleece jacket / top
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Gloves
    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat
    • Eyewear - Sunglasses
    • Daypack 28 - 35 litres
    • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Water bottle(s) 1 – 2 litres
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • Antibacterial handwash
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment.

    The following items are optional:

    • Trekking poles (recommended)
    • Gaiters
    • Shorts
    • Swim wear (for the pool)
    • Spare laces
    • Headtorch
    • Travel clothes and shoes
    • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
    • Camera, memory cards, batteries

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


    Know before you go

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday, getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. The best preparation for a trip of this nature is regular walking preferably in the mountains. If regular hill-walking is not possible, a weekly exercise regime (jogging, squash or swimming) will develop cardio-vascular fitness and stamina. Regardless of your excersice regime, we suggest that before departure, you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

    The pleasant climate of Tuscany is part of its appeal to holidaymakers. While the hottest months of June to August attract the most visitors especially to the coast, May, September and October are the best months to visit Tuscany on a walking holiday with predominantly warm, sunny days and cooler evenings. Winter offers many sunny days also with the mountains of the Apuane Alps covered in snow from December and nights can be below freezing at this time. The wettest months of the year in Tuscany are April and November, particularly in the hills.

    Tuiscany. Insight Guides. Lisa Gerard-Sharp Tuscany. Lonely Planet. Damien Simonis Under the Tuscan Sun. Frances Mayes The Hills of Tuscany. Ferenc Mate

    KOMPASS-Verlag. 1:50,000 Alpi Apuane - Garfagnana - Carrara - Viareggio

    Double-sided map at 1:50,000 printed on waterproof and tear-resistant sheet. The contour interval varies according to the terrain from 100m to 25m. Local hiking trails are marked and symbols indicate places of interest with a legend in English and Italian.

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