The 11 Best Hikes In Florence
Finding the best hikes in Florence can seem like a challenging task, especially if you do not speak Italian or understand the layout of the city and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. But do a little research and you will find some of the more popular hikes, including urban hikes, in and around Florence. Many of these trails offer spectacular views of the city and the countryside.
With lovely places like the Renaissance Ring with trails that surround Florence and treks past monasteries in the Apennine Mountains, hiking in the Florence area is a terrific pastime!
Whether you are searching for an easy stroll along a picturesque trail or a more challenging hike that will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping, you will definitely find the right hiking trail for you. Before you head out for a stroll or more strenuous hike, drop your extra bags at a luggage storage locker for safekeeping. There is no reason to bring extra gear along – it will only slow you down!
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Florence
Check out one or more of these fantastic hiking trails in Florence. Florence has a variety of trails ranging from easy to difficult, so be sure to pick a trail that fits your skill and energy level. You do not want to tackle a difficult trail if you are not accustomed to hiking over difficult terrain. Serious hikers will want to give the moderate and difficult trails a try.
Palazzo Vecchio – Santa Croce Loop
Length: 5.94 miles
Location: Firenze Santa Maria Novella
This moderate or intermediate trail is best for those in good health. The path is easily accessible and relatively flat, making it ideal for those wanting to try a more challenging trail. This trail is not very shaded so be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen and water.
The loop is almost six miles and can be easily completed in a few hours or you can tackle smaller sections of the trail if you are not able to do the entire loop. Grab your friends and head to Firenze Santa Maria Novella. After hiking, you can drop by one of the cafes for a refreshing drink and snack. If you want to eat back in the city, click here for a guide to Florence street food.
Length: 3.2 miles
Location: Firenze: Piazza Duomo
This point-to-point trail is an easy trail that is 3.2 miles long and is located in Florence. This urban hike will take you through Florence and showcase several of the iconic landmarks in the city center. Take an easy stroll through Piazza Duomo and take in the breathtaking architecture.
You will make your way through the piazza and see the Ponte Vecchio, Basilica San Lorenzo, and the Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk along the banks of the river and breathe in the fresh air while getting acquainted with Florence. You can bring your four-legged companion along on this urban walk but they have to remain leashed.
Pian dei Giullari
Length: 6 miles
Location: Villa le Piazzole
This six-mile loop begins and ends at the Villa le Piazzole and is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, jogging, running, and mountain biking. The trail is a bit rough and does require you to be in shape to tackle. You do have to climb up a few hills that will keep your heart pumping.
This moderate trek is a great way to get out and enjoy Florence and nature at the same time. Dogs are allowed on the Pian dei Giullari but they do need to be leashed. Since this is a multi-use trail, be aware of your surroundings and others using the trails, especially cyclists.
Via Degli Dei
Length: 11.63 miles
Location: San Domenico
While it is technically a roadway and not your typical trail, it is closed to vehicle traffic so you can make the hike without worrying about vehicles flying past. The road does have an elevation gain of 1,175 feet so you will definitely feel a little burn in your legs as you hike along. You will make your way through Fiesole where you can refill your water bottle and enjoy beautiful panoramic views.
You do not have to hike the entire 11.63 miles in one day, you can backpack along and spend the night in small villages and towns along the way or you can hike to Fiesole and then back to San Domenico. If you do continue to the end, you will have a short hike along a moderately busy road and end at the Piazza della Signora.
Settignano Forest Walk
Length: 3.42 miles
Location: Settignano Forest
There is nothing better than taking a relaxing walk through Settignano Forest. You will set off down an easy to follow path and enjoy wonderful views of the olive groves and the forest, and look out over Florence. Grab your family or friends and enjoy a walk through the picturesque woods.
Take a small side hike along the Sentiero dei Scalpellini path which is just past the Villa Morghen and is rumored to have been used by Michelangelo while he was mining for marble nearby. The Sentiero dei Scalpellini is a little more difficult as there is a very steep and narrow road that leads to Ponte a Mensola and Vincigliata castle just beyond.
City Center Urban Hike
Location: San Niccolo
Urban hiking has really become a great way to get out and learn more about a city by following a specific path. There are several apps you can download that will take you on a guided tour through Florence and encourage you to get out and walk. It is an easy hike through the streets of Florence and you can take your time exploring the city center.
You can also pick and choose where you are going to walk and what you are going to see. Make your way through some of the fascinating hidden alleys that lead from San Niccolo to Viale Galileo and then on to the Piazzale Michelangelo. Backtrack to Via San Miniato al Monte and then stroll along Via Giramonte to Pian dei Giullari.
You can also visit the Porta San Miniato and walk along the walls of the fort on Via Belvedere. Make your return trip to San Niccolo along Via dell’Erta Canina, a narrow cobblestone lane that leads past adorable villas. There are so many fantastic and historical places to see in Florence’s city center and the best way to see them all is on foot. History and museum lovers will adore this hike.
Parco del Mensola
Location: Ponte a Mensola
This new park was built as flood prevention for Ponte a Mensola and has several great paths that are great for walking, hiking, jogging, and running. Grab your canine companion and head over to Parco del Mensola, just keep a leash on your pooch while in the park. The village of Ponte a Mensola offers great shopping and restaurants so after you spend time hiking hang out in the village for a bit.
The park has walking paths on both sides of the Via della Torre and a wonderful picnic area at the opening of the park. Head toward Via Madonna delle Grazie which leads up a very steep hill to Via della Capponcina and right to Settignano Forest and even more hiking trails.
Ponte San Niccolo
Length: 9.5 miles
Location: Ponte San Niccolo
Located on the east side, you can stroll along a walking path that leads from the San Niccolo bridge to Arno and then on to Girone. While it can be an easy walk along flat, gravel paths, there are parts of the path that are interrupted and disappear altogether and you have to stroll along the sidewalk or dodge houses and yards before finding the gravel path again.
If you do not want to hike the Ponte San Niccolo you can rent a bike and still get a good workout and see just as much of the countryside as if you were hiking. With several benches along the trail, you can stop and take breaks as you need to and watch the different birds, especially waterfowl.
Quattro Cime Monte Morello
Length: 6.4 miles
Location: Monte Morello
This 6.4-mile loop is located near Sesto Fiorentino, only about 15 minutes to the northwest of Florence. You will make your way through the rugged trail along a fast-moving river and up part of Mount Morello. Plan on spending most of the morning or afternoon hiking along this trail.
The Quattro Cime trail is best hiked from March through November, but you can tackle it in December through February if you are an experienced hiker, although it is not advised. Dogs are allowed on the trail but are required to be leashed. After you have conquered the trail, head into Sesto Fiorentino and relax at one of the cafes.
Monte Morello – Poggio Leccio – Poggio Cafaggio
Length: 11.3 miles
Location: Monte Morello
Also located near Sesto Fiorentino and just a short distance from Florence, the Poggio Leccio – Poggio Cafaggio trail is an 11.3-mile loop that is not heavily trafficked and is rated difficult because of the rugged terrain you will encounter. If you are not an experienced hiker, you will not want to attempt this trail.
The trail is used mostly by avid hikers and mountain bikers. You can follow the Poggio Leccio – Poggio Cafaggio trail around Monte Morello for some fantastic views of the surrounding area. Hike this trail between March and November. It can be treacherous during the winter months and should not be attempted.
Sella delle Colline – Monte Morello – Poggio all’Aia
Length: 6.3 miles
Location: Monte Morello
The place to be when you are searching for fantastic and challenging hiking trails near Florence is Monte Morello. The Sella delle Colline – Monte Morello- Poggio all’Aia trail is a 6.3-mile loop that is just outside Sesto Fiorentino, only about 15 miles from Florence. The trail is of moderate difficulty and does not usually have a lot of hikers on it at a time.
While the trail is primarily used by hikers, you will see the occasional mountain biker along the way. There are several nature trips that are offered and take you along the Sella delle Colline so you may have to share the trail with a large group. You can bring your dog along for the hike, but they must remain leashed at all times.
Easy Hikes in Florence
There are several amazing hikes in and around Florence that you can enjoy as a way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. No matter if your skill level is beginner or you are more advanced, some of the easy hikes offer a glimpse into the wonderful architecture of the city. Check out Piazza Duomo, Settignano Forest Walk, and City Center Urban Hike as easy hikes in Florence that you are sure to love.
Intermediate Hikes in Florence
If you have conquered some of the easy hikes and feel ready to try one or more of the intermediate or moderate hikes in or around Florence. There are several hikes that offer a more challenging, heart pumping time than the easier strolls around the city or through the woods. Give one of these intermediate hikes a try. Palazzo Vecchio – Santa Croce Loop, Pian dei Giullari, and Ponte San Niccolo are recommended.
Difficult Hikes in Florence
You will definitely want to be an experienced hiker before you tackle any of the hikes in Florence that are marked difficult. The terrain is rough and the stamina required will test your endurance. While an experienced hiker can enjoy an easy or moderate hike, it is not recommended for a novice hiker to tackle a difficult trail until they are physically ready. Via Degli Dei, Monte Morello – Poggio Leccio – Poggio Cafaggio, and Sella delle Colline – Monte Morello – Poggio all’Aia are considered difficult.
See Vineyards and More
When you are looking for a great way to get in shape and add some fitness to your daily schedule, a hike through the picturesque Tuscany countryside is the best solution. Hiking anywhere in Tuscany, Italy is an amazing experience and you will find some wonderful places to explore. When descending into Florence Airport, take an overhead view of some of the places you want to see.