Quiet Mountains of the Apennines

Italy's little-known mountains
On this rewarding self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking break, you discover stunning, little-known woodland while your luggage is transported ahead. Besides the excellent routes and sweeping views from the peaks, one of the highlights is the warm and genuine hospitality of your hosts.
Quiet Mountains of the Apennines. 4 nights
Quiet Mountains of the Apennines. 4 nights

Holiday information


A walking break in the Apennines

The Apennines, stretching from Liguria to Umbria, form Italy's spine and offer some of country's best walking. Our chosen area is the Alto Appennino Bolognese between the great cities of Florence and Bologna and close to the Tuscan border. Here, traditional villages cluster on the lower slopes of dramatic peaks rising to nearly 2,000 metres, and inviting paths lead up through thick, majestic woodland of beech, oak and chestnut to the high mountains.
Much of the walking occurs in the protected area of the Corno alle Scale Regional Park, rich in wildlife and flowers, and named after the area's imposing highest peak. In such a quiet, untouristy area, the welcome is genuine and warm. Our chosen inns receive high praise, not least for a regional cuisine of pasta, cured meats, fish from the rivers, bread made from chestnut flour, and, in season, wild mushrooms, truffles and chestnuts.



The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 8 8 12 15 20 24 28 28 23 18 12 8
    mm 67 55 59 72 56 40 2 22 51 78 112 83
  • Arrival in Porretta Terme
    Night 1: at Hotel Helvetia (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Porretta Terme to Lizzano: 9km, 4hrs; ascent 625m / descent 345m
    As your first walk is not overly long, you could take some time to explore Porretta Terme before setting off. When you are ready, you strike out uphill in the direction of Castelluccio, an ancient village with a crumbling castle and sweeping views over the surrounding area to reward the occasionally steep ascent. Most of the walk is flat, however, and you pass through a series of other captivating hamlets. Your destination is the Hotel Il Fondaccio in Lizzano in Belvedere, where you stay the night. From here the views – as the village's name suggests – are every bit as panoramic as those of Castelluccio, if not more so.
    Porretta Terme to Lizzano: 9km
    Sweeping views on the route from Porretta Terme to Lizzano
  • Lizzano to Vidiciatico: 11.5km, 4hrs; ascent 680m / descent 470m
    Climbing one of the recognised historical mountains in the area, Monte Belvedere, today’s walk introduces you to the region’s turbulent history, and the courage and sacrifice of the partisan resistance and American troops who fought the Germans in these hills in 1945. The day begins with a short transfer to Raspadore, followed by a fairly strenuous ascent to the summit. From here, it's gently downhill with sweeping views of valley. Your final two nights are spent in Vidiciatico at the Hotel Montegrande.
    Lizzano to Vidiciatico: 11.5km
    Approaching the summit of Monte Belvedere
  • Choice of walks from Vidiciatico: 7km to 12km
    For your last day, you have a choice of three routes, the first two of which involve short transfers at the start and end of the day, and take in the romantic 16th-century sanctuary of Madonna dell’Acero.

    Corno alle Scale: 12km, 5hrs; ascent 970m / descent 740m
    This is probably the highlight walk of the week. After a transfer to Madonna dell’Acero, you follow the Dardagna river along the valley to the Dardagna Falls. There is a stepped path alongside the waterfall providing the opportunity to experience at least three of its main tiers from up close. From the falls, you enjoy open views on your way to Lago del Scaffaiolo followed by a stunning ridge walk to the highest point, Corno alle Scale, crowned by the iconic metal cross that has been visible for most of your time in the Apennines. You descend on a track, then a lovely forest path to the refuge and lake at Cavone where you will be collected.

    Dardagna Valley: 7km, 3hrs; ascent 680m / descent 350m
    This shorter, low-level walk is mostly in the cover of trees, so ideal for poor weather. You are transferred to Poggiolforato, from where you follow the Dardagna river to the Dardagna Falls. Ascend the stepped path alongside the waterfalls, getting up close to at least three of its main tiers. From the top, you follow forest tracks to Madonna dell’Acero where you may wish to spend some time exploring the church before your transfer back to Vidiciatico.

    Hamlets & Pastureland: 9km, 4hrs; ascent / descent 370m; longer option 16km, 5.5hrs
    If you want a short walk, or if the weather is poor, this is a lovely, flat, low-level walk, enabling you to get ‘under the skin’ of the local region. From the hotel, you follow quiet country lanes, through pastureland, and short sections on busier roads (but not for long) to explore peaceful villages like Vescovi and Farné with stunning views of the lowlands and valleys. There is an option to extend your day by visiting the church and bell tower at Rocca Cornet.
    Corno alle Scale: 12km
    Views towards Corno all Scale on your walk around Vidiciatico
    Dardagna Valley: 7km
    Hamlets & Pastureland: 9km


You will be warmly welcomed at all your charming, comfortable hotels.

Extend your stay

Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 4 nights: 07 May 2024 - 17 July 2024, 20 August 2024 - 02 October 2024, 06 May 2025 - 16 July 2025 & 19 August 2025 - 01 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    7 May - 30 Jun 2024 £625 £95
    1 - 13 Jul 2024 £665 £100
    20 Aug - 28 Sep 2024 £625 £95
    6 May - 30 Jun 2025 £650 £99
    1 - 12 Jul 2025 £695 £104
    19 Aug - 27 Sep 2025 £650 £99
    3rd & 4th person discount -£20 to -£21
    Single traveller supplement £20 to £21

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: rail from Bologna and taxi/rail back

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Helvetia, Porretta Terme (B&B) Double room Single room
    07 May - 17 Jul 2024 £90 £130
    20 Aug - 02 Oct 2024 £90 £130
    06 May - 16 Jul 2025 £94 £136
    19 Aug - 01 Oct 2025 £94 £136
    Hotel Il Fondaccio, Lizzano in Belvedere (with dinner) Double room Single room
    07 May - 30 Jun 2024 £86 £97
    01 Jul - 17 Jul 2024 £92 £103
    20 Aug - 31 Aug 2024 £92 £103
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2024 £86 £97
    06 May - 30 Jun 2025 £89 £100
    01 Jul - 16 Jul 2025 £96 £107
    19 Aug - 31 Aug 2025 £96 £107
    01 Sep - 01 Oct 2025 £89 £100
    Hotel Montegrande, Vidiciatico (with dinner) Double room Single room
    07 May - 30 Jun 2024 £86 £97
    01 Jul - 17 Jul 2024 £92 £103
    20 Aug - 31 Aug 2024 £92 £103
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2024 £86 £97
    06 May - 30 Jun 2025 £89 £100
    01 Jul - 16 Jul 2025 £96 £107
    19 Aug - 31 Aug 2025 £96 £107
    01 Sep - 01 Oct 2025 £89 £100
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Rome or Milan.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Aberdeen - Bologna (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Birmingham - Bologna (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Bologna Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bologna Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Humberside - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bologna easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bologna British Airways 
    Heathrow - Bologna (via Düsseldorf) Eurowings 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Bologna Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bologna Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bologna Ryanair 
    Manchester - Bologna (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Bologna (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Rome or Milan.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bologna

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Bologna Centrale to Porretta Terme (1h05), walk Porretta Terme to hotel (0h05) included 1800
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    transfer hotel to Porretta Terme (0h20), rail Porretta Terme to Bologna Centrale (1h05) included 1200
What is included
  • 4 nights
  • 3 dinners
    2 picnics
    4 breakfasts

  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation

  • transfers on days 2 & 3
  • rail from/to Bologna

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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