Walking Path of the Gods from Bologna to Florence must be one of Italy’s most exquisite journeys on foot, taking you through Emilia Romagna and Tuscany over eight days. Also known as the Via degli Dei, not to be confused with the one on the Amalfi Coast, as well as starting and ending in two handsome and historic cities, you get to wander well off the tourist trail, following a path that is enveloped by five mountains, all named after Roman deities. The highest of these is Monte Andone, with other highlights along the way including sections of the Flaminia Roman road, Rino and Mugello Valleys and Lake Bilancino. Stay in a mix of hotels and agriturismi, with luggage transfers.
- Flaminia Roman road
- Traditional Tuscan Villages
- Monte Andone (654m)
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Day 1: Arrive in Bologna
Arrive into Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna, is renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and culinary delights. It is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Bologna, established in 1088, which has shaped the city’s intellectual and artistic character. The city boasts a wealth of architectural treasures, including the Two Towers, Asinelli and Garisenda, and the grand Piazza Maggiore, which is adorned with the stunning Basilica di San Petronio
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Bologna (Hotel University or similar)
Day 2: Bologna to Sasso Marconi | 20km
Starting at Piazza Maggiore, walk to Portico di San Luca, built in 1674 and the longest covered street in the world at nearly four kilometres, consisting of 666 arches reaching and reaching as far as the Sanctuary of San Luca, where you get some superb views. Today’s journey continues towards Parco Talon, where the Casalecchio lock-gate has been managing the flow of waters of the Reno to the city of Bologna for 800 years. From the top of the hill, you can see the village of Sasso Marconi, named in honour of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio, who was born here.
- Walking for the day: approx. 6h, 20km, ↑520m ↓505m
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Sasso Marconi (Hotel Cà Vecchia or similar)
Day 3: Sasso Marconi to Monzuno | 16km
After a transfer to Badolo, start walking uphill towards Monte Adone. The highlight of this leg of the journey is the Contrafforte Pliocenico, the rocky bastion which rose from the shallow sea during the Pliocene Age. Along some sections of the route, you walk on sand and then along a spectacular path that climbs up to the top of Mount Adone (654m). Continue towards Monzuno, where we recommend a visit to Zivieri’s charcuterie shop, a temple of local food and wine.
- Walking for the day: approx. 5h, 16km, ↑700m ↓500m
- Accommodation: B&B in Monzuno (Albergo Montevenere or similar)
Day 4: Monzuno to Bruscoli | 19km
Today’s route takes you along the first paving stones of the Flaminia Militare, the ancient Roman road that used to link Bologna with Arezzo. At Pian di Balestra, you cross the regional border into Tuscany, continuing on to Bruscoli, where you spend the night in a charming agriturismo on the hill.
- Walking for the day: approx. 6h, 19km, ↑500m ↓400m
- Accommodation: Agriturismo in Bruscoli (Agriturismo Il Passeggere or similar)
Day 5: Bruscoli to San Piero a Sieve | 21-28km
Today’s walk takes you to Passo della Futa which was held by the German occupiers in World War II and we recommend a visit to the military cemetery, a moving war monument. The highest peak of the leg is Monte Gazzaro (1,125m), with great views of the Firenzuola and Mugello Valleys from its landmark white cross. A wide downhill path brings you to Sant’Agata, a typical Tuscan village, where we recommend a visit to Museo del Leprino. There is also an option to shorten the walk by taking a bus. Optionally there you take the bus to shorten the walk (not included).
- Walking for the day: approx. 8h, 28km, ↑460m ↓1,140m (with optional bus transfer: 6h, 21km)
- Accommodation: B&B in San Piero a Sieve (La Pieve B&B or similar)
Day 6: San Piero a Sieve to Olmo | 20km
After leaving San Piero, continue towards Castello del Trebbio, one of the residences of the Medici family, now a private property. It offers exceptional views of the Mugello Valley and Lake Bilancino. The route continues through olive groves as far as Tagliaferro and then climbs up to the Badia di Bonsollazzo. After a while, you arrive at Monastero di Monte Scenario.
- Walking for the day: approx. 7h, 20km, ↑1,020m ↓800m
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Olmo (Hotel Dino or similar)
Day 7: Olmo to Florence | 10.5km
Today’s walk is relatively short and you will have the rest of the day for exploring the numerous sites of the capital city of the Renaissance. You will go through Vetta le Croci. Then you will tackle the last climb up to Il Pratone, before descending towards Fiesole, an Etruscan town built on a terrace overlooking the city of Florence. Here you will be able to admire the large archaeological area of the town and the San Romolo Cathedral. Take the bus from Fiesole to Florence, where you will be able to celebrate with a fine Florentine steak. We strongly recommend that you book an extra night in Florence after the holiday in order to have time to explore this beautiful city.
- Walking for the day: approx. 4h, 10.5km, ↑381m ↓529m
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Florence (Hotel Camilla or similar)
Day 8: Departure
Departure or extension upon request.
What to expect
Accommodation is in a mix of traditional B&Bs, agriturismi and 3-star hotels, all with en-suite facilities and a good Italian breakfast included each morning. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel University (Bologna)
- Hotel Cà Vecchia (Sasso Marconi)
- Albergo Montevenere (Monzuno)
- Agriturismo Il Passeggere (Bruscoli)
- La Pieve B&B (San Piero a Sieve)
- Hotel Dino (Olmo)
- Hotel Camilla (Florence)
Accommodation is subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
The trip is on a bed and breakfast basis as throughout the trip there are plenty of opportunities for you to taste both the outstanding local cuisine and a wide range of fine regional wines. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or the restaurants in the town where you stay for overnight.
Difficulty and terrain
The route is quite challenging due to the elevation differences. No technical skills are required, but a good level of fitness is needed to enjoy the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades). The whole itinerary is mostly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), with a few sections on asphalted road. Some walks are quite long but can be shortened by using public transport or booking a private transfer in advance. The whole itinerary is well-marked by the official signs of the Via Degli Dei (white-red markings). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
You can start your holiday every day between the beginning of April and the end of October. Spring and autumn months are a preferred travel period if you want to avoid the summer heat of July and August. In September – October, you will enjoy pleasant temperatures and might also be able to catch the regional wine harvest.
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By train or bus
If you are able to travel to Italy without flying, this holiday is reachable by rail with train stations in Bologna and Florence. For more details, see the national rail operator, Trenitalia, and also a competitive independent train company, Italo. Or see Omio above.
From Florence Airport, take a taxi or the Volainbus to Florence Santa Maria Novella train station. See here for more details. There are several daily direct trains from Florence to Bologna. The ride can take from 30mins to 1h 40mins depending on the train you take. Price varies from about €9.50 to €30 per person one way, depending on the train you take.
From Bologna Airport, take the BLQ shuttle service to Bologna city centre. See here for more details.
- 7 nights in selected B&Bs, agriturismi and 3-star hotels
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers on all walking days
- Private transfer Sasso Marconi-Badolo at 09:00h on day three
- 24/7 telephone support
- Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure, and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site, apart from the Pilgrim’s Passport
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘Included’ in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights are available on request
- Printed documents at the first accommodation