Taking a walk along one of the centuries-old pilgrim routes is not only a spiritual and religious experience, it's also an intellect-fuelling and nature-respective way to tiptoe into the culture and traditions of the hamlets that you'll find along the way, and a new way of visiting the area with its historic rites and rituals.
Pistoia is the ideal place to arrive and depart on your thought-provoking experience surrounded by nature. It's a crossroads where five walks almost brush against each other and even overlap. Two of these (the Via Romea Strata and the Via Romea Germanica) are part of the network of official routes in Tuscany.
Via Romea Germanica
From Fiumalbo to Arezzo (Tuscan segment) - 9 stages - 209,8 km
This is a lovely journey along a road that intersects with many other walking paths. It goes through art cities and small historic hamlets, featuring delightful mountain views - both alpine and Apennine - that alternate with diverse environments and charming landscapes.
Via Romea Strata
From Passo della Croce Arcana to Fucecchio (Tuscan segment) - 5 stages - 102,5 km
This road - which has always been an important route through Europe and which now has been enhanced and made accessible - starts off from the Baltic Sea, crosses Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria to finally cross over the Alps into Italy.
Cammino di San Jacopo
From Florence to Livorno - 6 stages - 174 km
Forming a little “Santiago Way” which passes through Tuscany's most beautiful art cities, it's an easy walk that's also suitable for beginners given that it's close to residential areas and to excellent means of public transport. You can also find free hospitality with the 'donate what you wish' method.
Cammino di San Bartolomeo
From Fiumalbo to Pistoia - 5 stages - 90 km
This goes from Emilia-Romagna to Tuscany: a walk along mule tracks, lanes and paths, across an area that's rich in natural wonders. It's suitable for everyone thanks to it being close to villages and hamlets where you can have a rest and get something to eat and drink.
Via Francesca della Sambuca
From Bologna to Pistoia - 4 stages - 96,2 km
Via Francesca della Sambuca runs parallel to the Apennines' oldest iron reinforced road, the Porrettana Railway. Running from Bologna to Pistoia and passing through Porretta Terme, you can break your walk by taking the train for a stretch, before getting off and picking up the road again.