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.

Cammino di San Jacopo 

Do you know the charm given off by ancient paths that, between delicate flat stretches and refined hilly shapes, cross timeless villages and castles? In Montecatini Terme it is the path of San Jacopo that offers the tempting prospect of experiencing nature through such a landscape, whose path connects Florence to Lucca and then joins the famous Via Francigena. Montecatini Terme, located on the route from Pistoia to Pescia, is also crossed by the path.

Already at the beginning of the stretch in the Pistoia area, it is possible to grasp the attraction of the path thanks to a splendid view from Colle Giaccherino (formerly Colle Lucense), from which the Francigena pilgrims saw, for the first time after the many kilometers traveled, the bell towers and towers of the Little Santiago. Continuing the walk, surrounded by areas little frequented by human beings, we arrive at the village of Serravalle, from whose towers it is possible to admire the unfolding of the Way of San Jacopo in the distance.

After crossing the splendid early medieval parish church of San Pietro “in Neure”, we arrive in Montecatini Terme, an important hub of the route where the historic spas and the city center fuel the charm of such a rich and varied scenery. The Castle of Buggiano, Stignano, La Costa and Uzzano are the other splendid stages that separate Montecatini from Pescia, a splendid town with a delightful historic center and a beautiful Cathedral.

The section from Pistoia to Pescia is about 29.6 km long; at the highest point, in correspondence of Uzzano, 300 meters above sea level are reached. The walk is recommended for all those who already have experience in trekking.

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