When you think of the Tuscan countryside, do you picture rolling hills in different hues of greens and browns, tall slender cypress trees standing proudly from the ground, and here and there the stone walls and tiny churches of the medieval villages on nearby hillsides? Can you imagine anything more beautiful?
That vision is real and it is why I chose the rolling countryside of Southern Tuscany to be my home for half of every year. A countryside that changes with every passing month and season, but one that I will never tire of looking at – one that is more beautiful than anywhere else I have been.
Imagine staying in one of the most beautiful of medieval villages for a week, becoming part of it all, eating in local real Italian family restaurants and drinking delicious local wines. Imagine each day walking with a very experienced, delightful local guide soaking up the scenery and learning about the history, the countryside and all it has to offer, stopping on the way for delicious lunches. And add in a trip to the magnificent city of Siena, discovering its colourful and proud history.
You will stay in the beautiful medieval hilltop village of Montisi. Each day, after breakfast, you will go out walking with Costanza for the day. The walks will be around 15kms, stopping for lunch and visiting historical sites on the way. One day we shall go to Siena with Antonella, enjoy a morning walking tour including a visit to the famous Duomo and there will be plenty of time to look around, shop, visit a museum or simply sit and have a prosecco in the beautiful Campo.
Included in the trip will be:
- accommodation in the village on a bed and breakfast basis – there are a number of choices;
- lunches on the countryside walking days;
- dinners on 5 evenings, including one at my home in the village;
- transport in air-conditioned minibuses to take you to the start of the walks and to bring you back – none will be more than half an hour away.
Just by way of example here are just two of the walks we shall enjoy:
San Giovanni d’Asso to Monte Oliveto Maggiore Monastery
An impressive walk along paths overlooking the “crete” (clay hills), from the village of San Giovanni d’Asso, very well-known for its yummy truffles, and to which even a museum has been dedicated. After a stop in the tiny village of Chiusure, where we have lunch at a cosy “locanda”, we carry on until we reach the beautiful Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Here we visit the church and the magnificent great cloister, decorated with XVI century frescoes by Sodoma and Luca Signorelli, depicting scenes of the life of Saint Benedict.
Bagno Vignoni loop
This walk starts from the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni, very important since the Middle Ages for its curative thermal waters. The main square in the village is a large thermal pool, surrounded by medieval palaces now dotted with tiny shops and cafes. Our walk takes us to the banks of the river Orcia and through the thick wood up to the castle of Ripa d’Orcia. From there we walk along a very scenic dirt road all the way to Vignoni Alto and back to Bagno Vignoni.
A number of my guests this year walked with Costanza and they said:
“She exceeded our expectations in every category”
We have been lucky enough to have been on many holidays over the years and this one has been up there with the very best. Ann promised us a varieties of walks, food and wine and most of all her personal attention. She exceeded our expectations in every category. Nothing was too much trouble and on every occasion did something which surprised us. She hasn’t got a Trip Advisor page yet but when she does we’re sure all her reviewers will give her top marks; we certainly will
Trudie and Will Kintish, September 2013
The walking week in 2014 will be week commencing Saturday 13th September for 7 nights.
Prices from £1195 per person based upon 2 sharing (excluding flights and transport to the village).