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Secret Tuscany Trek

Secret Tuscany Trek

  • Italy's finest unspoilt walking

  • Climb Monte Prado, Tuscany's highest mountain

  • Trek summit ridges of the Apuane Alps

  • A 'free' day to rest or explore at your own pace

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • Stay in a wonderful Tuscan villa with pool

  • Enjoy authentic Italian meals

Secret Tuscany Trek: Dates and Prices



7 nights

5 days' trekking

1 'free' day


Luggage access

Group size 4-14


Join: Pisa Airport



7 nights in Tuscan farmhouse with pool






Secret Tuscany Trek: Overview

Our Secret Tuscany Trek allows you to explore the beautiful, unspoilt Garfagnana region: one of Italy’s best kept secrets. Nestled between the marble mountains of the Apuane Alps and the dramatic limestone Apennines, the Serchio Valley is home to the traditional way of life of olive growers and shepherds. From our comfortable villa overlooking the valley and set on an organic farm, we will explore the surrounding Tuscan hills and mountains on established walking trails. During our hikes we will pass vineyards, olive groves, and terracotta villas. We will follow traditional shepherd trails into the higher mountain pastures, and onto ridges and summits, where we will be rewarded with outstanding views of the whole area. Back at the villa you can relax by the pool in the warm evenings, and enjoy delicious Tuscan cuisine on the terrace, prepared by our hosts using produce from their organic farm.

What to expect

Our daily walks will typically be around 6-7 hours of hiking on well-marked trails, with ascents of 500-1000 metres. There will be a couple of longer days when we climb Monte Prado and Pania della Croce. You will need to have a reasonable level of fitness to complete the walks, and the fitter you are before you arrive the more you will enjoy the week. All days on this trip are optional, and there is a 'free' day on day 5, for you to rest or explore the surrounding area at your own pace. The maximum altitude reached on this trip is 1991 metres, on the Monte Giovo climb. Our ascents will be steady and on most days the maximum height reached will be between 1300-1700 metres. We return to the valley every evening so there will be limited time spent above 1500m, and as a result we would not expect altitude to be an issue on this trip.


Secret Tuscany Trek: Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival day

The group will meet at Pisa’s international airport and take a transfer to our delightful villa, high in the Tuscan hills, and overlooking the tranquil Serchio Valley. There will be time to settle in to our traditional terracotta-tiled farmhouse before dinner is served on the terrace, surrounded by the farm’s vineyard. The guide will give an informal briefing about the days to come, and will answer any questions you may have about the week ahead.


Accommodation: Villa, dinner included

Day 2 - Trek from Palagnana to Monte Croce, and descend via Pioppo

Our first day’s walk starts after a transfer through the steep sided Fabbriche Valley to the hamlet of Palagnana (757m), where we have time for a coffee before our hike. From here we follow a trail through beautiful beech woodland up to the Foce delle Porchette (980m). From the pass we are rewarded with superb views of the surrounding limestone hills, and on a clear day we can see over to the Mediterranean. We also have a view of the ancient marble quarries that are the origin of the stone for Michaelangelo’s David. We then ascend along the side of a limestone gorge to the grassy summit of Monte Croce (1314m) where we aim to enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch. We descend via a different route into beech woodland, through the tiny hamlet of Pioppo and back to Palagnana to finish the walk with a well-earned drink in the local bar. 


Accommodation: Villa, dinner included

Walking: approx 5-6 hrs

Distance: 9km

Altitude gain / loss: 580m


Day 3 - Trek to the village of Campaiana and summit Pania di Corfino

We begin the day with a short transfer to the hillside town of Corfino (836m), then make our way up to the remote village of Pruno. We follow a cobbled mule track through tranquil beech forests, stopping for a sip at the Fonte del Amore (Fountain of Love), before reaching our lunch stop at the charming 16th century village of Campaiana (1358m). After lunch we climb to the long summit plateau of Pania di Corfino (1603m), via a grassy hillside and a meadow bursting with wild flowers. From the summit we are rewarded with outstanding views over to the jagged peaks of the Apuane Alps. We then follow the well-worn shepherds’ trail down past the Rifugio Isera, and return to Pruno.

Accommodation : Villa, dinner included

Walking: approx 6 hrs

Distance: 13km

Altitude gain / loss: 775m


Day 4 - Ascent of Pania della Croce

This is the longest day of the trip and one of the most rewarding, with the ascent of Pania della Croce – the 4th highest peak in the Apuane Alps. We start today’s walk at the small chapel of Piglionico (1008m) and climb gently to the Rifugio del Freo at Mosceta (1200m), followed by a rising traverse to the Foce di Valli pass (1266m) at the base of the Pania della Croce. From here we leave the greener alpine pastures behind and climb on a steady zig zag path to the summit ridge. We will enjoy our well-earned picnic by the summit cross (1858m), admiring breathtaking views across to the Tyrrhenean Sea and, on a clear day, to the island of Corsica. This is the perfect viewpoint to see most of the summits that we climb during the week. Our descent takes a more direct route through the “Canale dell Inferno” before crossing alpine meadows and back into the beech forest.

Accommodation: Villa, dinner included

Walking: approx 8 hours

Distance: 12km

Altitude gain / loss: 940m


Day 5 - Free day

Today you are free to spend the day enjoying the peace and calm of the villa, or exploring the surrounding area. The nearby city of Lucca is delightful, and well worth a visit, with its medieval walls, splendid piazzas, cobbled streets and beautiful basilica. It is only 45 minutes away by train, and there is a complimentary taxi service to the train station in the morning, and a return service in the late afternoon. Of course you may prefer to relax at the villa for the day. Spend time by the pool, relax in one of the many hammocks in the garden, or enjoy a local walk. We can also arrange for a local massage therapist to visit the villa to sooth tired limbs. Breakfast is included today, but lunch and dinner are not, so you are free to choose where and when you want to eat. In the evening, we recommend a stroll along to the local restaurant.

Accommodation: Villa (no dinner included)

Day 6 - Trek Monte Giovo and Barga

Our day starts with a transfer through the Serchio valley and up into the foothills of the Apennines. After driving through Renaio, our walk begins at Vetricia (1308m) and takes us to Monte Giovo, the highest point of the trip at 1991 metres. After leaving Vetricia we climb steadily through beech woodland to the open pastures at La Porticciola (1700m). After a short descent via “Hannibal’s camp” we arrive at the picturesque Lago Santo (1501m). From here it is a steep climb directly above the lake to the summit cross. The aim is to have lunch at the summit while admiring the extensive views across the Apennines. After lunch we descend to the historic town of Barga, and an obligatory refreshment stop at the local gelateria, before returning to Vetricia to meet our transfer back to the villa.

Accommodation: Villa, dinner included

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 11km

Altitude gain / loss: 930m


Day 7 - Climb Monte Forato

An ascent of Monte Forato is the perfect end to the week, and  today’s walk starts with a wander through the cobbled streets of the quiet village of Fornovolasco. From here we follow the forest trail up to the mountain pass of Foce di Petrosciana, with views across to the rock tower of Monte Procinto, and the mountain chain that leads all the way to the Mediterranean. Following the ridge we then ascend to a magnificent limestone archway below the peak of Monte Forato (1223m). A short climb brings us to the summit, and outstanding views of the Tuscan hills. After our picnic lunch, we continue along the ridge to the Foce di Valli pass, then descend through alpine meadows to the beech forests below. Upon our return to Fornovolasco, we can enjoy refreshments at the local gelateria in Gallicano. Back at the villa it’s time for one last dip in the pool, an evening of delicious local cuisine, and a toast to our successful Tuscan adventure.

Accommodation: Villa, dinner included

Walking: approx 6-7 hrs

Distance: 10km

Altitude gain / loss: 915m

Day 8 - Departure day

We enjoy a final breakfast on the terrace before our transfer to Pisa airport.


  • 7 nights' accommodation on twin-share basis

  • Breakfast on 7 days

  • Lunch on 5 days & dinner on 6 days

  • Airport transfers (timings apply)

  • Fully qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

  • Transport, lunch & dinner on free day

Secret Tuscany Trek: Book Online

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