At ten o’ clock our time, on the twenty-third, we emerged from the Apennines and saw florence lying in a broad valley which was amazingly densely cultivated and scattered with villas and houses as far as the eye could see (…)
One look is sufficient to show one that the people who built it were prosperous and enjoyed a lucky succession of good governments. The most striking thing about Tuscany is that all the public works, the roads and the bridges, look beautiful and imposing. They are at one and the same time efficient and neat, combining usefulness wiht grace, and everywhere one observes the care with which things are looked after.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Florence, as we know, is considered the “Cradle of the Renaissance”. Over time, illuminated sovereigns, such as the Medici and later the Lorraine Grand-dukes, have astutely preserved and expanded the enormous artistic and cultural heritage present in the city. Monuments, historic palazzi and famous museums can be easily visited on foot, since they are all very close to each other. But what would Florence be without its hills? The gentle surrounding landscape is undoubtedly an enormous added value, without which the city would be much poorer and less elegant.
Visitors in hordes, from all over the world, crowd the streets and squares of Florence… with their gaze turned upwards. The visit appears too hurried, jammed in all too often between tours of Venice and Rome. This is a type of tourism which, to some extent, diminishes the value of the Renaissance gem. Even the visit to the world-famous museum of the Uffizi, albeit of great importance, is not sufficient for a full understanding of the essence of the inspiration of the great masters of that magnificient period. To grasp the landscape motifs which inspired them we need to move outwards, to visit the bordering municipalities, to walk along the roads which once made up the network of routes which connected the city centre to the neighbouring towns, to the major Italian cities and to the entire world. This is why we have devoted careful research to the identification of all the surviving stretches of the ancient road network of the Florentine area, now disused and abandoned. We have then joined them up to create a single great excursion system, the first round-city hiking route in Italy: the Renaissance Ring Road Whether you have at your disposal just one hour or, much better, eight days, you can start off from the city itself, or from one of the many towns of the surrounding area, and begin walking. Taking Brunelleschi’s cupola as a constant landmark, you will find your route leading past castles, fortresses, churches, sanctuaries and a myriad of aristocratics residences. A wealth of monuments which further enrich a panorama already wonderful in itself. The visitor can delight in walking along easy paths, immersed in the leafy shades of the woords, leading through vineyards and silvery olive ggroves or along the banks of a river, which emerge without fail at some typical restaurant, rural holiday centre, hotel or village. Thanks to the capillary public transport network, which includes trains and both country and urban buses, the visitor can take up or interrupt these pleasant walks at will.
Strolling in the midst of history and nature, exercising and enjoying spot and culture at the same time, along a modular route accessible in every season.
This is the Renaissance Ring Road, a new opportunity within reach of all our welcome visitors.