Your base in Marina di Pietrasanta, on the Tuscan coast, is quieter than some of its neighbours but just as attractive. Your holiday includes three contrasting walking excursions: to the stunningly beautiful ‘Gulf of Poets’, just across the border in Liguria, haunt of, among others, Byron and Shelley; along the river to Lucca; and in the Serchio valley in the Apuan Alps – the Marble Mountains’, whose stone is so prevalent in the cathedrals and baptisteries of the major Tuscan cities
- 7 nights half board accommodation in Marina di Pietrasanta
- 3 guided walks
- Rail trip in the Apuan Alps
- Services of a tour representative
- Return flights including coach transfers
DAY ONE: Flight to Pisa and a short transfer to your hotel for seven nights half board accommodation in Marina di Pietrasanta.
Marina di Pietrasanta: the modern beach resort is 3km from the old town of Pietrasanta, and has shops, bars, restaurants and pier. The resort centre is 700m from your hotel, and there is a regular bus service to Viareggio and beyond which stops near the hotel.
DAYS TWO TO SEVEN: In resort with three included walking excursions.
Walk 1: Along the river to Lucca. Coach transfer via Puccini’s Torre del Lago (he called it Paradise) to Ripafratta, from where you walk along the river to historic Lucca. On your route you will see villages with impressive towers, and woods. In Lucca, you walk along the ramparts and have a little free time to explore. You return to your hotel by train (25 minutes) and coach (15 minutes). 7 miles, almost level.
Walk 2: Rail & Trail, the Serchio valley. You begin with a coach transfer direct to the station at Aulla, in the Apuan Alps (32 miles, mainly motorway). From there you take the 40-minute train journey through the mountains to Piazza al Serchio. Your walk is approx. 6 miles to the station at Poggio along the side of the valley (ascent/descent 150m), through pastureland and chestnuts, with views towards old villages and the Apuan Alps beyond. You return to your hotel by coach – time permitting, there will be a stop in Lucca en route. Please note that, if the train is not operating for any reason, a different walking excursion will be arranged.
Walk 3: The Gulf of Poets. You have a 30-minute transfer north to the village of Ameglia, at the mouth of the River Magra. From the old hilltop village, the walk takes you through the Montemarcello-Magra Natural Park towards the maritime village of Tellaro, on the Gulf of Poets. Tellaro is on the list of the ‘Most beautiful villages of Italy’: the colourful fishermen’s houses cluster close to St George’s church. You continue on to Lerici, with its 12th-century castle (worth the climb to get the view towards Portovenere and the offshore islands). You will have time to explore Lerici before the return to your hotel. The walk is 6 miles, with 300m of ascent and descent.
An optional excursion to Florence by coach and rail will be available.
DAY EIGHT: Free time until your transfer to Pisa airport and your flight home.