The Verruca Castle

 - Hiking in Tuscany through nature and ancient history -

Juli & Dave-29.jpg
Juli & Dave-29.jpg

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Verruca 19-0-9_edited.jpg
Verruca 19-0-9_edited.jpg

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Hiking in pisa area
Hiking in pisa area

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Juli & Dave-29.jpg
Juli & Dave-29.jpg

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Hiking in Tuscany can often lead to disover ancient history right in the middle of  amazing naturel. The Verruca castle hike is exactly this case.


The walk starts at the feet of the Pisan mountain, in the main village called Calci. We have the possibility, for a tiny amount of money, of having a guided tour of the "Certosa di Calci". An amazingly colored monastery that will literally blow you away. Then we walk up a typical hill road that gently climbs up towards the tiny village of Montemagno through Olives trees and stone masonry walls.


From Montemagno we climb up on a wide mountain road through different kind of vegetation for 1 hour until we get in sight of the ancient fortress.

One last steep bit takes us to the entrance of the castle that will gives a view on all the area surrounding Pisa. We have a small break there to take it all in.


We retrace our steps for about until we find a beautiful single track path that brings us down, through an enchanted pine tree forest, back from where we started.   

Technical details

Guide: Giulio or Leonardo

Distance : 12km

Type: Ring walk

Duration: 5hr

Elevation Gain: +500

Difficutly: Easy

Footwear needed: trekking shoes or boots

For kids: yes

Links: The Verruca Castle on Wikipedia

            The Verruca Castle on Italy Heritage



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"Fabulous trek to the verruca castle" by Julie and Dave

We had the great good fortune of taking the Verruca Castle trek with Giulio Cuccioli in late May of this year (2016). Doing so was awesome, in the old sense of the word – an experience that inspired awe.

We were staying in Pisa. Giulio gave us a perfect instructions to get to Calci on the bus that goes to Montemagno from the Manin Square, which is steps away from the Leaning Tower. After this 20-minute ride, we got off and met Giulio precisely where he said he would be. He sent us a link with a picture.

We first walked around the towns of Calci and Montemagno, both of which are darling. Giulio was full of information about both. The only reason we did not visit the Certosa of Calci itself was that we went to Calci on the one day of the week that the Certosa was closed. If you can go on one of the other six days, I highly recommend visiting the Certosa. We went on another day, and it was magnificent.

The hike up to the Verruca Castle was gorgeous – and do-able. I am (closely) pushing 60, and only in moderate shape. I take NO spin classes and do not jog! My husband, though in better shape (he is retired) is 8 years older than I. Nonetheless, we were able to hike the 2000 feet up (8 miles) because Giulio knew how to pace it.

The mountains are rugged, but for someone who knows them like Giulio, there are do-able paths like the one we took. Climbing up to the top, listening to all the fascinating history of Tuscany from Giulio – was truly a “once in a lifetime” experience. I have been to Italy perhaps 20 times (some for business – no trekking, of course) in 35 years. NEVER have I had any remotely similar experience. This was a completely different – but gorgeous and inspiring - experience. The mountains and the view are spectacular. When we got to the top, Giulio actually made coffee for us! AND it was delicious! 

I won’t repeat everything he told us so as not to spoil the story. I can only tell you to do yourself a favor and go.


Check Julie and Dave's review on trip advisor: