Trekking in Valdinievole

The area of Valdinievole that stretches from Montecatini Terme to Collodi and up to the mountains of Pistoia, is ideal for walkers and hikers. Even if you’re a casual hiker, you’ll get a lot out of walking through real Tuscan nature, breathing in pure country air, stopping to catch some birdsong through the greenery.

Not to mention the beautiful scenery you’ll encounter along your chosen route. If you like bird watching, make sure to bring a good pair of binoculars and some patience and you’ll be rewarded with sights of native birds in their natural habitat. Here are our recommendations for some of the best-known hiking routes in Valdinievole, suitable even for beginners. Remember to avoid the hottest days for your trip around Montecatini Terme and always wear suitable shoes for the steeper paths.

Duration: 2 or 3 days

La "Corta"

The well-worn route to the town of Montecatini Alto, this is also the most pleasant. It does demand some effort with some uphill parts, but you’ll be rewarded with breath-taking views. One route we recommend starts at the pine forest at Montecatini Terme, looping back around: after a section that includes some good bird watching, head up along the “Via dell’Amore”, a green-filled path of local bush and sounds of nature which leads you to Montecatini Alto.

After a rest stop, go back to the valley along the “Corta” which runs beside the picturesque funicular. This historic path is still used as part of the Via Crucis, marking the stops along the ways of the Cross. With olive trees, woods and slopes this is a hike you’ll remember.

Via dei Mulini 

The Via dei Mulini (Path of the Mills) is a very special trail, starting from the remains of an old mill, following the tracks of four ancient mills, all now abandoned: the mills of Fontanone, Sotto, Sopra, and Stiappa or Grillo. These now-silent structures stand mysterious, bearing testament to what was once the main economic activity in the Valdinievole area.

The Via dei Mulini follows a relatively short trail (3km) through the northernmost part of the Pescia mountains: from the village of Stiappa you’ll reach Pontito and come back to your departure point. This is some of the most authentic nature you’ll find, with chestnut woods, sparkling streams and wonderful views of the countryside and villages.

Via della Fiaba 

As its name suggests, the Via della Fiaba (Path of Fairy Tale) is ideal if you’re out for a walk with children: it’s not a difficult trail and it follows in the footsteps of the much-loved Pinocchio. Leave from the centre of Pescia, head up to the hills of Monte a Pescia until you reach the castle of Collodi, the upper part of the town made famous by Carlo Collodi, the author who penned the tale of the puppet who wanted to become a boy. From this point you start to descend into the lower part of the town, where, if the weather is nice, you should visit the Garden of Villa Garzoni, the Butterfly House and the Pinocchio Park.

From Collodi return to Pescia through Marsalle and Pietra Munita. Along the way you’ll enjoy different landscapes: on one side, classic Tuscan nature with olive groves crossed by the streams, on the other the medieval town of Pescia. This is a pleasant trip for adults and children staying at Montecatini Terme and area.

Useful tips:

  • What to wear: practical clothing, preferably in cotton or active-wear, hiking books, sun hat;
  • What to bring: binoculars and a good supply of water especially on hotter days.

 

Excursions in Tuscany: trekking in Valdinievole Recommended by Francia & Quirinale