Hiking in the Pisan Mountains
This hike holds a special place in my heart as many years ago, it was the first hike I ever did as a Professional Tour Guide. This is coupled with the fact that it offers an ever changing route with amazing scenery. The hike is not too long, but it is a little hard going because of the uneven steep hillside tracks. However, the beautiful Mediterranean fauna set in such spectacular countryside does tend to distract you from the more difficult parts of the hike!
The Monti Pisani (Pisan Mountain Range) is known to be one of the most ancient mountain ranges in Italy and it separates the two cities of Lucca and Pisa. In his Divine Comedy, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri speaks of the Pisan Mountains, ‘monte per che I Pisan veder Lucca non ponno…’ (mountain for which the Pisans cannot Lucca see); how can this fail to encapsulate the importance of the Pisan Mountains in the history of Italy?
We’ll begin our excursion in the small village of Santa Maria del Giudice at 85 metres high; we’ll then hike through the olive groves and evergreen shrubbery that surround the mountain of San Giuliano until we arrive at the Dante Pass (215 m) and then continue on up to the mountain ridge (275 m). From this point we’ll have a magnificent 360-degree view encapsulating Lucca surrounded by lush green countryside and woodlands, of Pisa with its Leaning Tower and further still on the horizon we’ll see the coast of Versilia. After a break we’ll start our descent along a different route and reach in the valley the village of San Giuliano Terme.
Level of Difficulty: Medium – 6 km – 375 m↑ – 375 m↓ – 2 h
Fee: €315 per group for up to 20 people