Hiking in splendid Emilia Romagna, Italy: a photographic journey

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Rustic, authentic, and beautiful: this is our photo diary from our hike on the Via Matildica del Volto Santo, in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region


Is there anything more magical than a slow ramble through rural Italy?!

It’s an enduring (if not slightly cliched) holiday fantasy; golden fields and rustic stone villages, and a simple, leisurely existence where troubles just seem to melt away.

Needless to say, we’ve both long held the dream of experience our own ‘slow Italy’ adventure one day - which is exactly why we recently jumped at the opportunity to hike along the Via Matildica del Volto Santo, a network of ancient pilgrim paths snaking across the spine of Italy through the Apennine Mountain range.

Those four days spent meandering through the small stone villages, ancient forests, and Medieval castles of Emilia Romagna confirmed it to us: a slow ramble through rural Italy is exactly as wonderful as it sounds.

Travelling at our most natural pace, with the usual travel stresses removed, allowed us a far more intimate relationship with our surroundings. Despite the hot days and sore legs, it was the small details of our trail that became the most enjoyable.

The sweetness of warm grapes in the air. The breeze as it rolled across the mountain ridge and through the Beech trees. The way the stones fit together so perfectly on the Medieval castles we adored. The warm, crinkled smiles of the local farmers who pressed their fresh figs and chestnut jam into our hands as we passed through their villages.

This is a world well and truly off the beaten track, yet so full of human history that at times, the ancient world seems as near to our reaches as the mushroom Tortelli we devoured for dinner. On our first day, our guide Giuliano remarked that hiking is the most beautiful way to know Italy, and we couldn’t agree more.

This is our photo diary from our time on the Via Matildica, a collection of small moments that made up a beautiful journey through Italy.


Hiking in beautiful Emilia Romagna, Italy: a photographic journey


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The most beautiful way to know Italy: our hike along the Via Matildica del Volto Santo


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Our time in Emilia Romagna was made possible by Emilia Romagna Tourismo, who sponsored our trip.
As always, all opinions, musings, and general ramblings are very much our own!


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That, and you're officially a legend.