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      our holidays > Walking Holidays > Italy & its Islands > Tuscany > From Bologna to Florence

From Bologna to Florence

Emilia Romagna - through the Mugello
Starting point:

Bologna for two nights at the Hotel Porta San Mamolo.

Day 1
Explore Bologna

Spend the day exploring Bologna – be sure to visit the unfinished 14th-century basilica, the ancient university (the oldest in the world), one or both of the city’s excellent art museums, and the Asinelli Tower, which affords marvellous views over the city.

Day 2
Bologna to Sasso Marconi.: 19km, 6.5hrs; 640m ascent, 460m descent

You leave Bologna on foot via its famous portici, the longest arcade in the world, which leads all the way to the hill-top Sanctuary of San Luca, where you are rewarded with wonderful views. From the sanctuary, woodland paths head south following the River Reno. Towards the end of the day you cross wooded, panoramic hills to the grassy uplands of Prati di Mugnano, from where you are transferred to your hotel, the Locanda dei Cinque Cerri in Sasso Marconi.

Day 3
Sasso Marconi to Madonna dei Fornelli: 21km, 8.5hrs; 1045m ascent, 840m descent (10km, 4hrs on a Sunday, see below)

Today’s walk takes you to the fringes of the Apennines via two quite different but equally excellent sections of the Via degli Dei. The day begins with a short transfer, after which you ascend dense woodland trails to reach the rocky ledges of Mount Adone (655 metres) for wonderful 360-degree views over the valley. A gentle descent follows, going through the tranquil village of Brento to reach Bivio Furcoli from where you catch the bus to Monzuno (5km; tickets included). From Monzuno, you walk along a high, broad ridge that offers magnificent views towards the highest peaks of the Apennines. You stay in the Albergo Poli in the village of Madonna dei Fornelli.
[PLEASE NOTE: there is no bus service on Sunday. Instead you will transferred by taxi directly to Monzuno to begin your walk there. Please confirm the departure time the night before with Hotel Cinque Cerri.]

Day 4
Madonna dei Fornelli to Traversa: 14km, 5.5hrs; 740m ascent, 660m descent

This wonderful walk is a significant chapter of the journey as it is today that you cross the border between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. This is one of the most remote sections of the Via degli Dei, and leads along a high and panoramic ridge (you pass over summits over 1,100 metres above sea level), through silent woodland and past abandoned farmsteads. Several stretches are along ancient cobbled trails. Your destination is the Albergo da Jolanda in Traversa.

Day 5
Traversa to San Piero a Sieve: 21km, 7hrs; 515m ascent, 1215m descent
Shorter option to Sant'Aqata then bus to San Piero a Sieve: 15km, 5hrs

The day begins with a short transfer to the Futa Pass (903 metres) just south of the Tuscan border. From here you ascend to Mount Gazzaro (1,125 metres) before descending through woodland which shelters fallow deer and wild boar into the softer, more open landscapes of the Mugello area. Although you are much lower here, the views of the surrounding valleys are remarkable. Tonight's destination is the Hotel la Felicina in San Piero a Sieve. (You can shorten this walk by catching the bus from the village of Sant'Agata.)

Day 6
San Piero a Sieve to Olmo: 20km, 7.5hrs; 930m ascent, 695m descent

Setting off from San Piero, you again follow the Via degli Dei to climb up past Castello del Trebbio – originally a Medici family villa – from where you are rewarded with great views to the north. You are now in the Mugello Hills and the route passes between two fine abbeys: the Abbey of Buonsollazzo and the Monastery of Monte Senario. From the latter the views stretch over the entire Mugello Valley. The landscape gradually softens as you wander along quiet country lanes, across fields and over a small ridge to Olmo where you stay in the Hotel-Ristorante Dino.

Day 7
Olmo to Fiesole: 16km, 6hrs; 585m ascent, 830m descent

You start by crossing terraces of vines and olive trees to the small chapel of Montereggi, from where pleasant woodland tracks ascend past a breathtaking viewpoint over Florence to a panoramic ridge. The last part of the walk leads along quiet country lanes and paths past more olive groves to reach the wooded promontory of Mount Ceceri, famed for its terraces overlooking Florence. As this is a short route, you can take time in the afternoon to explore Fiesole, its archaeological museum, Roman theatre, and fine church. You stay in the Pensione Bencistá in Fiesole.

Day 8
Fiesole to Florence: 8km, 2.5hrs; 60m ascent, 200m descent

Your last walk is easy and relaxing – the route winds across panoramic hills to the suburbs of Florence and then follows wide, elegant avenues into the historic centre. You stay two nights in the Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco.

Day 9
Explore Florence

The attractions of Italy’s greatest Renaissance city need little introduction and almost everyone would have a different list. Spend your final day on our recommended city walk from Piazza del Duomo, which explores open squares and narrow streets, admiring historic palaces and public buildings, including one of the most famous art galleries in the world, the Uffizi, which contains works by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, among others. Be sure not to miss Michelangelo’s statue of David in the Galleria dell’ Accademia or the fascinating Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno.

If your arrival here coincides with Easter, don't miss Scoppio del Carro ( or ‘Explosion of the Cart’) a remarkable old folk tradition which is celebrated in the square in front of the Duomo. A cart, literally filled with fireworks and other pyrotechnics, is hauled to the square by a team of white oxen garlanded with flowers. Once the oxen are removed to a safe distance, a 'dove' flies down a wire from the High Altar and ignites the cart. The fireworks symbolise the Holy Fire created from three flints brought back from the First Crusade in 1096, and guarantee a good harvest and a stable life for the coming year.

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 Grade 2-3 Walk
Local Map
 Walking Chart
Walking Chart:From Bologna to Florence This is an approximation only. If comparing holidays, please note the scale of the chart as this can differ.