Monteriggioni’s Slow Travel Fest encourages exploring Tuscany at a relaxed pace

A brand new event is inspiring visitors to Tuscany to explore the region in new ways with our own two feet, offering opportunities to take in the famous Tuscan landscapes as well as the ancient pilgrim route Via Francegina.

The Slow Travel Fest, which runs from October 9-11, will take place in and around the medieval town of Monteriggioni near Siena, is the only festival in Italy devoted to slow travel, and will encourage walkers to discover hidden towns and villages, take in Tuscany’s famous beauty spots and architecture, and to improve their health and wellbeing.

On offer during the three day period are many free activities for visitors to get stuck into, including guided walks and special talks. Excursions are arranged from Monteriggioni, and visitors can choose to join a group of like-minded people or enjoy the route solo, taking in the local area at their own pace.

As part of a special event, the inventor of ‘Deep Walking’, Luca Gianotti, will be welcomed at the festival, delivering a mentally and physically stimulating experience through meditation and connection with nature as night falls over the rolling hills. Expert Caterina Frey will also be on hand to deliver courses in Nordic Walking, an extremely efficient technique of walking which is 40% more efficient than walking without poles and also burns up to 45% more calories.

Visitors will be able to not only enjoy the fun of walking through Tuscany by day, but also the magic of walking over the hills by night, as a series of night walks will also be lead through the Sienese hills by AGAT Toscana environmental guides. These walks are best suited to more confident walkers with a good level of fitness.

Those who are interested in hearing about the walking experiences of others will also be able to attend talks telling amazing stories of walks around the world. Franco Michieli, who has walked over some of the world’s most arduous terrain without any navigation, will be giving a talk on how not knowing your route is the best way to explore an area, as well as Darinka Montico, who walked the length of Italy with no money, relying on the kindness of strangers. Traveller and author Pietro Scidurlo will be giving a talk on what slow travel means for those with disabilities, while Alfredo Covelli will present his documentary ‘With Real Stars Above my Head’, his story of hiking up several Himalayan peaks while suffering from worsening multiple sclerosis.

If you’re thinking of exploring Tuscany for yourself and indulging in some slow travel, book Chic with our Tuscany boutique hotel collection.

Image: Aske Holst, available under Creative Commons

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.