I’m happy to share this short travel log written by two Australian guests, Stephen and
Claire from Perth, who came to Italy for the first time in May 2023, embarking on a
WalkItaly self-guided tour of Southern Tuscany and Giglio Island. The good news is that
they survived an encounter with Maremma sheepdogs; the bad news is that they had to
return to Australia…
It was with a little trepidation that we embarked on the via cave walk, having booked it pre-COVID,
then having to wait until the skies opened again. We were 3 years older by the time we started.
Roberto set our mind at rest with a detailed one-on-one planning explanation session at our hotel
We already had maps and GPX, Roberto brought the train tickets and a wealth of information
about the trip which he went through in detail ensuring we understood exactly what lay ahead of
We caught the train to Capalbio where we were met by a local driver who took us to Sorano. We
got a glimpse of Pitigliano on the drive there – spectacular!
The hotel in Sorano was at the top of the hill and a lovely place to set off on our trip from. We had a
glass of wine that evening at a local wine bar run by a New Zealander, Sean.
We set off the following morning but immediately ran into difficulty with the narrow winding streets
and got lost. GPX and GPS were not much use with the high-sided streets. We bumped into Sean
feeding some local cats and he set us on the right path. That was the only time we had any
difficulty with directions.
The walk from Sorano to Sovana was spectacular along several via cave. The private guided tour
of the necropolis at Sovana was very interesting and our guide even took us around the small
museum in Sovana where a pot of gold coins had been discovered a few years before.
The meal in Sovana was lovely, although we couldn’t speak Italian and our host couldn’t speak
English, we managed to have a good conversation with Google translate.
The walk the next day from Sovana to Pitigliano was again spectacular.
But nothing really prepares you for walking up and into Pitigliano. Again, the accommodation and
meals were excellent, and our local guide was very informative; we even met her Mum.
The last day on the mainland was a peaceful wind down and the longest walk of the trip. It was
also the hottest day so far. When we got to the last 500m before the pick-up point we ran into a
flock of sheep with their two Maremma sheepdogs. A little confronting but we got through
The hotel on the last night on the mainland was again of a high standard and with great food and a
The ferry trip the next day was a nice way to break the journey up. The sea was calm and the
weather was very pleasant. The hotel Arenella and food on the island were very good.
The walking on the island was a little more strenuous given the landscape. We cut our walk short
that day as the temperature was hovering at about 35 C.
Next day we were driven to Capalbio from where we caught the train to Florence to finish our
holiday in Italy.
Throughout the trip the drivers and luggage handlers were prompt and efficient. The service at all
accommodations stops was excellent. The room in Pitigliano was particularly good as it was right
in the middle of the town and close to the Jewish quarter. Both of our guides were knowledgeable
and the tours they ran were fun and informative. The scenery and history throughout were
Roberto was helpful and efficient and made sure we were fully informed and safe throughout the