WALKING IN TUSCANY
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
On the final day, with thunder and black clouds threatening all around, the whole group made it to the top of the top of Monte Prado, crossing some patches of snow along the way. This included Elvis the dog who had been very off colour all morning but then sprung to life as soon as he was fed sausages! The rain held off and we got down in the dry. All week, we were treated to stunning views and wonderful displays of wild flowers. It was definitely a good time of year to go and the temperature was ideal for hiking.
What did you think of your group leader?
Sara was an excellent guide, attentive to everyone's differing needs within the group. She allowed us all to go at our own pace and ensured plenty of stops to allow everyone to catch up. She also had an endless supply of biscuits! She was ably assisted by Elvis and Dora, Braccicorte's two really gorgeous dogs, who led the way and ran about 4 times as far as everyone else.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
If you don't fancy flying from Gatwick, it's easy to arrange your own flight from other UK airports and the train service from Pisa to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is excellent. Some of them also stop at Villetta, which is closer to Braccicorte, though not really suitable to walk with luggage. Either way, you just need to call Piero the local taxi man and he'll collect you from the station.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Braccicorte is in lovely grounds, very green and peaceful and overlooking the valley. The whole area doesn't get much tourism and is all the better for it.