08 Mar Hiking in Tuscany: In the Shadow of the Cypresses
In Tuscany, you can discover some magical landscapes while hiking. In some of them, such as the large area around Castelfalfi, time has apparently passed without a trace. The property offers various hiking routes, which differ in terms of duration and difficulty. They make it possible to get to know different areas around Castelfalfi. My choice is the Red Trail. It’s 13 kilometres long, covers the whole of Castelfalfi, and lasts about three and a half hours.
Trees and Cypresses
My hike starts right next to the medieval castle of Castelfalfi, which I soon leave behind. I continue on a tree-lined path. The roadside is dominated by the typical Tuscan cypress trees, which frame the paths like a picture book. In addition to having a lifespan of about 2,000 years, cypresses have roots that grow vertically, so they don’t change the country roads or trails in any way. The sun is high in the sky, and the trees provide the necessary shade to make my walk both refreshing and enjoyable. I hardly know where to look first, because time and again I’m given unbelievable panoramas.
Hiking in the Tuscan Countryside
Step by step, I feel more and more comfortable the Tuscan countryside’s nature. The air is clean and sprouting wild plants everywhere, including blackberry bushes, fig trees, and prickly pears with their delicious fruits. Walking is a somewhat mundane activity, but Castelfalfi makes hiking something magical. The only sounds I notice are bird songs and the rustling of leaves in the foliage coming from the small animals that populate the forest. Castelfalfi is home to some larger wildlife, such as foxes, fallow deer, and wild boars.
A Challenging Tour
The path through the Tuscan hills around Castelfalfi is far from straightforward. Rather, it has some changes in elevation, which make my hike adventurous and challenging, so – in some ways – I have to “conquer” every vantage point. I also come across small lakes that serve as rainwater reservoirs. They help the estate regulate its water needs. The entire resort is based on a sustainable concept, and those wandering through Tuscany can find clues of this everywhere.
The Golf Course and the Vineyards
My hike also includes some areas of the golf course laid out along the rolling hills, offering an unparalleled view. Now I’ve been walking for a little over two hours and I feel a bit tired -it’s time for a break. I sit down between the trees to gaze at the panorama: above, the enormous blue sky and, below, a green strip of hills, meadows, and vineyards. The land of Castelfalfi has been cultivated for centuries and bears plenty of fruit for wine and oil.
The Charm of the Landscape
Hiking in Tuscany leaves no one disappointed! Now I understand why the landscape of Tuscany enchants all travellers: You just can’t escape the romance of the elegant hills, many of which have inspired artists to create paintings and poems.
The Tranquility of the Forest
Soon I’m at the end of the road, and I slow my steps because I want to linger in the forest a bit longer. Silence reigns everywhere, and the sun’s rays sparkle through the trees to illuminate the ground and the smaller plants. While hiking, I have time to gaze at the beauty in detail and to regenerate both body and mind. You should definitely try it yourself on your next visit to Tuscany.