Marvels Of Western Tuscany

Tired of seeing or hearing about some of the more tried and true Tuscan routes? Wine trails and hilltop towns?

Journey Through Italy is offering a brand new tour that beautifully fuses together the wild and wooly unknown corners of Tuscany: from the dazzling city of Lucca to the chestnut forests and huts of the Garfagnana area, including charming Barga; south to the Etruscan Coast, out to the wild bushes of the Elba island and ending in Italy’s beautiful alabaster center, Volterra….These are what we call the “marvels” of Western Tuscany.

With our official meet up in Lucca, embraced in the most impressive Renaissance walls, covered in cobblestoned streets and handsome piazzas–we make our first welcome toast of the week: cin cin!

Next: on to Barga where guests on our 2018 autumn exploratory trip were surprisingly dazzled by the gorgeous and imposing Duomo di San Cristoforo, perched above this chic, slowfood village. Our days in the Garfagnana include wondrous treks in the chestnut covered forests, gorges, rivers––all winding their way throughout this intriguing, wild corner of Tuscany.

Across the Alps’ eastern ridge three stunning valleys formed by the Serchio and its tributaries – the low-lying Lima and Serchio Valleys and the higher Garfagnana Valley, collectively known as the Garfagnana – take centre stage on this trip. Thickly forested with chestnut and acacia woods, this is a land where fruits of the forest (chestnuts, porcini mushrooms and honey) create a very rustic and fabulous cuisine that we entertain throughout our hearty breakfasts, gorgeous picnic lunches, and bountiful evening feasts.

From these magical forests, we continue South and out to the Etruscan coast for a picnic in between Populonia’s famous elaborate tombs. A quick ferry ride takes us over to Elba island: 24 km long and 18 km wide, the isle is known for white sand beaches and limpid, turquoise water, for its bright Aleatico and Moscato wines––and curiously enough it was Napoleon’s chosen place of exile. We spend two days reveling in this Mediterranean paradise; trekking amongst the macchia bush and with endless views of the surrounding deep blue sea at every turn.

Back to the mainland and sweeping up the coast we land in our final destination: the alluring windswept alabaster “city” of Volterra. More Etruscan tales, gorgeous cobbled alleyways, caffè filled squares and lively markets. We take a deeper dive into alabaster with an intriguing exploration of everything related to the rock, from production and working to commercialisation.

Coming together on our final feast in the Medieval center we pause, reflect and celebrate the week’s countless treks, treasures and tales.

This trip is way beyond spectacular, exemplifying Journey Through Italy’s intimate knowledge of their Tuscan “home turf” while boasting some of the regions secret, feral corners––the tucked away corners of Tuscany we absolutely adore.

To view the full tour click here: Marvels Of Western Tuscany

Carol Sicbaldi – Tour Leader for Journey Through Italy
As a maestra of authentic tours featuring Italy’s time-honored traditions, the discerning experiences that Carol Sicbaldi shares as a Tour Leader for Journey Through Italy, will push you to explore a life of simple pleasure, uncomplicated flavors, bucolic landscapes and architecture from a time when things were built to last. Take your pick from trekking, authentic home cooked meals, pop-up picnics and wine tastings. She’ll introduce you to artisans whose life’s work is dedicated to keeping their chosen crafts alive, from cheese makers to bakers, honey producers and herbalists. Come celebrate a simplicity long lost in most corners of the world. Slow down, walk, appreciate the rhythm and flavors!
Photographs by © Lorenzo Acciai