Join a group of NOLS grads and instructors for a week of hiking in the Tuscany and along Italy's Ligurian Coast as we connect comfortable inns by foot, shuttle and train.
Connecting our string small hotels and inns gives us the chance to savor Italian cuisine and culture while mixing with other, mostly European travelers. Anticipate sightseeing and exploring the region's iconic landmarks, villages and rural areas. Sleeping and dining (dinner and breakfasts) at country inns allows us to considerably lighten our loads on our daily hikes (hikes, day hikes and sightseeing days average ~5 miles/day, plus elevation changes) along the coasts and hills of Tuscan Italy.
The trip starts and ends in the ancient, cobble-stoned city of Florence (considered as the birthplace of the Renaissance: population ~350K). Participants can flying in and out of Florence,Verona, Milan or other area cities— consider staying extra days on either end of the trip to explore the sights of Italy.
It may be helpful to think of this trip as divided into three sections. There’s some urban, self-guided adventuring in Pisa, Lucca and Siena in addition to the beginning and end in Florence—the art and cultural capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance. There is a coastal exploration element, including most of the traditional “hiking” along the trails and fishing villages of the Portofino Peninsula and Cinque Terre National Parks. And finally, there is time day hiking and sightseeing in the villages and vineyards of the classic Tuscan countryside of Chianti and Panzano. All of these sections are connected by foot, shuttle, or train.
This trip will re-acquaint you with NOLS backpacking techniques in a convivial, relaxing and visually stunning location. Instruction is geared to your interests, with optional walk-up peaks, Italian "word(s) of the day," time for journal-writing and photography, and more. Of course, non-alumni adult friends and family members are also invited— this is a great way to introduce NOLS to your sidekicks.