Autumn is the season in which the most sensational of nature shows is staged: the foliage. Before detaching from the tree branches, the leaves change color, passing from green to orange, red and yellow, offering enchanting views. According to a study, walking in the woods during the foliage has beneficial effects on the mind and body, relieves stress and helps to re-establish contact with nature. Here are nine ideal trails for trekking or simply have a relaxing walk alone or with an environmental guide.
Get your batteries, hiking boots and camera, ready to conquer new landscapes.
Length: 7 km
Difference in altitude: 242 m
This path connects the two medieval castles of Torrita di Siena and Montefollonico, known for being the village of Vinsanto (every year on December 8th there is an event that is very popular with the local community dedicated to this sweet wine). 7km of pure nature immersed in the woods accompanied by silence and the call of wild animals. It would not be strange if you happen to spot roe deer or colorful pheasants along the way. You will surely be astonished by the views and glimpses of Montepulciano that you will see when emerging from the foliage of the trees. Do not miss the Il Tondo Park, a suggestive forest of holm oaks and cypresses structured in a circular shape to which it owes its name (tondo means round), from which you can enjoy a beautiful view over the Valdichiana to Lake Trasimeno. In the moment of foliage, Il Tondo transforms into an iridescent spot that strikes for its shape and atmosphere. At the center of the park, you can see stone tables perfect for a lunch stop during the trek.
This is just one of the paths that you can take in Torrita di Siena, all the others can be consulted on Torrita di Siena Living.
Length: 11.5 Km
Estimated time: 3h 05mins
Difference in altitude: 398 m
A circular path that begins just outside the walls of the historic center of Celle sul Rigo, in Piazza Risorgimento, where you can also see signs indicating the direction of the route. 11 km among the breathtaking views that inspired the poet Giosuè Carducci who spent his summer holidays with his family in Celle sul Rigo and where he is still remembered with a monument that you will see in the first stretches of the journey. Leaving the village behind, you will venture to discover the surrounding countryside, where Valdichiana Senese becomes Val d'Orcia, where the hills become gullies and the charm becomes immense especially in Autumn, when the surrounding woods are colored red-orange-yellow. Your points of reference will be the various farms that you will meet along the way (Fontanelle, Macetona) as well as the truffle fields: the area is in fact particularly suited to hunt this precious product. As you walk you will notice Celle sul Rigo increasingly distant, appreciating its scenic beauty, until you reach the Rigo stream and then re-enter the provincial road and return to the starting point.
This is just one of the paths that you can take in San Casciano dei Bagni, all the others are available on the San Casciano Active website where you will find the tracks as well as a 3D video that simulates the route.
Length: 11.5 Km
Estimated time: 2h 15 minutes
Difference in altitude: 230 m
Your itinerary to discover the wonders of the Valdichiana Senese and Val d'Orcia will start from Castelmuzio, a real jewel among the Tuscan villages also known as "Borgo Salotto" (salon hamlet), which is also the name of the local association that is committed to maintaining and take care of the village in every detail, street furniture, events and cultural promotion. From the village you go down towards the valley covered by olive trees to take Via della Trove, from which you can already see the tower of the Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena in the distance, and then go up into the beautiful forest with the foliage in Autumn. Among cypresses, oaks and farms you reach the esplanade of the monastery, where it will be easy to recognize some scenes from the famous film “The English Patient”. When you reach the provincial road, turn right and then left, along a small road that descends to Podere Lama and then to the Trove stream. At this point it is possible to go up directly to Castelmuzio passing through the same way as the outward journey, or to deviate towards Podere Estia, reaching the Romanesque parish church of Santo Stefano a Cennano, whose original layout is prior to the year 1000. The stretch of road that rejoins Castelmuzio from the Pieve di Santo Stefano concludes this beautiful itinerary.
Length: 10.3 Km
Estimated time: 3h 3minutes
Difference in altitude: 268 m
This circular route will take you to discover the woods that embrace Chianciano Terme, which in Autumn warms up with natural warmth between the colors of the foliage and the thermal waters. Theia Thermal Pools are the starting point, from here you will go up Via della Foresta until you reach the Poggiardelli area from where you will reach the Capuchin Convent "La Maddalena", once a place of Christian hermitage and today a religious place and reception point for tourist. The convent is surrounded by a forest of about 22 hectares that you will cross along your path. The ecosystem is varied. You can see the Turkey oak with hornbeam, oak, maples, butcher's broom as well as holm oaks, maples, firs, cypresses, domestic pines and other tree species that in Autumn offer the most beautiful spectacles of foliage. The route then continues until you reach an asphalted road that leads back to the starting point. If you intend to venture on this path do not forget to take your camera with you because you will come across natural wonders of unique beauty: the Val d'Orcia on one side, Montepulciano that emerges in the distance as well as the lakes of Chiusi and Montepulciano, and also the Trasimeno Lake if you are lucky. Our advice is to walk in the morning and once back at the starting point take advantage of the Theia Thermal Pools for a relaxing afternoon.
This is just one of the paths that you can take in Chianciano Terme, all the others can be consulted on Visit Chianciano Terme.
Length: 5 km
Difference in altitude: 20 m
Suggestive flat route through two millennia of history. The path descends towards the Astrone and is dotted with small churches that most likely arose on pagan places dedicated to water warshipping. After the gate of San Martino, taking the road to the cemetery, you meet the first church: the "Chiesina della Concia" (tanning little church) of which only the tympanum remains visible; continuing on there is the Church of Santa Vittoria, deconsecrated and without a roof; the church of Crocifisso, which is now a private house; the shrine of the "Madonna dell'uccellino" (little bird Madonna); the private church of the Borselli family, the shrine of the "Madonna del Maldicapo" (headache Madonna) and the beautiful church of the Spiagge (beaches), now private. The Madonna del Maldicapo certainly deserves a break to rest your head in the hollow of the stone that guarantees the disappearance of neuralgia, or so the legend goes. Going down beyond the ruins of the old mills, following the overwhelming flow of falling water, you arrive at the remains of the Roman thermal plant of Peschiera Giannini, whose grandeur is documented by a 36-meter wall. From there you can return to the town following the suggestive path of the "vie cupe" (gloomy streets), roads of Etruscan origin, with walls carved into the high travertine overhangs. The path becomes even more suggestive in Autumn when the foliage illuminates the woods around Sarteano from where you can see Mount Cetona with all its colors.
This is just one of the paths that you can take in Sarteano, all the others can be consulted on the Monte Cetona trails and itineraries guide.
Valdichiana Living has come up with a special offer for passionate walkers who intend to experience the adventure along the paths of the Valdichiana Senese taking advantage of a weekend in Tuscany: three-night stay in a farmhouse, environmental guide and entrance to the Theia Thermal Pools in Chianciano Terme. Find all the information here. If, on the other hand, you prefer a daily experience, Valdichiana Living can organize your excursion for individuals or groups with an environmental guide along one of the suggestive paths of the Valdichiana Senese.