Sorry, your membership is not eligible for this event. Please upgrade via the 'my account' section if you'd like to book. If you've never done an event with us before and would like to do this as your 'trial event', then please email us. See you soon!
PLEASE NOTE – this trip is not exclusive to 8th Day Adventure, so will be shared with others. However we put on a select few trips from 3rd parties that we think will appeal to you all, and will aim to put a small group of you together for it. For booking info please see the bottom of this description.
The Garfagnana region, close to the gems of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets and the perfect base for guided walking holidays in Tuscany. The area’s astonishing landscape is a far cry from the rolling hills of southern Tuscany as it lies between the striking peaks of the Alpi Apuane and Apennine mountain ranges, providing us with ample hiking opportunities which, along with picturesque mountaintop and lakeside villages and the warm local hospitality, make for a wonderful trip. Certain dates include more challenging trekking and incorporate one night in a mountain refuge.
At a Glance
7 nights farmhouse with swimming pool
8 days land only/ flight inclusive
5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
Altitude maximum 2054m, average 1000m
Challenging departures on selected weeks
Countries visited: Italy
Five wonderful daywalks through Tuscany’s idyllic mountains
Challenging walks on certain weeks
Stay in a beautifully situated Tuscan farmhouse with swimming pool
Opportunity to visit Lucca on the free day
TO BOOK – please register interest and we’ll be in touch with payment details, and if you’d like to ensure there is a group booked on before committing we will take care of that and put you all in touch accordingly. This trip is run by Exodus and we are acting as agents for them. As such their terms and conditions apply, which you can view here.
Is This Trip for You?
The Garfagnana area provides enormous scope for some of the most spectacular and interesting trekking in Italy, with the added bonus of knowing we will rarely see other walkers. The majority of the paths are well-maintained, however a few sections are less frequently used and rough underfoot, with some steep ascents and descents, it will suit people who exercise regularly. Previous trekking experience is needed. Some trails can be overgrown and long trousers are recommended. Early in the season there may be patches of snow and snowshoes may have to be used.
The area is mountainous and the majority of drives, although short, follow twisty mountain roads through wooded areas. Braccicorti lodge has been renovated keeping the character of the area in mind and should therefore not be considered a luxury villa. There are basic furnishings and rooms are not serviced as you would expect in a hotel.
Activity level: grade 3 (Moderate) departures
Most departure dates are graded moderate and ascents and descents of 400 to 700 metres should be expected. We usually walk 4 to 6 hours each day and a good level of fitness is required.
For challenging grade weeks, we usually walk between 5 and 8 hours per day and a high level of fitness is required. We spend one night in a comfortable mountain refuge, so we will have to pack our belongings for our two-day ridge excursion into our daypacks (e.g. sleeping bag liner, wash kit, change of clothes). It should not be necessary to carry more than 6-8kg. Items not required on the walk can be left in your room at Braccicorti.
We use the same mountain ranges for both grades and vary the routes according to the weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. Whilst aiming to always follow the routes described in these trip notes, it will be the leader’s decision to amend the itinerary if and when necessary.
Please note that at times, especially during summer months, the inbound flight can be late in the evening. In this instance you will have additional time to spend in Pisa. Leader will take care of all arrangements in terms of transport from/to the airport and the city centre and luggage storage. It may also happen that, for logistical reasons, on return we will have to be at the airport earlier than normally scheduled. This will mean a longer waiting time before checking in.
The leader will accompany the group on all programmed activities, with the exception of your free day and one walk on Day 4 which will be led by another guide due to leader working hour restrictions.
Adult min age:16
Min group size:4
Max group size:14
Itinerary Land Only
Start City: Braccicorti
End City: Braccicorti
Start City: London
End City: London
Start at Braccicorti lodge, approximately 6kms from Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and 2 hours from Pisa airport.
Walk through the Orecchiella N.P. to Pania di Corfino (Activity Level 3)
After breakfast at Braccicorti we drive to the small village of Pruno where we begin our walk into the Orecchiella National Park, home to a variety of flora and fauna changing throughout the year. In spring it can be covered in snow when wolf, deer and mountain hare tracks are easily identifiable. Late spring and summer, the land is carpeted with an array of beautiful flowers and the beech trees begin to grow their iridescent lime green leaves which then change to deep oranges, browns and reds in the Autumn. If we are lucky we might spot a number of birds of prey; the common buzzard, the honey buzzard or one of the resident golden eagles. Set amongst the beautiful beech wood our walk steadily ascends to the flat summit of Pania di Corfino with its stunning 360 degrees views. After a leisurely picnic lunch we head to the 16th century village of Campaiana before following an ancient mule track which descends to the town of Corfino.
13km, total ascent: 603m, total descent: 603m, altitude maximum: 1603m.
Apuane National Park to Monte Sumbra (Activity Level 3)
Today we drive 40 minutes to the small village of Vianova and begin our walk into the Alpi Apuane NP. Much of our initial ascent is on a wide forest track that continues through the beech wood to our first view point across to the face of Pania della Croce and the Omo Morto range. From here we take a footpath ascending to a limestone plateau where there is an optional ascent to the summit of Monte Sumbra (1765m). Weather permitting, we will enjoy an uninterrupted view of the Alpi Apuane range, the Ligurian coast and the enormous spine of the Apennines. After lunch on the summit we retrace our steps back to the limestone plateau, before heading down through the trees following one of the old charcoal trails back to the minibus. On the way back to Braccicorti, time permitting, we may stop in the lovely town of Careggine.
16km, total ascent: 672m, total descent: 672m, altitude maximum: 1765m.
Circular walk from Braccicorti to mediaeval market town Castiglione di Garfagnana (Activity Level 3)
Having a change of guide for the day, you will walk directly from the farmhouse at 410m, firstly visiting the new town of Villa Collemandina before heading to the church and learning about the history of the area. After this the route will take you on tracks, quiet lanes and footpaths through the local farmland and houses giving you a chance to observe village life. Midway through the day you will arrive at Castiglione di Garfagnana at 545m, a small but beautiful mediaeval town, still inhabited and visited by tourists throughout the year. Castiglione is also the place where the region’s largest and most popular chestnut festival, celebrating the chestnut tree and the growth of truffles and mushrooms, is held in the autumn. After lunch we cross a 13th century bridge below the town leading into more farmland and back to Braccicorti on easy tracks.
19km, total ascent: 145m, total descent: 145m, altitude maximum: 545m.
Free day to visit Lucca, the Cinque Terre, Florence or Pisa
Free day to enjoy any of the following: 1 hr train journey to visit the stunning fortified city of Lucca; 20 minute taxi and 1.5 hr train journey to the coastal UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre; 2.5 hr train journey to visit the capital city of Florence, home of Michelangelo’s David or the 1.5hr train journey to Pisa where you can ascend the leaning tower and walk along the beautiful river Arno. Other options would be to relax at the farmhouse and if warm enough make use of the sun loungers and outdoor pool or walk down to Lago di Pontecosi for lunch and a stroll through the local area or take 10 minutes train along to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana for lunch and a walk to the old castle.
Campocatino and San Viviano’s Hermitage (Activity Level 3)
A drive of 25 minutes to Lago di Vagli with its submerged village and impressive backdrop of Monte Sumbra will bring us to the start point for the day; Vagli Sotto. From here we walk on a small footpath to the town of Vagli Sopra where we continue to ascend on a section of the pilgrimage walk through the chestnut wood to arrive at the 16th century shepherds village of Campocatino. Wandering through the village and seeing the beautiful terraced meadows, protected by the impressive wall of Roccandagia, it is easy to understand why the shepherds chose this location. From here we continue to our highest point for the day at 1190m before descending through the trees to San Viviano’s hermitage. Built into the rock face, the tiny hermitage is said to be where San Viviano lived before his bones were finally discovered in 1993. It is now used as a chapel and pilgrimage site. Our descent takes a rarely used mountain path with views across the valley before arriving back at the bus.
12.5km, total ascent: 630m, total descent: 630m, altitude maximum: 1190m.
Appennino Tosco-Emiliano N.P. and the summit of Monte Prado (Activity Level 3)
We start the day with a 40 minute drive to the small ski area of Casone. Walking through beech wood brings us to the beginning of the Crinali ridge, a section of the 1600km Apennine ridge in the Tosco/Emiliano/Apennino NP, offering some of the most impressive views of the week. Below is a basin of fiery colours from the forest between the ridge line of Tuscany and the opposite ridge of Emilia Romagna. Our route takes us along the undulating ridge on an easy path leading us up onto the peak of Monte Prado, the highest in Tuscany at 2054m. After lunch we retrace our steps along the ridge before descending on another route leading us through woodland back to Casone where there is a bar to enjoy a well earned drink.
16km, total ascent: 740m, total descent: 740m, altitude maximum: 2054m.
The trip ends at Braccicorti.
All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.
Our lodge-style base is the welcoming Braccicorti, a traditional stone building tucked away on a hillside on the lower slopes of the Apennines. Situated on a typical Tuscan farm, it has been authentically renovated and is surrounded by meadows, orchards, woodland and vines.
The accommodation comprises 4 twin/double rooms (with en suite facilities) and 2 apartments, each with 1 twin/double and 1 single room sharing a bathroom. Double or twin should be stated upon booking and the en suite rooms are on a first come served basis if requested. There is also a dining room, comfortable living room, a quiet room, terrace, golf course with driving range, swimming pool (seasonal – mid May to end of September) and a garden with stunning views to the mountains.
This is not a hotel and the local family, who live next door, clean the rooms once during the week. Please note there are dogs and cats at the farmhouse.
CHALLENGING DEPARTURES: We spend one night in dormitory-style accommodation in a comfortable mountain hut.
There is no charge for the standard single rooms, as bathroom facilities are shared. These are provided on a first come first served basis and should be requested upon booking.
Further double rooms for sole use can be requested 2 weeks prior to departure; a supplement applies for these. We cannot guarantee these will be en suite.
Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.
Eating & Drinking
All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners are included.
Continental style breakfast with a choice of cereal, bread, yoghurt, eggs and fruit with milk, fruit juice and an array of teas/coffee.
Packed lunches are provided for the daywalks with a buffet style selection of meat, cheese, fish, salad, bread and salad mix such as panzanella with a cake and fruit.
Starters include the Garfagnana soup, Pesto pasta, Bresaola or risotto with locally made bread, water and Braccicorti red wine.
Main course can be stuffed peppers and courgettes with local cheese and pancetta, roasted meats, locally caught trout or a vegetarian dish such as aubergine and mozzarella bake with home grown vegetables and salad.
Each meal is finished with a small dessert of homemade tiramisu, panna cotta, gelato or fruit salad and on occasions followed with the offer of homemade grappa or amaretto.
Vegetarians are usually well catered for in this area. For those who require gluten free diets, we recommend taking items with you, as it is not easy to purchase gluten free products locally.
We use a private minibus for all transfers and organised excursions.
Weather & Seasonality
May departures can expect warm days, although rain is always possible. Nights may be rather cool. Early June is similar, with the days becoming progressively hotter and the evenings much warmer. September and October are cooler and wetter, however visibility is better. We strongly recommend a fleece-lined jacket or warm sweater in May, September and October.
Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days
The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.
Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.
Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Braccicorti
Your trip normally starts at our accommodation Braccicorti on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.
The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.
If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights.
Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.
If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.
The start hotel is approximately 1.5 ‐ 2 hours drive from Pisa Airport. It is possible to reach the accommodation using public transport. Trains run from Pisa Central to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. The train journey costs approximately €10 for a 2‐ hour journey. Train timetables can be found on www.ferroviedellostato.it. From Castelnuovo, it is a 10‐minute taxi ride to Braccicorti, which should cost €15 (the phone number of a local taxi company will be provided on the Final Joining Instructions, as there are no taxi ranks at Castelnuovo station).
Please note that there is no reception at our accommodation so it is essential that you notify Exodus or your agent of your estimated arrival time.
If you prefer to travel in more comfort, Exodus can arrange a private arrival transfer prior departure. Please contact us if you wish to book this service.
What to Take
Walking boots (with good tread and ankle support)
Medium sized day sack (30 litres capacity will be sufficient for camera, water bottle, lunch and extra clothing)
Sun cream, hat and sun glasses
Towel and swimming things
Waterproofs and warm clothes (essential for inclement weather)
Refillable water bottle (preferably with at least 1-2 litre capacity) and electrolytes powders (summer months)
Please note that tap water is safe to drink in the area which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.
Wooly hat and gloves
Small umbrella in case of unexpected showers
All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.
Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.
No visa required for British passport holders. Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.
For further Brexit travel advice please visit https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/brexit-advice-for-travellers
Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.
There are no specific health risks on this trip.
There are no specific health risks.
Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.
The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.
For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries
Insurance – are you adequately covered?
It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.
If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.
If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.
Europe/Rome CEST (GMT +02:00)
Extra Expenses & Spending Money
Allow about €5-15 per day for lunch, depending on whether you have a picnic, snack or a light restaurant meal. For evening meals you should allow about €15-30 including drinks, although it is possible to spend more than this if you choose expensive dishes. You will also need some local currency for extra snacks and drinks bought from the occasional café, and for your bar tab at Braccicorti (about €50 should be sufficient for this).
Braccicorti operate an ‘honesty bar’ where you help yourself to drinks and pay the family at the end of the week.
LOCAL TAXES: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. For this trip, please allow between €5 and €10 per person, depending on the season, for the week.
Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.
As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.
TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/
Advice can change so check regularly for updates.
If you have a car and open to lift share to events please tick the box at the top. Click here for our lift share do’s and don’ts.