The Tour de France in Florence

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 8 May 2024

For the first time in 2024 the prestigious Tour de France cycle race will start in Italy. The "Grand Départ", as it is known, will happen in Florence on Saturday 29th June. The first two stages will cross the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and the third stage will cross Piedmont.

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One Hundred Years of Opera

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 25 Oct 2022

2023 marks 100 years of Verona's stunning summer opera festival and hikers on our Austria and Dolomites tour in July 2023 will be lucky enough to arrive in the city just in time for an unforgettable performance of Aida.

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National Geographic Traveller Food Festival

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 17 Jul 2022

Saturday 16th July saw us exhibiting at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival in the Business Design Centre in London.  We were part of the Italian National Tourist Board stand for the event and talked to visitors from far and wide about our hiking holidays in Italy.

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10 things to know about Siena's famous Palio

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 2 Apr 2022

If you've never joined one of our annual Palio tours in Siena in August, your ideas about this horse race might be a little sketchy. As the race has been cancelled for the last two years due to Covid restrictions, 2022 promises to be more exciting than ever!

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Three of the Best Music Festivals in Italy

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 5 Oct 2021

If you like to mix a little culture with your walking holidays then have a look at three of the best annual music festivals that Italy has to offer.  Hiking by day and Opera by night?  What's not to like ....

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Three of the Best Food Festivals in Italy

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 16 Sep 2021

Autumn is a great time to visit Italy, not only for its colourful landscapes and cooler temperatures, but because this is a season full of Sagre, festivals which celebrate the harvest of local produce.

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Dante: Father of the Italian Language

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 6 Jan 2021

2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, one of Italy's greatest literary figures.  He was a poet and moral philosopher and best known for the epic poem The Divine Comedy, which made a lasting impression on the worlds of literature, theology and art.  This year will see commemorative events across Italy, but in particular Florence, the city of his birth in 1265, and Ravenna, the city where he died in 1321.

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The Giro d'Italia

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 1 May 2019

The Giro d'Italia is a multiple-stage bicycle race held each year in Italy. Along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro forms a key element of the cycling world's Grand Tours. It is usually held during late May and early June and we often come across the race on our walking tours which happen at this time of year.

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Christmas in Italy

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 12 Dec 2018

Nothing quite illustrates the atmosphere of Christmas in Italy as effectively as the saying ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con i vuoi’. In other words, ‘Christmas with the family, Easter with who you like’. But while family rules, food comes a close second: eating is what an Italian Christmas is all about!

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Il Palio della Balestra

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 30 Sep 2016

At the end of our Medieval Umbria tour we find ourselves in the stunning town of Gubbio. Next year it happens that we will be there on the final Sunday in May which means we will witness one of its most historic and spectacular events.

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Foraging for Funghi

Submitted by admin on 23 Sep 2012

Our Parma, Tuscany & Cinque Terre tour takes us to the Slow Food town of Borgotaro in the hills of Emilia-Romagna at the time of year when the locals are celebrating the Sagra del Fungo Porcino.  This is an annual festival (2012 was the 37th) dedicated to the famous porcini mushrooms which grow so abundantly in this area.

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A View of the Palio

Submitted by admin on 22 Aug 2012

Last week we hosted our Palio of Siena tour for the first time.  We thought it would be interesting to ask one of the pioneers on the trip to answer a few questions about his experience but, better than that, he wrote a whole article and supplied some wonderful photographs too, all of which are published below.   Many thanks to Chris Bell for his time, trouble, and enormous enthusiasm!

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