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Off beat, on foot. Maremma Safari Club’s first 2022 walking tour in Tuscany 

By Friday, 14 January 2022 11:09
Maremma Safari Club Maremma Safari Club

Five days on foot in Southern Tuscany with Maremma Safari Club. This ultimate slow travel adventure, walking through the little-known Mount Amiata region from 19 to 24 April, accompanied by founder and walker extraordinaire Rudston Steward (he’s been guiding customized walking trips in Italy for 15 years), kick-starts Maremma Safari Club’s six scheduled 2022 walking tours.  

Routes are off the beaten track in unexplored places

Host Rudston says his routes are off beat and off the beaten track in mostly unexplored parts of the country, from the Dolomite peaks in the north to the sunny island of Sicily at the toe of Italy. The Monte Amiata walk is a journey into Etruscan history, stunning nature, and some of the best red wines in Italy. “While Tuscany is quite familiar for many travellers, the Amiata area with the Etruscan holy mountain and ancient sites, the Maremma with the sea, and the Montalcino winegrowing area, is little known,” says Rudston.  

The average walking distance is 20 kilometres a day

Maremma Safari Club’s fixed-date walking tours can be for up to 12/14 in double rooms, and the itineraries are as published. Private walking trips (from one person) are completely customizable to suit personal preferences and fitness levels, and prices have a different price structure. The average distance covered on any day is around 20 kilometres with a lunch break. “Sturdy walking shoes and walking sticks are recommended,” says Rudston. Much of the walking is through natural areas in remote and often untrodden territory, “which is of course the USP and beauty of our itineraries.”   



Alfresco picnics and lunches in local trattorias

A typical day is divided by a lunch break. Guests can also decide for a half day, with a vehicle pickup bringing them to the overnight stop, although both the Eolian Islands and Dolomite safaris are full-day walks. Alfresco picnics in the countryside and lunches in typical trattorias in little towns along the way are precious time for relaxing and exploring the local folklore.  Rudston leads all the walks and is joined by local guides with in-depth knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna, and there are occasions to stop and chat with locals. 

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Relaxing in hot springs and gala dining

“In the south of Italy the accommodation can be fairly simple but always charming, on other occasions we stay in exclusive properties.” On the Monte Amiato walk the first night is in a charming hotel in the little town of Bagno Vignoni, famous for its ancient Roman hot springs, with time to enjoy the hot waters. Nights two and three are in a private farmhouse and in the medieval Castello di Potentino, and the last two nights are in the Castello di Argiano. This is one of Montalcino’s finest wine estates and guests sit down to a gala dinner in the castle’s candle-lit chapel.  From the Castello di Argiano, it takes about 2.45 hours by car to Rome or to Pisa which has a large international airport, and the Bagno Vignoni starting point is a couple of hours by car from Florence.  

“We very rarely come across other walkers” 

Published 2022 tours run to the first week of October, with the final group departure to the Supramonte region in Sardinia, and there is no tour in August. “It’s just too hot, and there are too many crowds. One of the things guests really appreciate about our safaris is that we very rarely come across other walkers. For example on the Monte Amiata route we can go four days without meeting other hikers, while over in the Val d’Orcia the Via Francigena is always packed,” says Rudston. 

Six fixed-date departures in 2022

Maremma Safari Club’s published 2022 departures are Monte Amiata in Tuscany 19-24 April, Aspromonte in Calabria 10-14 May, the island of Elba in Tuscany 21-26 May, the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily 31 May-5 June, the Dolomites in Alto Adige 5-10 July and the Supramonte in Sardinia 4-9 October. Travel transfers and add-ons can be requested for all tours and breakfast, lunch and dinner, and local table wines are included.   

Photo Credits: Maremma Safari Club

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