Itinerary: Pontassieve, Londa, Stia, Pratovecchio, Poppi, Camaldoli
Discover the beautiful Casentino Valley following the scenic drive road from Florence to the Hermitage of Camaldoli
Casentino Valley is a medieval land rich in art, history and culture, located not very far from Florence. The valley begins immediately after passing Alpe di Catenaia, a small mountain range that separates Casentino Valley from Tiber Valley. In the valley, you will be surrounded by a wonderful landscape made of picturesque villages, ancient monasteries clung to the top of the hills, hermitages sunk in the green, austere castles and lush forests. Everywhere, there is only peace and silent.
Here, on the tops of the hills of Tuscany at the border with Emilia Romagna, you will find many architectural jewels that, thanks to the skilful hands and care of the peasants, are fully integrated with the territory. Walking through these inspiring landscapes, you will be induced to meditation and self-reflection in a process of slow re-education to silence. You will experience that inner peace that you have not enjoyed since a long period of time.
Along this scenic drive in Tuscany you will have the opportunity of visiting the spectacular Castle of Porciano (pic n°1), the beautiful Chapel of San Pietro di Romena (pic n°2), an outstanding example of Romanesque style, the Castle of Romena (pic n°3), Poppi (pic n°4), a nice hill town dominated by a thirteenth-century castle (pic n°5) and the famous Hermitage of Camaldoli (pic n°6), founded by St. Remould.
Do not miss the natural beauties in the National Park of Casentino Forests, rich in beech, oak and maple trees, one of the most important parks in Europe!
During the tour just stop in some local restaurants in order to taste the local cuisine which is one of the best in Italy. Tuscany and Emilia Romagna are two well-known regions also for the high quality of their food.
Pappardelle (a kind of pasta), Tortelli (dumplings stuffed with meat, ham or ricotta and spinach), Arista (baked pork), Lasagne, braised or roasted boar, roasted veal filet and cow-steaks (ask for "Chianina" and "Bistecca alla fiorentina"!) are only some of the delicious specialities from this area that you can taste in any restaurants along your way. A real special dish from Tuscany is Ribollita, a soup made of vegetables, beans and cabbage leaves.
Itinerary of the tour:
Departure from Florence. Take the highway SS67 in the direction of Pontassieve. Driving past Pontassieve, reach the village of Casini. After the small village of Contea, turn right and follow the directions to Londa - Caiano. It is a narrow, meandering mountain road. Reach the villages of Porziano, and then Stia, Poppi, Bibbiena. In Bibbiena, turn left and take the highway SS71 in the direction of Camaldoli, where our trip ends.
Length of tour: 97.8 km