It all started with Cinque Terre – and a popular walk called the Sentiero Azzurro or the Blue Path. Linking five coastal villages perched hillside on the Mediterranean, this was a must-do.
But the first section we set out to do was closed due a rockslide. The detour went up into the hills, high up to Volastra. We quickly discovered the routes were marked with red and white lines – painted on fenceposts, rock walls, buildings, trees…
The next day, we used our map and these markers to skip away from the crowds and explore a hilltop sanctuary.
When we started looking, we began seeing this familiar hiking symbol (rosa e bianca/red and white) everywhere in Tuscany and Umbria.
We bought a hiking map in San Gimignano and followed well-marked routes through vineyards and olive groves to hilltop castles and old ruins.
South of Volterra, well off the tourist track, we strolled up a fenced path to Rocca Sillana – a medieval stronghold with a commanding view. Walking behind we noticed the hiking symbol on a well-constructed but unused path.
Following the markers, we came to another gate in the wall surrounding the town and followed the path down the hillside for an spectacular view of the monolithic marvel.
If you go:
- Always carry a map for hikes beyond a straightforward in and out on the same path.
- Trail marking can be sporadic in places.
- “Walking in Tuscany” by Gillian Price is an excellent Cicerone guide listing over 50 walks.