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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismos
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1010USD

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Overview

Trip Code: VDD

Trip highlights


  • Following in the footsteps of pilgrims past
  • Walking along an ancient Roman paved road in the heart of the Apennines forest
  • Discovering the fossil shells set into the rocks of Mount Adone
  • Staying in comfortable and welcoming hotels and charming B&Bs
  • Feasting on culinary delights and tasting superb Chianti wines

The Way of the Gods or Via degli Dei connects two of Italy's most important art cities: Bologna and Florence as you walk on an ancient Roman road from Piazza Maggiore in the heart of Bologna to Piazza della Signoria, the main square of Florence and literally the Cradle of the Renaissance. This ancient way is steeped in history and legends and owes its suggestive name to the mountains along the route: Mt. Adone, Mt. Giove, Mt. Venere and Mt. Lunario. It joined the town of Felsina (the Etruscan name of Bologna) to Faesulae, the original town of Florence. In Roman times the route was re-baptised as "Flaminia Militare" and paved with large flagstones still visible on the route today. The area has a surprising variety of natural habitats: the Reno River valley is dominated by Pliocene era spurs and a series of rocky sandstone crags while higher up, huge beechwoods shade your way as you gently ascend to the Piana del Mugello. Small medieval villages and solitary farm houses dot the hills. Looking down from high up in the Mugello hills you are rewarded with your first glimpse of Florence, before you descend on foot to this elegant city on the banks of the Arno.

After arrival to Bologna make your way to your hotel for check in. Take the time to walk around this amazing city, visiting the seven chapels of the Santo Stefano Basilica, admire the city from the Torre degli Asinelli (the Donkeys Tower) and of course taste some tagliatelle al ragu.

Meals:  Nil

From the Piazza Maggiore you will walk to the Portico di San Luca. Built in 1674 this is the longest covered street in the world at nearly 4km, dominated by 666 arches as far as the basilica of San Luca and from where you can enjoy the wonderful view. The journey continues towards Parco Tolon, where the Casalecchio lock-gate has been managing the flow of waters of the Reno to the city of Bologna for 800 years. From the top of the hill you will see the village of Sasso Marconi, named in honour of the Nobel Prize winning scientist Guglielmo Marconi who was born here. Overnight in Sasso Marconi. Distance 20km/12.4mi, +522m/1710ft, -504m/1650ft

Meals:  B

A short private transfer will take you to Badolo, the starting point of today's walk. From Badolo you walk uphill towards Monte Adone. The most important element of this leg of the journey is the Contrafforte Pliocenico, the rocky bastion which rose from the shallow sea during the Pliocene age (2-4 million years ago). Along some sections of the route you will walk on sand, climbing the spectacular path to the top of Mount Adone, with its characteristic stone towers. Continue to Monzuno, where you stay overnight. Distance 17km/10mi, +696m/2283ft, -497m/1630ft

Meals:  B

On today's walk you will come across the first Roman paving stones of the “Flaminia Militare”, the ancient Roman road that linked Bologna to Arezzo. At Pian di Balestra you will cross the border with Tuscany. Along the way you will reach Bruscoli, where you will spend the night in a charming Agriturismo on the hill. Distance 19km/11.8mi, +500m/1640ft, -400m/1310ft

Meals:  B

Along the route you will come to Passo della Futa, which during World War II was part of the Gothic Line. A German military cemetery was built nearby. The highest peak of the leg is Monte Gazzaro with its white cross, from which you can admire the splendid view of the Firenzuola valley and Mugello. A wide downhill path will bring you to Sant’Agata, a typical Tuscan village. We recommend you stop to visit the unusual “Museo del Leprino” before continuing along your way. As you proceed you will notice the scenery changing around you, taking on typically Tuscan traits. Optional stop in Sant’Agata to take the bus to shorten the walk. At San Piero to Sieve you can dine on the robust local cuisine of Mugello, or enjoy the typical Ramerino bread. Distance 21km/13mi, (or 28km/17.4mi), +464m/1520ft, -1139m/3735ft

Meals:  B

After leaving San Piero you will continue towards the Castello del Trebbio, one of the residences of the Medici family, now a private property. It offers exceptional views of the Mugello valley and Lake Bilancino. The route continues through large olive groves as far as Tagliaferro and then climbs up to the Badia di Bonsollazzo, an enormous abandoned building. You will soon arrive at the Monastero di Monte Senario, founded by seven saints belonging to the order of the Servants of Mary - their skulls are kept inside. Overnight at Olmo. Distance 20km/12.4mi, +1019m/3340ft, -803m/2635ft

Meals:  B

Florence and the end of your journey is getting closer. You will go through Vetta le Croci, a place where 200,000 Barbarians, killed during the battle of Montereggi in 405AD, are said to be buried. Following this you will tackle the last climb of the trip to Il Pratone, before descending towards Fiesole, an Etruscan town built on a terrace overlooking the city of Florence. Here you can admire the large archaeological area of the town, staring in amazement at the frescoed presbytery of the San Romolo Cathedral. Finally you will arrive in Florence, where you can celebrate with a fine Florentine steak or a glass of Chianti Classico. Florence offers many attractions but we suggest you start from the magnificent Duomo and Gates of Paradise, which tell the stories of the Old Testament on golden tiles of staggering beauty. Distance 10.5km/6.5mi, +380m/1245ft, -529m/1725ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes this morning after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - Breakfasts are usually continental style inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 7 nights in 3 star hotels and agriturismo on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10-12)
  • Information pack including smartphone app with maps plus a route book per room booked
  • Daily luggage transfers
  • Emergency hotline and SMS alert
  • Credenziale - pilgrim's passport
  • Transfer on day 3 Sasso Marconi to Badolo

  • Travel to Bologna and from Florence
  • Lunches and dinners - allow EUR5 for a picnic lunch and EUR15-20 for each dinner.
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax - allow approximately EUR2 per day - payable directly to the hotel

Grading

moderate  


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1010USD

Options & Supplements*
  • single supplementUSD$210
  • single traveller surchargeUSD$520
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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