Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

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Responsible tourism

Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

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.

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

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).

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.

4 Reviews of Tuscany walking holiday, Italy

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019 by

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


We found the landscape stunning, but in a different way than the standard postcard scenes... The things going on with life in the small towns we stayed in, contrasted with the fields and vineyards environment of the countryside, gave real texture to the experience. It also is intriguing to be immersed in history spanning millennia.

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


Expect hills and give extra time to do each leg. The walking is not hard or very long each day, but it does help to be in shape, so take some longer hikes before you go. Not being in a hurry also has the added benefit of opening your eyes to the details of rural life and landscape.

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


Certainly the walking part of the trip was good for local business even if our spending was relatively modest. One only has to see how the economy of popular hill towns like Montipulciano depends on visitors to also wonder if it may not make life less enjoyable dealing with crowds in what would otherwise be quiet towns. We had a keen sense of being tourists but tried to counter the popular tourist image. To that extent, our being there may have been positive. Any time you can get a sincere smile out of waiters is a good thing.

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


First rate. The operator arranged a fine itinerary and really handles logistics well. The welcome by Patrizia and Guilia was sweet and genuine and the information packets with maps were detailed well. There a few items that could be improved in terms of some of the hiking routes, but the walks were well planned and really brought us though spectacular country. The lodging was really well chosen both for value and especially location.

Reviewed on 18 Oct 2019 by

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


The beautiful countryside.

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


Be aware that you will spend some time walking on busy main roads, together with buses and trucks,which have no room allowance for people on foot. It can be frightening.

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


Definitely benefited the small businesses (eg. b&b's, restaurants, cafes etc) we used. Only reduced environmental impacts through the fact that we walked rather than drove between towns. Can't see how our holiday could have supported conservation.

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


Enjoyable, except for having to walk on main roads at times, which was dangerous and caused much anxiety.

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2019 by

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


The medieval towns were wonderful and rural Tuscany is so beautiful

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


Be aware that the map and notes for the walks are quite confusing - you need to
interpret with some care to avoid getting lost.

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


The restaurants, shops and hotels were probably owned by local people so it would benefit them. I doubt whether environmental issues were affected

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


It was a very enjoyable holiday with wonderful scenery and the hotels/B&B were all located very centrally in the towns . There was a bit too much walking on tarmac roads, where there might have been a better option of walking on the footpaths. It was not much fun walking several kilometres on a busy main road, uphill in the heat to reach Montalcino. Most of the accommodation was good ( apart from the fact that 5 out of 7 nights we had a view of a brick wall!) one B&B was a bit sub standard and we had to take a breakfast voucher
to a cafe 10 minutes walk away. Breakfast was a croissant or sandwich which was not enough to sustain us for a long and tiring walk. The restaurants were good but not great for people who don’t eat meat! On the whole it was a very enjoyable holiday , ending with a wonderful hotel in Siena.

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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