On Saturday, my good friend and I decided to venture out into the countryside outside of Florence for some hiking. We’ve talked about this many times before, but it has always seemed complicated to get a good hike in because there’s not any real specific “hiking trails”. Maybe Italians aren’t into that.
So, I decided to plan it how i plan all my random adventures here – just pulling up the map, choosing somewhere that looked green and cool, and heading there! I mapped out some sort of route but I kind of had a feeling we wouldn’t stick to it… but thats always the fun part.
We got on a bus and took it to the outskirts of Florence and from there we started up a looooooong pretty road. One of the typical Tuscan roads – lined in cobblestone walls and when you can finally get a peek over them, you’re greeted with rolling green hills and olive trees spotting the distant lands.
Oh, by the way. Neither of us had phones, gps, or a watch. Haha…
We walked along one of the streets we had mapped out, but then we saw a dirt trail so we disregarded the entire plan and went that way. It seemed to be a hiking trail, so we followed this path through a lot of trees and came across a cute little stream.
It had been raining a lot this past week so it got quite muddy and sloshy as we made our way through! The trail didn’t seem to lead anywhere else besides to some mountain biking trail that was blocked off, so we walked towards some house and hoped we weren’t trespassing. Once we veered off the path, it turned into another one so we went along with it.
This led up another stone-wall-lined road and we emerged into a forest-y area (after i picked about 5 different rocks that looked cool, i couldn’t stop finding cool ones). This part was rad, and was a forest area lining a curvy road. We could have followed the road but we just hopped across it into the next foresty area.
Thank goodness we did, because we stumbled upon some log stairs, and then a random forest ADVENTURE PARK! It looked like so much fun and was in the middle of nowhere. I wish it would have been open so we could have swung from branches and scaled trees and ziplined and basically been monkeys. I guess wandering through the countryside without any idea of our whereabouts is close enough. Sort of…
Then, next to the adventure park was a CASTLE. We tried to get a good look but it was pretty covered by walls so we continued on some other dirt road that had some beautiful views overlooking the valley of vineyards and the city.
We also came across 5 kitties, just chilling. All of the stray cats in Italy are absolutely adorable. I seriously have not seen one scraggly looking, ordinary cat. They’re all magnificent.
I’m not even sure how we got this next part because we were just trekking around through random areas and making direction choices off of what looked cool and we weren’t even on a trail. But we were on some beautiful grassy hill and it opened up into a KICKASS view of rolling hills, vineyards, beautiful villas perched on the hills in the sunlight, and the city waaaaay off in the distance.
We didn’t want to go back and find a trail because this view looked way too pretty so we said screw it and just went down the mountain, fully anticipating that we would end up in someone’s yard. And we did, of course. Nevermind the “private property” signs everywhere….
We made our way out of the little village and walked along a beautiful tree-lined walkway with a lot of (what looked like) blueberry plants. Now, we were in some other town that’s next to Florence. We could see Florence way off in the distance so we decided to walk. In this town (Settignano) we came across some soccer museum and a big field area that looked really important.
Somehow we found our way back to Florence after about an hour of walking and concluded our excursion, extremely proud of our navigation skills while also being totally baffled on how the heck we just found our way home through complete wilderness. But hey, we’re becoming pros at navigating by sight now from all this traveling and inability to use our GPS.
We treated ourselves to a big lunch of carbonara and STEAK <3 and then went home and made cookies. After a cookie failure (apparently the flour here isn’t all purpose. it’s primarily for cakes and breads… aka some very weird textured cookies), we tried to watch a movie but we were falling asleep, but it was only about 7 o’clock. We parted ways and decided to nap before our night out (2nd to last weekend in Florence), but my friend napped until midnight and I woke up and could never actually get up so the night didn’t exist.
We were flat out EXHAUSTED and were wondering how we were so tired. We knew we walked a lot but it was so fun and new that it didn’t seem like THAAAT much. Well…… i decided to map out our route with the help of my camera’s GPS and lo and behold….
WE HIKED/WALKED 10 MILES.
SO THAT’S WHY WE PASSED OUT FOR THE NIGHT AT 7 PM.
It was so worth it. The countryside is soooo beautiful and we saw just one tiny part of it. I love doing things out in nature and although I love Florence, it was SO incredibly nice to get out into the GREEN and the nature air and the tranquility. I also just don’t think ill ever get tired of those Tuscan landscapes.
I could also use another nap…