Walking in January on the Tuscan Stages

Walking in January on the Tuscan Stages

January is the coldest month in Tuscany, but it also offers unique snow activities and picturesque landscapes, particularly in the Casentino National Park and the Apennines. However, the cold temperatures, trail conditions, and limited accommodations make it a challenging time for pilgrims. Consider booking a guided tour with a local company if you plan to walk the trail during this season.

Key Highlights

  1. January is the coldest month in Tuscany, offering snow activities and picturesque landscapes.
  2. Cold temperatures, trail conditions, and limited accommodations make it challenging for pilgrims.
  3. Guided tours are recommended to ensure safety and navigation.
  4. Enjoy a quieter atmosphere and uncrowded attractions in Florence.
  5. Beyond Tuscany, cold weather and snow continue, but beautiful winter scenery and quieter trails await.

Weather and Trail Conditions

In January, expect cold temperatures, ranging from -0.8ºC to 5.4ºC. Snow is likely, particularly in the mountainous areas, making the trail potentially dangerous and difficult to navigate.

  • Average temp: 2ºC
  • Average Low Temp: -0.8ºC
  • Average High Temp: 5.4ºC
  • Rainy Days: 8
  • Rainfall (mm): 76
  • Trail Conditions: The trail is likely to be covered in snow and may be dangerous to navigate without a guide.


Pack warm clothing, including layers, waterproof outerwear, insulated boots, gloves, and a hat to protect yourself from the cold and wet conditions.


January can be a challenging time to walk the Tuscan stages due to snow and cold temperatures. Ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear and consider booking a guided tour to ensure your safety on the trail.

Pilgrims and Accommodations

Number of Pilgrims

January sees very few pilgrims on the trail. Most pilgrims during this time will be on guided snow tours with local guides.

Stages with Open Accommodations

Accommodations may be available on all stages except Consuma. However, some smaller accommodations may be closed during this time, making it more challenging to find a place to stay. It is not an ideal time for walking the trail independently.

Booking Recommendation

Consider booking a guided excursion with a local company such as AlterTrek or Donkey Tours to help navigate the snowy conditions and secure accommodations.

Public Transportation

Public transportation is available for all stages, but there may be interruptions due to school holidays, as most buses in the Casentino region are used primarily for school transportation.

Starting in Florence in January

January is a great month to start in Florence if you want to explore the museums and experience uncrowded popular attractions. The trail conditions, however, may be impassable without a guide because of snow, and accommodations may be limited due to closures.

Experiencing Florence in January

Florence is generally quiet in January, allowing you to enjoy the city at your own pace and appreciate its culture and art without the crowds. Take advantage of shorter lines at museums and attractions, and enjoy the Epiphany celebrations.

Casentino National Park in January

January’s snowy landscape in the Casentino National Park offers a picturesque and unique experience. However, the cold temperatures and snow make the trail difficult to navigate without a guide.

  • Photographers and nature enthusiasts will love Casentino National Park in January, transformed by the snow and ice, adding a magical quality to the landscape.
  • Snowshoe guided tours of the Casentinesi Forests with AlterTrek.

Foods Highlighted in January

During January, Tuscany offers a blend of hearty winter dishes to keep you warm and satisfied.

  • Ribollita: A traditional Tuscan soup made with vegetables, beans, and stale bread, perfect for a warming meal in January.
  • Panforte: A dense, spiced fruitcake originating from Siena, typically enjoyed during the winter months.

Special Activities and Events in January

Florence and Casentino Events

  • Cavalcata dei Magi: Participants dress in medieval costumes and wind around the streets of Florence singing and dancing during the feast of the Epiphany. A live nativity and ceremonial mass is held outside of the Duomo.
  • Winter Park: Enjoy snow tubing, ice skating, hot cocoa, and roasted chestnuts along the Arno River throughout the month of January.

Tips for Walking the Tuscan Stages in January

Trail conditions may be impassable without a guide due to snow, and accommodations may be limited as some smaller lodgings may be closed. It’s not an ideal time for walking, but if you’re interested in exploring the museums and experiencing uncrowded popular attractions in Florence, January is a great month to start. Casentino National Park is a fantastic destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts, as the snow and ice transform the landscape into a magical winter wonderland.

Beyond Tuscany

Umbria Stages: Pieve Santo Stefano to Assisi to Rieti (Stages 7-23)

During January, the weather can be cold and trail conditions difficult, with heavy rain and snow making a pilgrimage unwise. It’s best to avoid walking these stages during this month.

Lazio Stages: Rieti to Rome (Stages 24-28)

Similar to the Umbria stages, January’s cold weather, rain, and snow make it an unfavorable time to walk the Lazio stages. Instead, consider visiting Rome to experience its rich history, culture, and cuisine.

January presents a truly unique and serene experience for pilgrims walking the Tuscan stages of the Via di Francesco. The snow-covered landscapes, peaceful exploration of Florence, and special snow activities make it a memorable time to visit. However, cold temperatures, challenging trail conditions, and limited accommodations can pose difficulties for independent travelers. To make the most of your journey and ensure safety, consider booking a guided tour with a local company like AlterTrek or Gli Amici dell’Asino Donkey Tours.