Tuscookany offers guided hikes for select weeks during the Italian cookery course at Casa Ombuto and Bellorcia
For selected weeks at the Italian cookery course at Casa Ombuto and the Italian cookery course at Bellorcia we offer two morning hikes with a local guide in the Casentino valley if you choose Casa Ombuto and in the Val d’Orcia if you choose Bellorcia.
These hikes are given by professional english speaking guides and are E catergory hikes which means they are easy for persons who do some physical activity. The hikes are about 5 - 6 kilometers and its about 2 - 2.5 hours of walking each.
Casa Ombuto hikes
The first hike will be in the suroundings of Casa Ombuto from Quota to Raggiolo. This is on a pretty newly recovered trekking path discovering the two most beautiful villages on the Casentino side of Pratomagno between chestnuts, wild rivers and historical signs of the past human life on those mountains. In the summer the hike will take you to Camaldoli National Forest which was created by the monks 1000 years ago. It is truly an enchanted forest and you will also learn about the fauna and flora and edible treasures to be found in this spectacular and cool forest.
The second hike will be in the national park of Casentino www.parcoforestecasentinesi.it. It will take you on the Ring of La Verna sanctuary: around the most famous sacred San Francis forests of all the Apennines, preserved inside the Foreste Casentinesi national park (Unesco site) with centuries-old beeches, maples and stones.
The first hike takes you to the San Filippo thermal baths: a short hiking ring through Valdorcia woods and fields until you reach the wonderful Bagni San Filippo, where we will relax and have a warm bath in the Balena Bianca ("white whale") and the other natural thermal pools.
Difficulty: Easy / Length: around 3km / Altitude gap: 150mt / Swimming suite and towel needed!
The second hike takes you to the Pietraporciana natural reserve. A hiking ring through the Pietraporciana reserve and its wonderful ridge view of Valdorcia and Valdichiana. We will meet both an amazing beech trees protected forest and discover signs of past Tuscan agriculture and history.
Difficulty: Easy / Lenght: around 4km / Altitude gap: 120mt
- Cooking and hiking
- Profesional English speaking local guide
- We have hiking shoes available at villas - let us know your size!
- We have nordic walking sticks and rain ponchos available at the villas
More info about The National Park of Casentino
The landscape is characterised by sedimentary rock, predominantly sandstone intercalated with marl, which in Romagna frequently appears with characteristic stratified escarpments or with bare ridges. The structure of the South-East area of the park is different: here the distinctive feature of Mount La Verna rises up with its calcareous crags from a landscape of broad, rolling hills interrupted by badland erosions, revealing the presence of clay. From a naturalist viewpoint, the Park stands out as one of the most prized forest areas in Europe. At the heart of the park are the Foreste Demaniali Casentinesi [State Casentino forests], within which can be found the Riserva Naturale Integrale (Integral Nature Reserve) of Sasso Fratino, founded in 1959. The territory also has towns and villages rich in history and artistic and architectural heritage, which present themselves to the visitor in a wonderful natural frame, rich in flora and fauna, including the most important population of the Apennine wolf, as well as the exceptional presence of five species of ungulates (mammals with hooves): wild boar, roe deer, fallow deer, common deer, and mouflon (mountain sheep). Inside the park there are two points of great interest and spiritual importance: the Sanctuary of La Verna and the Hermitage of Camaldoli. This forest has also represented the only true wealth of this territory, since it provided wood of the best quality and thus gave the mountain people a means of living. The Park includes an area in which people have always lived and worked, and this is the reason for the presence of many ruins and abandoned villages within the park territory. As a result of the mass exodus that took place starting from the Second World War, the number of actual inhabitants of the Park has dwindled to about 1,500. The protected area can be visited by pleasant excursions on foot, mountain bike, horseback or, in winter, on cross-country skis along a path network of approximately 600 kilometres.
More about Val d’Orcia
The Val d'Orcia or Valdorcia is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. Val d'Orcia is unique among the areas of Tuscany in having been accorded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. This area of Tuscany boasts of endless rolling hills covered with grain or sunflowers, a rich green valley which encompasses the Orcia river.
The Val d'Orcia, a fascinating oasis of nature and culture, is dotted with acres of olive groves, oak forests and vineyards. The river that gives the valley its name traces much of the area, touching Radicofani and Sarteano, flowing eastward to the hillsides of Pienza, San Quirico, Montalcino and Castiglione, crossing Monte Amiata and curving around the hills of the Upper Maremma, before merging with the Ombrone.