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Stigliano

Tuscany, Italy

Five Fantastic Places to Walk in Siena

Posted by Luci Ackers on Jun 19, 2015
Walking holiday in Italy
Walking holiday in Italy
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  • Walking holiday in Italy
  • View from Piazza Bovio, Piombino
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Where better to take a beautiful walk in the countryside than the world famous region of Tuscany? There are so many fantastic places to see that we've put together a short list as a starting point. If you're staying in the Province of Siena, here are five great walking areas:

Alto Merse Nature Reserve

The reserve, which is just south west of Siena, promotes the conservation of the landscape and has a mix of different habitats. Here you will find a thick cover of vegetation along with a large amount of deciduous woodland to explore. The greenery flourishes around the banks of the river Merse, a section of which is contained within the reserve. The water is full of fish and its lush surroundings are home to amphibians and other wildlife while the established woodland is good for important species such as the pine marten, polecat and green woodpecker. The northern section of the Alto Merse features a number of clearings and these are a favourite with birds of prey like the short-toed eagle and the buzzard. The reserve also has a nice amount of shade for walking, which is always good!

Take a look at the website for more info here.

San Gimignano

A lovely circuit round this ancient UNESCO-protected hill town really gives you a taste of Tuscany. Routes are easy to follow, with straight-forward walking. If you are starting from outside the town you'll have a fantastic view of its iconic towers against the skyline. There are different entrance gates to the town and entering via Porta San Giovanni will take you through two of the town piazzas and give you a chance to explore the wonderful medieval streets inside the walls. It's also possible to walk the perimeter of the town on the second circle of the 13th century city walls. This will provide you stunning views of the hilly surroundings and the valley.

Find out more about San Gimignnano on the website here.

Piombino

Drive towards the sea and take a walk in Piombino, a pretty, old port town right on the west coast. The town sits on a small headland at the border between the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea and offers panoramic views out over the water and to the island of Elba. Don't miss a stop-off at the Piazza Bovio, a terrace built on a sea cliff overlooking the island. The town's little castle and Medicean fortress offer spectacular views and are reached via the road viale del Popolo, opposite Piazza Bovio.

Take a look at the website here.

Torri

Take a little walk across the wooded hillside that rises up above the small settlement of Stigliano. From the main square of Stigliano head right on the lane designated 'trail no. 7', over a footbridge and past a disused quarry. Stay right until the clearing where you'll fork left. Keep going until the village of Torri becomes visible through the trees. If you keep walking you will eventually reach a major fork, take the left again and you'll be climbing upwards. The houses of the ancient village of Torri all interestingly face inwards in a defensive huddle. At the top of the village is a small former abbey with a little cloister and this is open mondays and fridays.

Siena

The historic centre of Siena must be explored. You could wander the beautiful streets and admire the old architecture that has earned the city its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Alternatively you could join a section of the Via Francigena and follow in the ancient footsteps of the pilgrims on the path that linked France to Rome. One leg of the journey goes from Monteriggioni straight into Siena and would be a walk of a few hours.

Learn more about the Via Francigena here. Or the specific Monteriggioni section here.

Visit Siena's website here.

Lago Trasimeno

If you travel to the Regional Park of Lake Trasimeno you will find the large body of water is surrounded by a number of towns. Trasimeno is quite shallow so as you walk its shores you can have a paddle. One town, Castiglione del Lago, sits at the southwest corner and is home to the Castello del Leone, a 13th century pentagonal fortress. You can still see the town's historic centre, and there are good views of the lake to be had from various points. The Lake itself is nestled amongst the gentle hills of the region of Umbria and its clear waters are home to a large amount of fish. Thanks to the fish, the size of the lake and its shallow waters, many aquatic marsh-loving bird species are drawn here. You're likely to spot shovelers, wigeons, teals and cormorants. There are several islands in the lake; one is inhabited and another is an important scientific reserve.

Find out more on the website here.

Stay in the beautiful hilltop village of Stigliano and experience all that Tuscany has to offer. From Stigliano you are in an excellent position to try out all of these walks. Find out how you can stay here by following the link below.

FIND OUT HOW YOU TOO CAN STAY HERE
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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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