Current as of: May 25, 2024 - 00:09

Walking in Tuscany

Walking in Tuscany Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Italy
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TDT
  • Carbon Footprint: 22kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Walk the mountainous region of Tuscany

Garfagnana, close to the much-loved trio of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, is one of the best-kept secrets in Italy and the perfect base for guided walking holidays in Tuscany. Lying between the striking peaks of the Alpi Apuane and Apennine ranges, the astonishing Garfagnana landscape is a far cry from the rolling hills of southern Tuscany. But that provides us with abundant hiking opportunities, which, along with picturesque mountaintop and lakeside villages coupled with warm local hospitality, make for a wonderful trip.

Please note: Most departures for this trip have been graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate); however, if you’re looking to push yourself, join one of our Activity Level 5 (Challenging) departures to tackle more difficult treks and spend a night in a mountain refuge. For a day-by-day schedule for each Activity Level, see the itinerary. Please check the Dates & Prices tab to confirm the Activity Level rating for each departure before booking.

Walking in Tuscany

At a Glance

  • Seven nights in a farmhouse with a swimming pool
  • Five days’ walking; one free day
  • Maximum altitude: 6,739ft (2,054m); average 3,281ft (1,000m)
  • Activity Level 3 and Activity Level 5 departures available; see the Dates & Prices tab to confirm
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure
  • Option to book an extension package

Highlights

  • Enjoy five wonderful walking days through the idyllic mountains of Tuscany
  • Stay in a beautifully situated Tuscan farmhouse with a swimming pool
  • Opportunity to visit Lucca on the free day

Is This Trip for You?

Garfagnana is home to some of the most spectacular and interesting treks in Italy, with the bonus of knowing we will rarely see other walkers.

Most paths are well-maintained; however, a few sections are less frequently used and rough underfoot, with some steep ascents and descents. It will suit regular exercisers and previous trekking experience is needed. Some trails can be overgrown, so long trousers are recommended. Early in the season, there may be patches of snow, which may mean wearing snowshoes.

The area is mountainous and most drives, although short, follow twisting mountain roads through wooded areas.

Activity Level 3 (Moderate) departures
Most departure dates are graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate) with ascents and descents of 1,312ft-2,297ft (400m-700m). We usually walk four to six hours each day, so a good level of fitness is required.

Activity Level 5 (Challenging) departures
For Activity Level 5 (Challenging) weeks, we usually walk between five and eight hours per day and a high level of fitness is required. We spend one night in a comfortable mountain refuge, so we will have to pack our belongings for our two-day ridge excursion into our daypacks (eg sleeping bag liner, wash kit, change of clothes). It should not be necessary to carry more than 18lb (8kg). Items not required on the walk can be left in your room at Braccicorti.

For more on our trip gradings, visit our Activity Level Guidelines page.

All departures
We use the same mountain ranges for both levels and vary the routes according to weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. While aiming to always follow the routes described in these Trip Notes, it will be the leader’s decision to amend the itinerary if necessary.

Summer months
Tuscany can be very hot during summer, especially from June to August, though heatwaves can also occur in April and May. We try to start our walks earlier to avoid the hottest hours, but temperatures and humidity will still be high. You should feel comfortable walking in the heat. Additionally, agriturismos, which are based in the countryside, are not normally equipped with air conditioning.
Mosquito numbers may significantly increase in the summer, so bring repellent with you.

Please note that at times, especially during summer months, the inbound flight can be late in the evening. In this instance you will have additional time to spend in Pisa. The leader will take care of all arrangements in terms of transport from/to the airport and the city centre and luggage storage. It may also happen that, for logistical reasons, on return we will have to be at the airport earlier than normally scheduled. This will mean a longer waiting time before checking in.

Group

The leader will accompany the group on all activities, except for your free day and one walk on Day 4, which will be led by another guide due to leader working hour restrictions.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 6

Max group size: 14

Itinerary

Map TDT

Land Only

  • Start City: Braccicorti
  • End City: Braccicorti

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Braccicorti

We gather at Agriturismo Braccicorti, approximately 4mi (6km) from Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and two hours from Pisa Airport. You can refresh yourself with a dip in the pool, before we gather for a welcome briefing later in the day.

Please note: Most departures for this trip have been graded Activity Level 3 (Moderate); however, if you’re looking to push yourself, join one of our Activity Level 5 (Challenging) departures. This itinerary provides a day-by-day schedule for both Activity Levels. Please check the Dates & Prices tab to confirm the Activity Level rating for each departure before booking.

If you have extra days at hand and are willing to extend your adventure, consider booking additional nights in Pisa or Florence. Speak to your Sales Consultant for more information on our ‘Pre-Tour’, ‘Post-Tour’ and ‘City Extension’ packages.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Walk through Orecchiella National Park to Pania di Corfino (Activity Level 3)

After breakfast at Braccicorti, we drive to the small village of Pruno where we begin our walk into Orecchiella National Park. In spring, the area can be covered in snow punctuated by the tracks of wolves, deer and mountain hares. Late spring and summer, it is carpeted with an array of beautiful flowers and the beech trees sprout lime-green leaves, which transform to deep oranges, browns and reds in autumn. If we are lucky, we might spot birds of prey; perhaps common or honey buzzards, or even a golden eagle.

Our walk, which is set among beautiful beech trees, steadily ascends to the flat summit of Pania di Corfino, where you can enjoy stunning 360-degree views. After a leisurely picnic lunch, we head to the 16th-century village of Campaiana, before following an ancient mule track, which descends to the town of Corfino.

Walking distance: 8mi (13km); ascent: 1,978ft (603m); descent: 1,978ft (603m); maximum altitude: 5,259ft (1,603m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The beautiful rock arch of Monte Forato (Activity Level 5)

Starting the day with a drive of approximately 40 minutes, we arrive at the gorge of Fornovolasco in Alpi Apuane National Park. From here, we follow a dry riverbed through woodland, before ascending more steeply to enjoy views down to the Versilia coast and across to the marble quarries.

We take a short scramble to meet the spine that leads up to the incredible rock arch of Monte Forato. The summit is only a stone’s throw away; ascend it for majestic views of Pania della Croce. Continuing on the path, we descend sharply through the trees and past old shepherds’ huts to reach our minibus.

Walking distance: 9mi (15km); ascent: 2,274ft (693m); descent: 2,274ft (693m); maximum altitude: 4,012ft (1,223m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Apuane National Park to Monte Sumbra (Activity Level 3)

Today we drive 40 minutes to the small village of Vianova and begin our walk into Alpi Apuane National Park. Much of our initial ascent is on a wide forest track that continues through beech woods to our first viewpoint across to the face of Pania della Croce and the Omo Morto range.

From here, we take a footpath ascending to a limestone plateau where there is an optional ascent to the summit of Monte Sumbra (5,791ft/1,765m). Weather permitting, we will enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Alpi Apuane range, the Ligurian coast and the enormous spine of the Apennines. After lunch on the summit, we retrace our steps back to the limestone plateau, before heading down through the trees following one of the old charcoal trails back to the minibus. On the return to Braccicorti, we stop in the lovely town of Careggine (time permitting).

Walking distance: 10mi (16km); ascent: 2,205ft (672m); descent: 2,205ft (672m); maximum altitude: 5,791ft (1,765m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Apuane National Park to the summit of Pania della Croce (Activity Level 5)

Today we drive for around 45 minutes to return to Alpi Apuane National Park, this time to arrive at the foot of Uomo Morto (the Dead Man). We ascend steadily through beech woods to emerge at Rifugio Rossi, a small mountain hut at the base of the Dead Man’s nose. There is a high chance of seeing mouflon (wild mountain sheep) as we make our way up a large boulder field to a ridge leading to the top of the Dead Man’s stomach and the summit of Pania della Croce at 6,096ft (1,858m).

Along with good views of the marble quarries and the coastal town of Forte di Marmi below us, we can admire the coast to the Cinque Terre, the flat plains of Lucca and Pisa to the east, and the long spine of the Apennine ridge on the opposite side of the valley. After a picnic lunch on the summit, we retrace our steps back to the rifugio, before returning to the bus.

Walking distance: 7.5mi (12km); ascent: 2,487ft (758m); descent: 2,487ft (758m); maximum altitude: 6,096ft (1,858m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4
Circular walk from Braccicorti to medieval market town Castiglione di Garfagnana (Activity Level 3)

With a change of guide for the day, we walk directly from the farmhouse at 1,345ft (410m), firstly visiting the new town of Villa Collemandina before heading to the church and learning about the history of the area. After, the route follows tracks, quiet lanes and footpaths through the local farmland and villages allowing us a real insight into local life.

Midway through the day, we will arrive at Castiglione di Garfagnana at 1,788ft (545m), a small but beautiful medieval town. Castiglione is also the place where the largest and most popular chestnut festival in the region is held each autumn, celebrating the chestnut tree and the growth of truffles and mushrooms. After lunch, we cross a 13th-century bridge below the town leading into more farmland and back to Braccicorti on easy tracks.

Walking distance: 12mi (19km); ascent: 476ft (145m); descent: 476ft (145m); maximum altitude: 1,788ft (545m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Apuane National Park to Monte Tambura (Activity Level 5)

Changing guides for the day, we transfer to the 16th-century shepherds’ village of Campocatino. From here, you begin a continuous ascent on a well-marked path to reach the ridge line of Monte Tambura where you begin your summit.

The path can be a little exposed and loose in places with stunning views of the craggy peaks all around. From the summit, we continue on the ridge line descending to one of the many marble quarries in this mountain range before carefully making our way across several small rocky sections with a fixed security line to aid us on our return to Campocatino.

Walking distance: 10mi (16km), ascent: 2,625ft (800m); descent: 2,625ft (800m); maximum altitude: 6,201ft (1,890m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Free day to visit Lucca, the Cinque Terre, Florence or Pisa

Today is free to enjoy any of the following optional activities: one-hour train journey to visit the stunning fortified city of Lucca; 20-minute taxi and 90-minute train journey to the coastal Unesco World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre; 2hr 30min train journey to visit the capital city of Florence, home of Michelangelo’s David; or the 90-minute train journey to Pisa where you can ascend the leaning tower and walk along the beautiful river Arno.

There are also plenty of options closer to home. Relax with a good book at the farmhouse and make use of the sun loungers and outdoor pool, take a walk down to Lago di Pontecosi for lunch or take a 10-minute train ride to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana for lunch and a walk to the old castle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Campocatino and San Viviano’s Hermitage (Activity Level 3)

A 25-minute drive to Lago di Vagli, with its submerged village and impressive Monte Sumbra backdrop, will bring us to the start point for the day: Vagli Sotto. From here, we walk on a small footpath to the town of Vagli Sopra where we continue to ascend on a section of the pilgrimage walk through chestnut woods to arrive at the 16th-century shepherds’ village of Campocatino. Wandering through the village and seeing the beautiful, terraced meadows, protected by the impressive wall of Roccandagia, it is easy to understand why the shepherds chose this location.

From here, we continue to our highest point for the day at 3,904ft (1,190m) before descending through the trees to San Viviano’s Hermitage. Built into the rock face, the tiny hermitage is said to be where San Viviano lived before his bones were discovered in 1993. It is now used as a chapel and pilgrimage site. Our descent takes a rarely used mountain path with views across the valley before arriving back at the bus.

Walking distance: 8mi (12.5km); ascent: 2,067ft (630m); descent: 2,067ft (630m); maximum altitude: 3,904ft (1,190m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Appennino Tosco‐Emiliano National Park Monte Prado and Monte Cusna (Activity Level 5)

After a 40-minute drive, we begin our two-day ridge walk with a steady ascent through beech woods to meet the Crinali ridge in the Tosco-Emiliano Appennino National Park. During winter, the ridge is snow-covered, but spring brings the growth of alpine flowers, while autumn covers the ground in the purple of myrtle and juniper berries.

Following the crest, this easy route takes us along the ridge to the Monte Prado summit, the highest peak in Tuscany at 6,739ft (2,054m). We then descend to the small tarn of Lago di Bargetana, before continuing into Emilia Romagna and up to Monte Cusna at 6,959ft (2,121m). Marmots can be encountered on the way. After our second summit we descend to our mountain hut Rifugio Bargetana where we enjoy an evening meal before a well-deserved rest. Nestled among the trees, the rifugio is a retreat loved for its good food and wildlife-spotting opportunities.

Walking distance: 14mi (22.5km); ascent: 2,648ft (807m); descent: 2,648ft (807m); maximum altitude: 6,959ft (2,121m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park and the summit of Monte Prado (Activity Level 3)

We start the day with a 40-minute drive to the small ski area of Casone. Walking through beech woods brings us to the beginning of the Crinali ridge, a section of the 994mi (1,600km) Apennine ridge in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park, offering some of the most impressive views of the week. Look below to see the fiery colours of the forest between the ridge line of Tuscany and the opposite ridge of Emilia Romagna. We take an easy path along the undulating ridge, leading up to the peak of Monte Prado, the highest in Tuscany at 6,739ft (2,054m). After lunch, we retrace our steps before descending on another route through woodland back to Casone, where there is a bar to enjoy a well-earned drink.

Walking distance: 10mi (16km); ascent: 2,428ft (740m); descent: 2,428ft (740m); maximum altitude: 6,739ft (2,054m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Apennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park to Passo di Praderena (Activity Level 5)

After our night in the mountain hut, we retrace our steps to Lago di Bargetana, then head back into Tuscany and onto the Crinali ridge. We stay on this ridge line all day with fantastic views across the Alpi Apuane National Park and the Serchio valley. During autumn, the views can stretch as far as the Alps to the north and the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. After completing 9mi (15km), we arrive at Passo di Praderana where we will drive 40 minutes to Braccicorti, with the option of stopping at the Osteria of Verrucole Fortress for a celebratory drink.

Walking distance: 9mi (15km); ascent: 686ft (209m); descent: 686ft (209m); maximum altitude: 6,394ft (1,949m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
End Braccicorti

This morning we’ll enjoy one final breakfast, before saying a fond farewell to Agriturismo Braccicorti, which may feel like a home-from-home by now.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances: All ascents, descents and distances listed in the daily itinerary have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. However, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these Trips Notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Agriturismo Braccicorti

Braccicorti

Our base for this trip is Agriturismo Braccicorti, a traditional stone farmhouse on the lower slopes of the Apennines. On a typical Tuscan farm, it has been authentically renovated and is surrounded by meadows, orchards, woodland and vines.

It comprises four twin/double rooms (with private bathrooms) and one apartment, with one twin/double and one single room sharing a bathroom. Double or twin should be stated upon booking and the rooms with private bathrooms are on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, if requested. There is also a dining room, comfortable living room, quiet room, terrace, golf course with a driving range, swimming pool (open mid-May to end of September), and a garden with sweeping views to the mountains.

Casa Apollonia is also part of the accommodation offer. Located 10 minutes’ walk from the main farmhouse, it provides the same features and level of comfort. It comprises two twin/double rooms, both with private bathrooms. Please contact your sales representative for more information.

Activity Level 5 (Challenging) departures

We spend one night in a comfortable mountain hut with dormitory-style accommodation.

There is no charge for the only standard single room, as bathroom facilities are shared. This is provided on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and should be requested upon booking.

Further double rooms for sole use can be requested two weeks prior to departure; a supplement applies for these. We cannot guarantee these will have private bathrooms.

Accommodation - Pre Trip

Take the opportunity to ease into the trip, adjusting to the time zone and atmosphere at a more leisurely pace before the official tour begins. The following options are usually available on this trip:

  • Pre-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel La Pace (or similar) in Pisa
  • Pre-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) in Florence
  • Pre-tour night(s) at four-star Hotel Cellai (or similar) in Florence
  • Comfort Florence City Extension at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) – includes two nights, guided tour and one-way train ticket from Pisa
  • Deluxe Florence City Extension at four-star Hotel Cellai  (or similar) – includes two nights, guided tour and one-way train ticket from Pisa

Speak to your sales representative for a tailor-made quote and to confirm availability of your chosen package.

Accommodation - Post Trip

A post-tour experience offers a chance to revisit your favorite spots, delve deeper into the destination’s attractions, or simply savor moments of relaxation. The following options are usually available on this trip:

  • Post-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel La Pace (or similar) in Pisa
  • Post-tour night(s) at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) in Florence
  • Post-tour night(s) at four-star Hotel Cellai (or similar) in Florence
  • Comfort Florence City Extension at three-star Hotel Residenza Fiorentina (or similar) – includes two nights, guided tour and one-way train ticket from Pisa
  • Deluxe Florence City Extension at four-star Hotel Diana Roof Garden (or similar) – includes two nights, guided tour and one-way train ticket from Pis

Speak to your sales representative for a tailor-made quote and to confirm availability of your chosen package.

 

Single supplement from USD 615

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, five lunches and five dinners are included.

Continental breakfast with a choice of cereal, bread, yoghurt, eggs and fruit, plus milk, fruit juice and teas/coffee.

Packed lunches are provided on walking days with a buffet-style selection of meat, cheese, fish, salad, bread and salad mix, such as panzanella, plus a cake and fruit.

Starters include Garfagnana soup, pesto pasta, bresaola or risotto with locally made bread, water and Braccicorti red wine.

Main course can be stuffed peppers and courgettes with local cheese and pancetta, roasted meats, locally caught trout or a vegetarian dish such as aubergine and mozzarella bake with home-grown vegetables and salad.

Each meal is finished with a small dessert of homemade tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato or fruit salad and on occasions followed with homemade grappa or amaretto.

Vegetarians are usually well catered for in this area. If you have a gluten-free diet, we recommend taking items with you, as it is not easy to purchase gluten-free products locally.

Transport

We use a private minibus for all transfers and organised excursions.

Weather & Seasonality

Those on May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, but visibility is better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Agriturismo Braccicorti, località Braccicorti, 38/A, 55036 Pontecosi Lucca
Phone: +39 371 528 1155
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Pisa Airport (PSA)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 1hr 30min to two hours’ drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are:

Take an Exodus transfer 

Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Make your own way 

It’s possible to reach the start hotel by public transport, but the journey can be a little complicated. We therefore recommend joining the group transfer where possible. If not, trains run from Pisa Central to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. The ticket costs approximately €12 for a two-hour journey. Train timetables can be found on www.ferroviedellostato.it. From Castelnuovo, it is a 10‐minute taxi ride to Braccicorti, which should cost €25-€28. The phone number of a local taxi company will be provided on the Final Joining Instructions, as there are no taxi ranks at Castelnuovo station.

Please note, there is no reception at our accommodation so it is essential you notify your sales representative of your estimated arrival time. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport that’s scheduled to align with a flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Braccicorti
Location end: Braccicorti

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Walking boots (with good tread and ankle support)
  • Medium-size day sack (30 litres capacity will be sufficient for camera, water bottle, lunch and extra clothing)
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • Towel and swimming things
  • Waterproofs and warm clothes (essential for inclement weather)
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Large refillable water bottle
  • Electrolyte powders (summer months)

For Activity Level 5 (Challenging) departures, you will also need:

  • Sleeping bag liner (for overnight in refuge)
  • Warm two-season jacket and jumper (for some evenings and the ridge walk)

Please note, tap water is safe to drink in the area, which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Optional Equipment

  • Woolly hat and gloves
  • Walking poles

Practical Information

Passport

Remember to check the expiration date of your passport if travelling internationally. Many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the date of your scheduled return.

Visa

Italy

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.

Vaccinations and Health

Italy

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz

Walking in Tuscany

Money

Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

An ATM is available in the village Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and in all the major towns visited. Most places take main credit cards, but cash is generally easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Allow about €5-€15 per day for lunch, depending on whether you have a picnic, snack or a light restaurant meal. For evening meals, allow about €15-€30 including drinks, although it is possible to spend more if you choose expensive dishes. You will also need local currency for extra snacks and drinks bought from a cafe, and for your bar tab at Braccicorti (about €50 should be sufficient for this). Braccicorti operate an ‘honesty bar’ where you help yourself to drinks and pay the family at the end of the week.

Local taxes: Many Italian cities have introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration oversees the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. For this trip, please allow between €5 and €10 per person, depending on the season, for the week.

Tipping

Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. Most of our clients wish to give a tip to their guides in appreciation of their help and friendliness. This, of course, is in no way compulsory and depends on the service received. For this trip we recommend approximately €20 per person for the guide. We also recommend €15  per person for for the local staff at the Agriturismo.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible.
  • During this trip we spend 7 nights at Braccicorti, a lodge-style farmhouse or ‘Agriturismo’ as they are known in Italy. For challenging grade departures, one of these nights is replaced with mountain hut accommodation. Using a locally run Agriturismo is a great way to support the agricultural community by giving farmers an alternative source of income.
  • Clients will have the chance to see locals go about day to day life at various markets. This is another great chance to learn something about local produce and to support small suppliers.
  • Read more about our other initiatives here.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves generates income which is used for upkeep and development of these important sites. Orecchiella and Alpi Apuane National Parks are included on the itinerary.
  • We rewild 100 square metres per passenger to compensate for all trip and flight emissions.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances. In order to be part of the Agriturismo Association, it is a requirement to hire local staff and to use local produce. Therefore, where meals are supplied, fresh and seasonal ingredients like the Farro grain and abundant sweet chestnut are used to make regional specialties.
  • Walking trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals, as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively few resources to support.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: we do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.

 

 

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.