Walking Holidays

Europe’s majestic mountains ~ with a genuine specialist
Organised & Self-guided Walking

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Tel. 01799 513331 - - Open Today - 9am to 5.30pmCollett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
Organised & Self-guided Walking with a Genuine Specialist
Walking Holidays in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking Holidays in Tuscany
Walking Holidays in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking Holiday Accommodation in Tuscany with Collett's - Il Rigo Agriturismo
Walking Holiday Accommodation in Tuscany with Collett's - Il Rigo Agriturismo
Walking in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking in Tuscany with Collett's
Walking in Tuscany with Collett's

Your Online Handbook for Walking in Tuscany

We look forward to seeing you in the mountains. Please forward this link to all members of your party – and perhaps bookmark it for quick reference?
Any questions or concerns? Please call us on 01799 513331.

Essential Info.
Tuscany Handbook Information

Useful to know before you go

Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Arrival

On your arrival at Il Rigo, you will be asked to hand in the signed disclaimer sent to the person who booked the holiday prior to your departure. This should be signed by all members of your party. See the Disclaimer tab for a copy and more details.
If you have not already provided the UK office with your passport details, we will also need to take a copy of your passports for the purposes of tourist registration, so please ensure you have your passport to hand on the first evening or bring your own copy if you prefer not to be without it.

Banks

The nearest cash point is in the village of San Quirico D’Orcia (a 30 min walk or 10min drive). There is also a cash machine at the airport.

Day Off – Wednesdays

Our resort staff have their day off on a Wednesday. In Agritursimo Il Rigo, breakfast is served but dinner is not included. You can book in for dinner at Il Rigo if you would like. We just ask for 24 hours notice to do so. Our staff can recommend some excellent nearby restaurants. There are no Organised Walks and there is no Office Hour so you will need to subscribe to Thursday’s Organised Walks on Tuesday evening.

Dietary Requirements

Please contact us now if you have not informed us of any dietary requirements. If you are organising a group, have you checked the dietary requirements of your party? This concerns vegetarians, vegans and coeliac’s. Unfortunately, we cannot cater for personal food preferences.

Duty of Care & At Your Own Risk

Our walkers organise days out during your stay. They are not qualified guides and you join them at your own risk. We put safety first but you are as responsible as we are! You join our organised days out at your own risk, responsible for your own safety and as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Not being professionally responsible for you does not mean we turn a blind eye to safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to people joining our organised itineraries.
We deem the safety of our staff and guests to be of unparalleled importance and we therefore take our own safety measures and endeavour to minimise the possibility of personal injury and death. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care.
As with any person or organisation involved with activities where there is a possibility of personal injury or death, the issue of duty of care is ever-present and, in the absence of a qualified guide in ‘non-professional’ activities anywhere in the world, such as walking (whether organised by a company, club, university or even a friend) every member of the group has a legal commitment to all involved. This commitment to your fellow walkers should form the basis of your behaviour and actions during an organised walk, especially in the event of accident or injury.

Estimated Time of Arrival

If you are making your way to Agriturismo Il Rigo independently, please contact us ASAP with your arrival time if you haven’t already. So that we can be there to greet you and settle you in. Please visit www.colletts.co.uk/eta and enter your details. Have a guess if you are not sure. Not required if you have booked an airport transfer.

Fly-Drivers & Self-Drivers

According to the AA, all valid UK driving licences should be accepted in Italy. If you have a new licence, then take both the card and paper sections.
If you have booked a hire car, a credit (not debit!) card is essential. It is generally swiped but not debited, although it is wise to make sure it is not being debited.
Self-drivers should familiarise themselves with the driving requirements for Italy, and the compulsory equipment that must be carried in your car. See www.theaa.com
If you are self-driving or hiring a car rather than joining us on a transfer please refer to Google Map Directions here.

Hairdryers

Every room at Agriturismo Il Rigo has a hairdryer.

Internet

Free WiFi access is available throughout Agriturismo Il Rigo, in both the Casabianca and Poggio Bacoca farmhouses, for guests with their own laptops or other devices.

Packed lunches

Packed lunches are available for purchase. Simply order one at Office Hour for collection from Casabianca the following day. Either a filled baguette for €3 or together with a juice and a snack for €5 (€18 for 6 days).

Other Info & Local A-Z

Local A-Z

Here is some local information in an A-Z format that will hopefully whet the appetite and help you hit the ground running. Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Agriturismo

The Italian word for a farmstay. Agriturismi are working farms offering traditional farmhouse accommodation.

Bakers

Bread can be purchased in the ‘il Forno Di Montisi’ Bakery in San Quirico. They will be happy to make sandwiches with your chosen filling.

Beer

If you would like a beer, ask for ‘una birra’. The most popular bottled beers in Italy are Birra Moretti and Peroni. There is also a small brewery in San Quirico producing two beers of its own, the ‘Iris’ and ‘Giulitta’.

Bike Hire

Both mountain bikes and road bikes are available to hire from the neighbouring village of Pienza, and cost around €30/day. The bike shop will also delivery the bikes to Agritursimo Il Rigo.

Birds

The geographical diversity of this region means that a wide variety of birds can be spotted including the tawny owl, ring ouzel and the glossy ibis.

Brunello wine

This wine made from the Sangiovese grape grown on the vines around Montalcino has been produced since the early 14th Century. In 1980 it was one of the first 4 wines to be given the prestigious DOCG designation.

Chemist – Farmacia in Italian

In Italy a chemist is always indicated by a green cross. There is a chemist in the centre of San Quirico opens at 9am -1pm and again from 4.30pm-7.30pm.

Day Off – Wednesday

Our resort staff have their day‐off on a Wednesday. In Agirturismo Il Rigo, breakfast is served but dinner is not included. It is possible to book in for dinner on this evening and pay locally, please speak to a member of staff in advance if you would like to do this. Alternatively, our staff can recommend some great nearby restaurants. There are no Organised Walks and there is no Office Hour so you will need to subscribe to Thursday’s Organised Walks on Tuesday evening.
Some options for Wednesday:
Siena: The wonderful city of Siena offers a fantastic day of cultural exploration. It is about an hour’s drive by taxi.
Montepulciano: Home of the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, this historic town has much more to explore than just the vineyards.
Bagno Vignoni Spa: Hotel Adler Terme boasts a wonderful spa with natural thermal waters as well as swimming pools which guests staying at Il Rigo are able to use for a small discount.

DOCG

This title for Italian wines meaning that the wine has passed a test for controlled and guaranteed designation of origin, is the highest level a wine can reach in Italy. Tuscany as a whole, has the highest number of wines for any region in Italy, that have been given this status.

Environmental Awareness

We would be grateful for your support in reducing our impact on the local environment.
‐ In the hills, leave the landscape in its natural state, in particular take any litter away with you and do not pick flowers;
‐ Turn off lights when you leave your room, turn down heating if not required and be conscious of your water usage.

Fresco

These murals, painted directly onto wet plaster, are common place in religious buildings throughout Tuscany. Monte Olivetto Monastery boasts a truly impressive selection of these paintings.

Flora

Nestled in the heart of Tuscany farmland, the Val D’Orcia is home to a number of wildflowers which are in bloom throughout the spring months.

Fauna

The region is home to a wide range of wildlife, with wild boar and deer roaming the woodland, with red foxes and porcupines also ever present in the area.

Internet

Free WiFi access is available throughout Agriturismo Il Rigo, for guests with their own laptops or other devices.

Monte Amiata

The highest peak in the Val D’Orcia, sitting at 1738m, this long dormant volcano sits at the southern most end of the region and now boasts a small ski resort.

Olive groves

One of Tuscany’s most famous exports is olive oil and as a result the area is rife with olive groves. The trees are often heavily loaded during the autumn months with the olives being picked for pressing in October and November.

Packed Lunches

Packed lunches are available to you wherever you are staying ‐ and can be ordered for a cost of €6 at Office Hour for collection from our staff team the following day. They include a sandwich with a choice of fillings, a piece of fruit, a snack bar and a drink.

Pecorino Cheese

A local delicacy made from cheese milk, Pecorino cheese is typically a hard cheese similar to parmesan however softer versions are also found here in the Val D’Orcia.

Petrol & Diesel

Petrol = Benzina (95 & 98 octane)
Diesel = Gasoleo/Diesel
The nearest petrol station is located on the way into the village San Quirico.

Pici

A certain type of pasta used locally. Think a thick type of spaghetti often served with a tomato and herb sauce. Luisa, the owner of Agriturismo Il Rigo has won the title of Val D’Orcia Pici champion on a number of occasions.

Pienza

The nearby town of Pienza gained UNESCO status in 1996 and is believed to date back to the 9th Century. It is a perfect example of Rennaisance Italy after being redesigned by the order of Pope Pius II in 1459.

Podere

The Italian word for a farmhouse.

Poggio

The Italian word for a knoll, this word often proceeds the name of the farmhouse which is built there. Poggio Bacoca is named after the apricot trees that once grew on the hill.

Rainy Days

Hopefully there won’t be any! If you are unlucky, please bear in mind that the weather in the mountains can be very localised and it is not unusual to leave the village on a rainy day to find brighter conditions a few miles away. Suggestions for what to do if it does rain are available at Office Hour or please ask a member of staff for more information. Our Organised Walks would only be cancelled if it is deemed that the weather makes conditions dangerous.

San Quirico d’Orcia

The closest village to Agriturismo Il Rigo, San Quirico d’Orcia dates back to the late 8th Century as is home to the Horti Leonini gardens. San Quirico also hosts a number of nice bars and restaurants.

Sauna and spa

There is a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi at Hotel Adler Terme in the nearby village of Bagno Vignoni. This can be paid for locally and makes for a relaxing day off option.

Siena

Consistently described as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and at just under an hours drive away, a trip to Siena makes a perfect day off option whilst in Tuscany. The Piazza del Campo, home to the famous Palio horse race twice a year and the beautiful Duomo are must see sights.

Smoking

Since January 2005, smoking in public places has been illegal in Italy. All of our accommodation is non‐smoking.

Stamps

You can buy stamps from a post office in San Quirico. A stamp (‘francobollo’ in Italian) to send a postcard to the United Kingdom (Regno Unito) from Italy will cost around €0.95 and it will take about 4 days to get there.

Supermarkets

There nearest supermarket is the Coop in San Quirico d’Orcia. It sells most things and sandwiches can also order made to order here.

Taxis

Taxis are available to hire in San Quirico and Pienza at reasonable rates.

Thermal baths

There are a number of natural hot springs in the area with impressive examples in the villages of Bagno Vignoni and Bagno San Fillipo.

Towels & Bed Linen

One bath towel and one hand towel is supplied for each guest. Towels are changed every two days and linen every three days.

Vineyards

In an area so well known for its wine, it is little wonder at the plentiful vineyards out in the Val D’Orcia. With the world-famous Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines being produced here, be sure to have a glass or two.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

This world famous wine, made primarily from the Sangiovese grape blended with small amounts of other local grapes originally dates back to 789AD. Like the Brunello wine, this was one of the first 4 wines in Italy to receive the prestigious DOCG accreditation.

Water

The tap water in the area is safe to drink. If you would prefer bottled water, it can be purchased cheaply from the supermarket in San Quirico. Remember to take plenty of water out walking with you, we recommend at least 2 litres of water when on one of our walks.

Weather & Climate

Please don’t ring us to find out what the weather will be like during your holiday! We would hate to get it wrong and it is hard to get it right! Generally, the prevailing weather in the Val d’Orcia during the spring and autumn is good and mostly dry, but as in any hilly area, the weather can be unpredictable and very localised.

If you wish to find out about the local weather before you go, visit www.meteoblue.com and search for San Quirico d’Orcia
As for temperatures, March/April and end of October/November can sometimes be chilly first thing in the morning and in the evenings with temperatures rising to high teens/low 20s in the middle of the day. An up‐to‐date forecast will be available at Office Hour each evening. Naturally, our Walk Organisers keep a firm eye on weather conditions and try to ensure it is safe to proceed with an excursion, but it is everybody’s responsibility to consider the possibility of cancelling an excursion (and voice any anxiety) if worried about the risk of adverse weather conditions.

Travel & Transfers

Travel & Transfers

Before leaving home

Passport – Is it in date? Contact the passport office here if you need to renew your passport
Walking Holiday Insurance – Do you have any? Contact us on 01799 513331 or click here for details
Flight Check-in – Remember to print off your boarding pass
Baggage – Have you checked the size & weight of your baggage?
Book Airport Hotel – Click here
Book Airport Parking – Click here

Transfers & Arrival Day

If you are booked to join an Airport Transfer, you will be met by a member of our staff at Pisa airport at a pre‐arranged time. Details of transfer times are sent by post by Viv Wilkins to the person who booked the holiday approximately 2 weeks before your holiday.

We meet by the “Café Famoso” café, which is straight ahead on the left as you leave baggage reclaim, and inside the arrivals hall of the terminal building. The transfer time is around 2 and a half hours.

Important Notes concerning Collett’s Transfers – We try to keep ‘waiting at the airport’ to a minimum, but you have booked a transfer on the understanding that it is a possibility on both your day of arrival and departure. We are not offering a personal taxi service. Our transfer times are set to help us group people together from a number of different flights, both morning and afternoon. Waiting may also be caused by delayed flights – within reason. Please cancel your airport transfer and make your own plans if you are not happy with these arrangements, which by and large work very well.

On arrival at Il Rigo, you will be met by another member of our staff who will help you with your luggage and settle you in to your room.

Directions for Fly-drivers & Self-drivers

If you are self-driving or hiring a car rather than joining us on a transfer please refer to Google Map Directions here.

All guests (whether staying in Casabianca or Poggio Bacoca) should make their way to the Casabianca farmhouse of Il Rigo. You can check-in from 12pm onwards and if you have provided us with an ETA, a member of Collett’s staff will be available to meet you. Please contact us if you have not yet provided an ETA, or are delayed. Click here to submit your E.T.A.

Parking – there is plenty of parking available at both the Casabianca and Poggio Bacoca farmhouses.

Google Map Directions

Click here for Google Map Directions to Il Rigo from any location.

Resort Contacts

Useful Numbers & Contact Info.

Click here to print this page as a PDF.
Please ensure you have the following telephone numbers with you on your day of travel.

Collett's Mountain Holidays
c/o Agriturismo Il Rigo
Localita Casabianca
San Quirico d’Orcia
Toscana
53027
0039 0577 897291
Collett's Resort Mobiles - 0044 7426 264289
Collett's Mountain Holidays UK - 0044 (0) 1799 513331 Monday - Friday 9am-6pm / Saturday 9am-3pm

Packing Suggestions
Tuscany Handbook Information

Checklist & Packing Suggestions

Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Essential Items

☐ Passport
☐ Euros or credit/debit cards
☐ Holiday Insurance (Call 01799 513331)
☐ EHIC (European Health Insurance card)
☐ Mobile telephone & charger
☐ Signed disclaimer
☐ Medication?

Flyers

☐ Flight tickets and/or printed boarding pass
☐ Have you checked the size & weight of your
baggage?

Fly Drivers

☐ Driving license
☐ Printed copy of driving licence ‘check code’ Visit www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence
☐ Car hire voucher
☐ Credit card of the lead driver
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

Self Drivers

☐ Driving license (both the photocard and paper parts!)
☐ Ferry / tunnel ticket
☐ Insurance & car registration documents
☐ European breakdown cover
☐ GB sticker (must be carried in EU)
☐ Warning triangle (must be carried in EU)
☐ Fluorescent bibs (must be carried in EU)
☐ Spare bulbs
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

General

☐ Clothes, footwear & wash kit
☐ Sunglasses, sun hat & sun cream
☐ Camera, memory card, batteries & camera charger
☐ Binoculars
☐ Pocket reference books (e.g. flowers)
☐ Italian phrase book
☐ Games, playing cards, books?
☐ Continental plug-adapter
(European voltage for normal appliances is 220-240 Volts)
☐ A level of fitness to suit your own intentions!

Walkers

☐ Strong, light, comfortable walking boots,
which support the ankle
☐ Waterproof jacket (and trousers – optional)
☐ Clothing suitable for hot and cold temperatures
☐ Lightweight rucksack (25 litres plus)
☐ (Telescopic) walking poles
☐ Basic first-aid kit
☐ Water bottle
(min. 2 litres, 3 litres is recommended for harder walks)
☐ Map case
☐ Compass, whistle, torch, survival bag

Save to your mobile contacts

Resort Mobiles: 0044 7491 161 908 / 0039 327 615 0299
Agriturismo Il Rigo: 0039 0577 897 291
Collett’s UK Office: 0044 1799 513331
Emergency Services: 112

Disclaimer
Tuscany Handbook Information

Important

On arrival, you will be asked to hand in the disclaimer sent by post to the person who booked the holiday.
1. The disclaimer below sets out the relationship between your party and Collett’s Ltd., emphasising that we are not qualified guides and that you walk at your own risk
2. Ideally it will be signed by each member of your party and handed to us on your arrival. If you require more copies, click here to print it as a PDF.

Copy of the Disclaimer

Party Name:
Mobile Phone No:

Everything you do during your stay in Tuscany is done ‘at your own risk’.

To make your arrival in the Val d’Orcia as plain sailing as possible, please could you and each member of your party read and sign this disclaimer, handing it to us on your arrival. If it is not possible to obtain all signatures prior to your holiday, signatures will need to be obtained on your party’s arrival in Tuscany.

In these days of litigation, it is important you and your party understand your relationship with Collett’s and without your party’s signatures on this disclaimer, you will not be able to join our Organised Walks and we would be reluctant to pass on information and opinions to you during your stay.

Information & Opinions

We are happy to offer information and opinions on the area (such as additional walks and places of interest). We always endeavour to give accurate and appropriate information and opinions, but we do not take any responsibility for them and they are acted upon by you at your own risk. By signing this disclaimer, you agree you do not hold Collett’s responsible for any information or opinions it offers you during your stay and that you do everything during your stay with Collett’s at your own risk.

Organised Walks

The Walk Organisers attend these on a goodwill basis so that you might partake in an itinerary you might not otherwise come across during your stay in a sociable atmosphere with like-minded people.
By signing this disclaimer you confirm the following:

  • You understand the Walk Organisers are not qualified mountain guides.
  • You join them at your own risk and of your own free will.
  • You are part of an autonomous group, responsible for your own safety and happy to accept the discretion and actions of any or all participants on that Organised Walk or activity in the event of injury to you, the need to have you rescued or otherwise.
  • You will only sign up to an Organised Walk having independently studied the route sufficiently and deemed it to be within your capability

Transport
When joining an Organised Walk or excursion, you might be asked to share a local taxi with, or drive/accept a lift from someone who is not in your booking party, to and from the Organised Walk or excursion. By signing this disclaimer you accept that Collett’s will not accept any liability in the event of a road accident and that all such journeys shall be taken at your own risk.

Activities supplied by Third Parties
We are happy to inform you of (and book) activities supplied by third parties but it is important that you understand that: these excursions and activities are neither run nor controlled by Collett’s (even if advertised by us); that we only act as your agent; and that your contract for these services is with the third party supplier in question and not Collett’s Limited. Consequently, we are not responsible/liable for the provision of any such third party excursions or activities or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the supplier. This applies to all activities advertised by Collett’s in our brochure, on our website and in resort.

Finally, during your stay, you might inadvertently (or not!) be included in photography that subsequently appears in Collett’s promotional materials. By signing this disclaimer, you agree that this is ok with you.

Signature 1 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 2 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 3 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 4 :
Print Name :
Date :

Thank you. Have a good and safe stay in Tuscany.
Collett’s Limited trading as Collett’s Mountain Holidays – 3a Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HQ

Procedures & Safety
Tuscany Handbook Information

At Your Own Risk, Duty of Care & Safety

As you will know, we offer two organised walks daily (except Wednesdays) which you can join at no extra cost. Our walk organisers are not qualified guides and you join them at your own risk. We urge you to decide individually and independently which of the two organised walks best suits your level of fitness and ability, so that the progress and safety of others is not compromised. Whilst we do offer a formal self-guiding option in the Val D’Orcia, the quality of maps and waymarking makes it difficult. If you choose to walk independently, we cannot take responsibility for any information or opinions that might be passed on to you by our own people.

In short, everything you do during your stay in Tuscany is done at your own risk. In the event of personal injury or death, we are not liable for efforts made by us to enhance your stay, amongst which are our organised walks and perhaps verbal suggestions. It is a fact that activities undertaken in the mountains are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such an area with Collett’s Mountain Holidays – or indeed independently – you are exposing yourself and your party to the (thankfully small) possibility of personal injury or death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.

We put safety first but you are as responsible as we are!
You join our organised walks as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Not being professionally responsible for you does not mean we turn a blind eye to safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to you. Your safety is essential to us and we therefore take our own safety measures, endeavouring to minimise the possibility of personal injury and death. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We assess, communicate and manage risk as part of a formal company Health & Safety Policy, which is regularly reviewed and includes the training our own walkers. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and their responsibilities as part of a group. As with any person or organisation involved with activities where there is a possibility of personal injury or death, the issue of duty of care is ever-present and, in the absence of a qualified guide in ‘non-professional’ activities anywhere in the world, such as walking (whether organised by a company, club, university or even a friend) every member of the group has a legal commitment to all involved. This commitment to your fellow walkers should form the basis of your behaviour and actions during an organised walk, especially in the event of accident or injury. At the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by any walker when preparing for a day out in the mountains, especially when walking/climbing in a group, where your actions (or inaction) could compromise your safety as well as that of other people in the group.

Some notes about our Organised Walks

Our programme of organised walks is put together on a goodwill basis by our own walk organisers and we ask you to accept their discretion where the selection of walks is concerned. You won’t be disappointed. When deciding to join an organised walk, please remember somebody else’s opinion of a walk is not your knowledge. Try to acquaint yourself independently with the proposed route using the relevant map to help you decide if it is suitable for your level of fitness and experience. Also, ask about precipitous features if prone to vertigo. Some walks do feature ledge paths with significant drops. Wednesday is our staff day off and there are no organised walks on this day. Our organised walks take place in a sociable and informal atmosphere and, whilst you are encouraged not to join one unless you are certain it is within your physical capabilities, we walk at the pace of the slowest person and pause regularly. In the event of a walk organiser being ill, we cannot guarantee the excursion will take place. Children can join our organised walks but only if accompanied by a guardian, who takes full responsibility for their safety and behaviour.

Procedures on meeting up for a walk – All organised walks will depart from the Casabianca farmhouse of Il Rigo at a time established at Office Hour the night before. Prior to leaving, the walk organiser will run through an equipment checklist and at the start of the actual walk, he/she will state the following:

  • They are not qualified guides and everyone joins them at their own risk;
  • The party is walking as a group of non-qualified individuals and the walk organiser, as someone who knows the route, is the nominal leader only;
  • Everyone should follow the course and progress of the route on their map checking the correct route is being adhered to;
  • They will generally walk at the pace of the slowest person in the party and it is the responsibility of each member of the party to keep the rest of the group in sight;
  • If anyone wants to rest at any time, they should not hesitate to ask;
  • If anyone wants to leave the party at any time could they please let someone in the group know, otherwise we might have to assume you are lost and alert mountain rescue;
  • Everyone owes a ‘duty of care’ to each other. In the event of an accident, the organiser will act in a way they deem safest to offer assistance, but would of course appreciate the assistance of the rest of the party;
  • If it is the first time the organiser has done a route, the party understand this and it is an ‘adventure’ for all involved.

Notes

Here are some notes that might help you refresh or improve your awareness of safety in the mountains. When in the mountains and when planning itineraries, apply your mind to safety at all times. Poor preparation is often the cause of many accidents and dramas. As a general guide to safety we have used information published by the Italian Alpine Rescue Corps and the British Mountaineering Council to produce the following notes:

Prevention Of Accidents – Basic Rules For Increased Safety when Walking or Hiking

  • Select itineraries within your level of fitness and technical/physical ability and within those of your party members.
  • Do not go alone – if possible, go with others or, for more safety, go in the company of an alpine guide or a qualified organisation. (Collett’s is not a qualified organisation but we will endeavour to arrange local guides if requested to do so). Prior to departing, research and familiarise yourself adequately with the characteristics and difficulties of the itinerary. Study carefully the relevant topographical map.
  • Let someone know where you are going and leave details of your itinerary. (Do not change your itinerary without informing somebody).
  • Have a contingency plan in the event of the unexpected. An innacurate or out of date map, route deterioration or a landslide, could all cause a change in your itinerary.
  • Mountain Weather conditions should always be taken into account. A forecast is available from local tourist offices every day and whilst variations in mountain forecasts are not uncommon, they are worth consulting.
  • Have the right clothing. You should have a robust pair of walking boots/shoes, which support the ankle. Take a waterproof/wind-proof jacket and some spare clothes in your rucksack.
  • Be responsible. Always carry the relevant map at all times. Carry safety equipment such as a compass, torch, whistle, spare food and an understanding of how to use them in case of emergency. If you have a health condition, please ensure that you carry any necessary medication at all times, and inform another member of your party so that somebody is aware of your circumstances.
  • Have adequate insurance cover. Don’t leave home without it, you can’t take out insurance after you departure!

Emergency Procedures

Based on information published by the Spanish Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (FEDME), the Fédération Française de la Montagne et de l’Escalade and the British Mountaineering Council – for anyone wishing to take the following emergency notes with them on an itinerary, a printed copy is available:

  • Stay calm and do not do anything on impulse.
  • Evaluate the situation and identify the actual dangers;
  • Take immediate and sensible precautions to prevent further risk;
  • Give spare clothing to the injured person and do your best to provide shelter
  • All reasonable efforts should be made to cope with the situation without resorting to the rescue services, providing that you do not make any injuries worse than they are already. If self-help is not possible, rescue services should be contacted. Call for 112. The rescue team will need to know where you are and have an idea about the condition of the victim;
  • If you do not have a mobile, you would have to use a nearby dwelling, or descend to find a landline. Choose a safe route – this might not be the quickest, but the possibility of a second accident must be avoided;
  • Mark the casualties’ position on a map and take it along with you. Going for help is a relatively easy decision to make if there are four or more people in the party. At least two can leave to ring for help, leaving one to care for the casualty. If there are only two or three in the group then this becomes a more difficult judgement. In this situation, attracting help from others in the mountains will help;
  • To attract attention use the International Distress Signal, using either a light, a whistle or by shouting: six long flashes of a torch/blasts of a whistle/shouts/waves in succession, repeated at one minute intervals. Repeat until replied to. A reply is given 3 times a minute (every 20 seconds) in either a visible or audible manner. If a helicopter is involved, the pilot’s questions can be answered as described on the right;
  • If no local help is forthcoming a decision will have to be made to leave the casualty alone or potentially sending somebody on his or her own. To make this decision you would have to consider the injury, the conditions and the capabilities of the other members of the party; and
  • As far as the injured are concerned, do for them only those things that you are certain you can do safely.

Emergency Contact – Call 112

If the operator manning the emergency line does not speak English and you are unable to communicate, please try calling one of our staff and we will relate the information as best we can.

  • Call 112 – give your full name.
  • Say where you are calling from and let them know your telephone number.
  • If the location of the accident (and casualties) is far away, try to memorise some landmarks to help the search party find the group.
  • Explain in brief what has happened.
  • Give the time of the accident and the exact number of casualties and their relative conditions.
  • Give the number of people in the rest of the group still at the accident, and try to remember the colour of their jackets etc. in order to aid finding them.
  • Describe the weather conditions and the visibility.
  • Do not leave the place from which you are making the call, in case the rescue services have to contact you again.

Weather

We keep a firm eye on weather conditions and try to ensure it is safe to proceed with an excursion, but it is everybody’s responsibility to consider the possibility of cancelling an excursion (and voice any anxiety) if worried about the risk of adverse weather conditions

  • Take plenty of liquid (min. 2-3 litres)
  • Protect yourself from the sun with high factor sun cream, sunglasses and a hat
  • Plan your route according to the weather
  • Plan for worse weather than forecast as the weather can change rapidly
  • Always carry clothing for poor weather, even if the day starts fine

Insurance
Tuscany Handbook Information

Holiday Insurance

Being adequately insured during your stay with us is essential – we strongly recommend you buy a comprehensive holiday insurance package at the time of booking. Having a travel insurance policy is one of the booking conditions for joining us on a Collett’s Mountain Holiday. Full details are available on request or on our website – www.colletts.co.uk/walking-holiday-insurance

Collett’s Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd. who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6787.