Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

Environment

1) We choose our suppliers among the ones that sustain the environment. We suggest restaurants, enoteques and olive mills that serve and produce typical food and local products.
2) We support a local NGO, TAMAT, that is working on a project to develop sustainable mobility (H2power project) and we buy their gadgets to fund their activities. They are working, with other partners, on developing a demonstrator vehicle that is using as fuel a variable mixture of methane and hydrogen, that can be produced from renewable energy sources. They also organize awareness raising events for citizens and students about sustainable development and mobility and about the solution to preserve our environment. We supported the set up of the Foundation “Archeologia Arborea” in Città di Castello, which aims are to support biodiversity, the identification and multiplication of varieties of fruit trees that are disappearing because not as productive as the modern ones, protection of the landscape, support to sustainable development.

Community

1) We give to our clients a list of farmers’ markets: true open air food shops from the producer to the consumer, vegetables organically grown and “zero kilometers” far. Buying and tasting their products is a way to support small local producers that otherwise risk to disappear. In Tuscany they are very popular. The best ones are called Mercatali, a project of Tuscany Region to support small farming and typical products: these markets are a place not only where to buy food but also where to deepen your knowledge about it, as the producers - farmers, craftsmen and breeders – are describing them to the consumers. In this tour, you can find one, Mercatale of Sovicille, nearby Siena (third Saturday of the month, Piazza Marconi, 9 am- 1 pm).
2) We give also to our clients some suggestions to visit local artisans that are producing with traditional techniques, as the old copper workshop in Montepulciano, the wrought iron and the pottery one in Pienza, and the terracotta in Montalcino. In Siena, too, you can find some of them that produce hand made jewels, pictorial decoration on various natural materials, handmade artistic candles, ceramics and furnishing accessories. They are all part of a project that promotes itineraries that bring the traveller through the artisan tradition of Tuscany.

1 Reviews of Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 21 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking through the peaceful, pretty Tuscan countryside was delightful. Winding upwards into the charming hilltop villages, many UNESCO listed and full of
history, was special every time. We loved all of the villages we visited and will long remember sharing delicious food and some great wine in traditional
restaurants and wine bars, with friendly waiting staff or owners.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The directions for entering and leaving villages were sometimes challenging - fortunately my friend had google maps on her phone. We recommend having
google maps as a back-up.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Christina (and family) from the operator provided environmentally friendly rubbish bags, encouraged us towards local hospitality providers in the villages,
and shared with us information about the agricultural sustainability and food security charity she established. All good initiatives.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We're two friends who travelled from the UK and Australia to share this holiday, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Christina and family were warm and
welcoming, greeting us at Chiusi train station and providing lots of useful information. The hiking was mostly easy, although a few hills were memorably
tough, and we both would have enjoyed a couple more hours of hiking each day. Having said that it was always a pleasure to walk up into the ancient villages
on hilltops, where we stayed in different B&B's each night. To be fair, quality of accommodation was variable and sometimes a little disappointing mostly
because we felt that we rarely had rooms that were equal in terms of quality. Some of the hosts placed our bags in the rooms before we arrived and that was
thoughtful knowing that we'd be arriving hot and weary to accommodation that often didn't have lifts but where one of us was in the attic room at the top of
steep flights of stairs. We'd recommend that the operator ask all hosts to put the luggage in rooms. The B&B in Montalcino was lovely - unfortunately we
had the only two rooms in the house which didn't offer the magnificent views across the Tuscan countryside (our views were both of a back wall!) and that was a disappointing end to our hiking days. Again, we'd recommend that Christina asks for rooms with views because that's such an important part of the whole experience. To be fair, we changed our dates and that may have contributed. Montalcino is a gorgeous village and a lovely village to visit as the last before Siena.
The hotel in Siena was delightful and in a great location - again, unfortunately ours were the only two rooms that didn't have hot water working and having cold showers takes the shine off what is a lovely, quality property. Overall, we were really pleased with the management of our holiday and would recommend this trip to others.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Diane for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. Regarding the rooms: you booked the tour starting on Sept 9 on July 17 and then you changed the date on July 19 and you returned back to Sept 9 some days after. At this point it was quite late for Tuscany and I had to book in almost all the accommodation "the last 2 rooms available" and the last rooms are never the best one. As you could see I booked double rooms for each of you instead of single to give you more comfortable rooms. I suggest to anybody thinking to book a tour in Tuscany to do it four or five months before the arrival.
Thank you again for your very good review!
Cristina

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