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Places to Hike in Italy

Anello del Rinascimento, Tuscany (Florentine hills) T he area around Florence (Tuscany) has some beautiful hiking paths in the Anello del Rinascimento or «Renaissance Ring». The trails go through Tuscany’s rolling hills and past little medieval towns, monasteries, castles, and churches. Talk about a different kind of day trip from Florence!
Calenzano – Vaglia
Vaglia – Alberaccio – Fiesole
Vaglia – Alberaccio – Santa Brigida
Variante – Montesenario
Santa Brigida – Pontassieve
Pontassieve – Montecucco – San Donato
Rignano sull’Arno – Montecucco – Bagno a Ripoli
San Donato in Collina – Impruneta
Impruneta – Certosa
Certosa – Florence
Certosa – Scandicci – Lastra a Signa/Signa
Signa – Florence
Signa – Campi Bisenzio – Calenzano
Anello del Rinascimento is spanning 178 km around Florence, focussing on Filippo Brunelleschi’s Dome, which is the Cathedral’s Dome, through woodland and cultivated country. The Renaissance Ring comprises of 13 unique itineraries that break the 170 kilometers (100 miles) down into bite-size pieces. Day excursions, spread out over time, can be a great way to experience the entire circle—slowly and thoughtfully, just like it evolved over the centuries.

The Renaissance Ring itineraries
Calenzano – Vaglia
The hiknig route gradually ascends the slopes of Monte Morello, the Mons Maurillius of the Romans, from which there are splendid views both over the city and over the Mugello, as well as of the more distant  Appennines.
Length of stage: Km 19. 7
Time required: aprox. 6 hrs 40 mins
Altitude variance: 719m
Access: Train from Florence and Prato. Bus service from Florence, Prato and Barberino di Mugello.
Etruscan and Roman remnants, Area Archeologica, Via Duprè, Fiesole.
Vaglia – Alberaccio – Fiesole
Length: Km 22. 9
Time required: 6 hrs 40 mins
Altitude variance: 688m
Difficulties: the length of the journey
Tips and notes: Pay attention to the traffic on the asphalt stretches, and also to exposure to the sun in the summer months.
Access: Train from Florence and Borgo San Lorenzo. Bus service from Florence and from the Mugello; Bus service to the Alberaccio and Fiesole.
Vaglia – Alberaccio – Santa Brigida
The route follows quiet, shady pathways as far as Bivigliano continuing to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, and ultimately descending along a beautiful paved road to Santa Brigida. In addition to its religious associations, this itinerary is also of interest to nature lovers because it passes through the Natural Park/Reservation of Poggio Ripaghera, famed for the plant life unique to the area.
Length of route: 17. 5 km
Time required: 3 hours
Altitude variance: 483m
Pontassieve, just 20 km from Florence. Pontassieve is home to interesting examples of architecture such as Palazzo Sansoni-Trombetta and San Giovanni church at Remole. Image/Visit Tuscany.
Santa Brigida – Pontassieve
An itinerary of interest chiefly for the countryside it passes through, almost always in descent, in the lovely landscape that slopes towards the Val di Sieve, dotted with stupendous farms and hamlets.
Length: Km 13. 2
Time required: 4 hrs
Altitude variance: 300m
Access: Bus service to Santa Brigida, bus and train to Pontassieve.
Pontassieve – Montecucco – San Donato
This route takes you along ancient roads with fine views over the Arno river Valley. As in other itineraries, the beauty of nature is mingled to a remarkable degree with historical and artistic interest.
Length: 13km
Time required: 4 hrs 20 mins
Altitude variance: 598m
Access: Train to Pontassieve; Bus service to Rosano, Pontassieve and San Donato
Rignano Sull’Arno, Tuscany, Italy. Image/Francesco Sgroi.
Rignano sull’Arno-Montecucco-Bagno a Ripoli
On this route you will take a metaphorical walk through history, along with those shepherds and wayfarers who crossed the bridge at Rignano to gain the Pian di Ripoli or even the Maremma. They used to follow the remains of the ancient Via Cassia Adrianea, which led from the bridge through the pass at Montecucco to the medieval Spedale del Bigallo.
Length: 13. 5km
Time required: 4 hrs
Altitude variance: 430m
Access: To Rignano Train and Bus service; Bus service to Bagno a Ripoli.
San Donato in Collina – Impruneta
Pozzolatico, Impruneta, Tuscany. Image/giube.
From the woods of Fonte Santa we move to the vineyards and olive groves that herald the gentle landscapes of Chianti to end up at Impruneta, the «heart» of terracotta ware.
Length: 18km
Time required: 5 hrs 50 mins
Altitude variance: 542m
Access: Bus services from Florence and Impruneta, which intersect the route at several intermediate localities.
Impruneta – La Certosa
Beautiful views over Florence and the grand architectural complex of the Certosa(Carthusian monastery).
Length: 7, 3km
Time required: 2hrs 10 mins
La Certosa – Firenze
A lovely walk along roads typical of the hills around Florence. Reaching Piazzale Michelangelo we find ourselves on a prodigious balcony overhanging the City of the Florence.
Length of rout: 6, 3km
Time required: 1 hr 50 mins
Access: Bus service to Galluzzo and Florence
Villa Caruso Bellosguardo, Tuscany. Image/unpodimondo.
La Certosa – Pian dei Cerri – Lastra a Signa – Signa
This route plunges into the pinewoods characteristic of the Florentine hill country bordering on Chianti and winds through the woods of Roveta, interspersed with the olive groves in the parts towards Signa and the Arno river.
Length: 23km
Time required: 6hrs 50min
Signa – Campi Bisenzio – Calenzano
The last lap of the Anello del Rinascimento is set in the Florentine plains. From the Renai to Campi Bizenzio, in a man-made landscape, traces of the past are still legible, giving this area a fascination of its own that can only be rediscovered on the banks of the River Bisenzio.
Length: 17km
Time required: 4h 30min
Signa – Florence
Length: 12. 6km
Time required: 3h 10min

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