Today was the perfect weather for a good urban hike – a good free activity, a way to get some exercise, and very pleasant too. Florence has the advantage of being surrounded by beautiful green hills and from certain areas it’s very easy to just walk out into the countryside. So if you’re sick of the city and dying for some fresh air and nature, here’s a two-hour walking itinerary that will take you from Campo di Marte through fields and up to Maiano, and back down towards Coverciano.
Google Map of this hike
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Urban hike itinerary description
Start your itinerary at the end of via Lungo l’Affrico in Campo di Marte – you can take the number 17 ATAF bus to the capolinea (end of the line) to get here. You’ll see the newly restored Villa Salviatino looming large and yellow across the street. Head there and there’s a stream lining a street. Take that street and keep the stream on your left for as long as possible. You’ll take a right and start heading up hill until it looks like the street ends in someone’s driveway. Then take the unpaved path to your right. Beware of dogs (sometimes loose) behind the gate where the road dips down and is very uneven. You’ll find a wet area and a bridge in the woods, and then a path that goes through some fields, along another road, and continuing steeply up the hill, you end up in Maiano.
When you come out of the path there is a beautiful little chapel on the road. You’re at the intersection between the streets down to Florence, one that goes towards Fiesole, and one that goes up a bit more to Maiano proper. The Fattoria di Maiano is at this corner and has a good self-serve restaurant which is a possible goal of this walk. Just around the corner from there is a cute Romanesque church, and if you continue another 300 meters uphill you get to the cave di Maiano which offers a climbing wall and hiking trails that go in the direction of Fiesole. There is a gelateria here and a big lawn on which we used to hang out, though last time we went it had been fenced off.
Continue the itinerary to head back down to Florence by taking the road that runs alongside the Fattoria’s property. Be careful as in this first part cars don’t slow much and it’s very narrow. At the end of this stretch there’s a 17th-century villa that is being renovated to make luxury residences; they’ve been at it for almost 10 years now and seem to make little progress. Here you can take either road but I like to veer right on this street that leads back to via Gabriele d’Annunzio. In the piazza at the end of this part of the street is a good bar-pasticceria (Cesare) should you need a rest. The number 10 or 17 busses stop nearby.
This walk is fine for anyone who is moderately fit – there’s a steep part but we just take it slowly. The circuit takes about 2 hours walking at a pretty moderate pace.
Here are photos of the itinerary in chronological order so you get a sense of what you’ll see. It’s beautiful isn’t it?!