Hiking in Castel Vecchio
- Hiking in Tuscany eploring mountain villages and the remains of a huge lake -
Hiking in Tuscany is always full of surprises. In this hike we discover what is left of an ancient lake that used to be so big that the villages that are now on the hill side where once lake faring cities.
This lovely gentle walk will make us discover two hidden beauties of the pisan and luccan territory. We rich the first beauty after a short walk up hill in the olives tree orchard. Castelvecchio, literally the old castle is a medieval village perched on a narrow hill overlooking the flatlands.
Its a tiny San Gimignano, with narrow alleys and stone masonry at its best. No shops, cafes, no post office. But people will smile at you through the windows or in their gardens giving you their best "buongiorno".
After our visit, we hit the woods again on a broad path that rises gently. We then enter the "compito's valley" which walks us down, along a lovely stream, until we enter the second village of "Colle di compito". We then cross into the flat lands and after a brief walk we reach the second beauty the "Gherardesca's Lake".
The Lake is what is left of a inland sea that once connected Pisa and Lucca. Its now a 100th of its original size but its still glorious and on a good day is possible to spot hundreds of bird species resting on the water... a must for all bird watchers.
We then circle the lake and get lost (not really) in a maze of country roads, still rich of surprises, that take us back to where we started our walk
Distance : 12km
Type: Ring walk
Elevation Gain: +350
Footwear needed: trekking shoes or boots
For kids: yes
Links: Gerardesca lake on Wikipedia
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