Trekking in the district between Leonardo and Pinocchio would be an outdoor and cultural experience, unlike many other spots in Tuscany or Italy: located in a millenary crossroads between the mountains and the only way to get to Rome (Romea Strata and Francigena historical roads) this district counts a number of trekking paths that lead to old open churches or little villages that can be visited, and the outdoor experience immediately becomes something different.
Historical buildings compose a different mosaic of must-see places, and some of the best trails are literally between Leonardo and Pinocchio.
The Paths in the majority of the cases have red&white signals (official CAI Signals) and an identifying number, that makes it easy to find it online or on our Outdoor Web App.
The list of trekking paths includes short walks such as those starting from Montecatini Terme to Montecatini Alto and long walks, such as the ALTA VIA VALDINIEVOLE, that crosses 5 hills and passes through all the villages between Serravalle and Pescia: the old way to Lucca and Pisa it was, from Florence, or from Vinci; indeed this was the same path that Leonardo da Vinci used to do many times, when he tried to move the flow of the river Arno, to improve health and richness of our lands.
Trekking Paths are available starting from any of the Valdinievole villages, such as in Vinci, Lamporecchio, Larciano, Monsummano Terme, Serravalle Pistoiese, Pieve a Nievole, Montecatini Terme, Massa e Cozzile, Borgo a Buggiano, Uzzano, Chiesina Uzzanese and Ponte Buggianese, and Pescia, where the largest number of tracks is in the Valleriana valley or between Collodi and Lucca.
Trekking on the Mountains of Pistoia is a real outdoor experience: reaching over 1000 metres of heights, the tracks are particularly open, wide open grass tracks under blue skyes, surrounded by blackberry bushes (a real eat-and-go path!): the net is quite big, and there are paths both for easy trekking with kids, and for expert trekkers, and Nordic walkers. Some of the tracks require correct equipment and are quite difficult, for hard trekking lovers and panoramas seekers.
One of the most popular walks in the area is the walk to Scaffaiolo Lake, a magic water mirror in the middle of mountains, showing fantastic reflections of the sky and clouds. Cultural paths are also available in the Mountains of Pistoia, such as the Eco-Museum of the Mountains, featuring many historical and interest points of old manufactures, such as the Ice – making buildings, or the old mills of the Mountains.
San Bartolomeo “Cammino”: history at walk
The Cammino of San Bartolomeo is a walking path that links the cult places named after or dedicated to Saint Bartolomeo, between Emilia and Tuscany region: Fiumalbo, Cutigliano, Spedaletto and Pistoia. This path is long 100km and it can be done in 5 days, and it is serviced at walking distance: at any of the stages of the walk, shops and restaurants would be at a short and reachable distance, including pharmacies, accommodations, local shops or typical restaurants.
Find out more on the official website.
The Francigena Road & and the “Romea Strata”
The area of Valdinievole (from Lucca to Florence and viceversa) has always been highly frequented from politicians, military forces, diplomatic personnel and Church delegates: that was the Romea Strata path, known since 2000 years, crossing the Valdinievole between the filthy and unsane waters of the Padule Marshland and the hills overlooking it, one after the other. The road would keep on going through Serravalle, and then towards Pistoia and Florence, via the hills of Vinci and Montalbano, the same hills that later Leonardo would live as his home ground.
The Francigena Road would pass from here, too, as the medieval sculpture of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte church would demonstrate, however the official track of the Francigena now passes from Altopascio, 10km south est of Chiesina, directed to San Miniato, while the old Francigena would pass from the Marshlands, too, using the peculiar “barchino” boats.
Find out more on FRANCIGENA Itinerary in the area on the official website.