Private Tour in the Hills Surrounding Florence
A) Medieval castles of Villamagna and Da Vinci’s Romajolo bridge hike with tasting of local delicacies at the local Bottega
In the municipal territory of Bagno a Ripoli to discover places and historical monuments that are not mentioned in any guidebook. They are easily reachable in a few minutes from the center of Florence and quickly you will be in the real countryside and in an unexpected dimension for being so close to the city. Florence will still remain visible at the bottom of the valley with breathtaking views throughout your excursion while discovering the beauty of the hills around the city. The walk, if in the afternoon, allows views with spectacular sunsets over the city.
Together with your guide, an expert in the area and who lives on site, you will walk along easy paths in the woods of pine trees, cypresses and holm oaks and through olive groves with the amazing landscapes of the surrounding hills and the city in the Arno valley down below. You will approach the castles in the area that date back to Longobard settlements, given their strategic hillside location at the gates of the city. After the territorial expansion of the Florentine Republic they were transformed into farms and villas of the countryside while preserving some of their features of medieval fortresses. The itinerary of about 4 miles is achievable in about 2 hours. It starts from Villamagna, the village of the same name, and will lead you to the castles, now private residences, of Belforte, Nutrici, Monte Acuto and Rignalla, which you can admire from the outside. In Rignalla the guide will make you discover the medieval bridge of Romajolo, which Leonardo Da Vinci dealt with in his studies on the path of the Arno river. It was recently restored and freed from the vegetation that for decades had hidden it.
On the way back, after having explored the most panoramic corners of this hill, we will return to Villamagna, where on the the square next to the Romanesque church, you will be welcomed in the small grocery store to taste the real Tuscan home-made ham, the finocchiona soft fennel salami,the wild boar sausages, the Tuscan pecorino sheep cheese and bruschettas accompanied by a quart of local wine.
Your guide will assist you in your walk by choosing the most characteristic and panoramic route and showing you the monuments of the places visited.
B) Incontro hilltop hike with snacks in your guide’s home garden
The incontro hill top is just 2 miles away from the above mentioned village of Villamagna, overlooking the whole Florence valley. The hike will start at your guide Sandra’s place, a medieval stone famers’ house on a lower hill top at 1,050 ft and will lead you across vineyards, olive groves fields and woods on easy marked trails. Stunning views overlooking the city of Florence from different angles and elevations will accompany you all the way until reaching the Incontro hilltop at 1,650 ft elevation, site of the historical monastery of San Leonardo. The descent will be on a different hillside than the way up, overlooking the upper Arno river valley and the mountains of Secchieta and Pratomagno. At the end you will return to Sandra’s home 30 min down the hill top, where she will be delighted to host you in her garden surrounded by vineyards and olive trees overlooking the hills and the city of Florence down below. You will enjoy Tuscan snacks including tasty home-made Tuscan ham, finocchiona soft fennel salami, bruschetta and pecorino cheese. The Tuscan snacks will be paired with seasonal veggies, fruit and a glass of the Chianti Colli Fiorentini local wine.
- English speaking guide
- Food and wine tasting
- Private car