September 28, 2011, 05:11 AM
Where to walk in Tuscany?
My wife and I have rented a villa for October near Volterra. We like to walk. Any suggestions? We also like the arts i.e. visual, ballet, opera ... any suggestions?
We want to visit a beach? We want to experience Cinque Terre. How do we get there? We will have a car.
September 30, 2011, 02:36 PM
Wow a whole month sounds pretty great - you'll have the chance to really live and experience Tuscany like a resident and not simply a visitor
Let's see if I can give you some suggestions for the things you've mentioned you'd like to do.....
For walking: you can join others for day excursions, for example I found these organized walks:
walking festival in nearby Pisa and another from Volterra on October 9th.
Otherwise, you can do what we do and plan your own excursions, often packing a picnic to enjoy while out. We use a book that has lots of trails indicated, unfortunately it is only in Italian, called "A piedi in Toscana". It has 3 volumes, #2 is the one for the area around Volterra all the way to the sea, upt towards Pisa and then east all the way to the Apennines. If you know a little Italian, it is a great book since it really has lots of walks, maps and descriptions. I checked and it has several walks in the area around Volterra, including 2 that depart from Volterra or a few minutes from the town.
Now in English, I recommend "50 Hikes in and around Tuscany" by Jeff Taylor which has one walk near Volterra and a few others in the area not too far away. Some other areas of Tuscany are more well covered. With a whole month in Tuscany you'll also be exploring further away so you'll likely enjoy the other walks listed. Once you're here, you should get the 25,000:1 scale maps that you find in each area you go to - they are hard to find elsewhere, but they are really useful since they show the CAI walking trails. The books help plan and know more or else how long each walk is, the maps help you get there and navigate. Wherever you end up at, always head to the tourism office and ask them for info or books or maps on walking around, they are really great resources to tap, even for walks you might do a few days later on.
As far as events, you'll need to check out the specific sites for each area or town. For Volterra, here is some info on a special event called Volterra Gusto while here is a list of the events in October. Like I said, head to the Volterra tourism office in Piazza dei Priori and get info on events and opers/ballet from them, they'll have lots of brochures, maps and more.
I am thinking for ballet and opera, you'll have to go to the larger cities, such as Siena, Florence and Pisa - many of the events held throughout Tuscany are generally held during the summer and outdoors. In Florence, see the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and in Pisa you can see the theater schedule here. Looking for others, it seems in Siena and Grosseto the season starts in November and ends in spring
Read this article to get an idea of the top beaches in Tuscany. While October might already be a little cold for actually bathing, you might still get good days of sunshine
Read this post on the Cinque Terre to get an idea of the area and towns. When you've read it and have more questions, feel free to ask, we'll try to help!
Hope all these suggestions are useful!!
December 27, 2011, 08:14 AM
Lourdes you always come up with nice solutions. Thanks for such helpful sharing.
January 10, 2012, 09:46 AM
Amazing! Truly learnt alot! I look forward to visiting Tuscany armed with such great suggestions