A stage of medium length, very easy and smooth, embellished by the ascent to Monte Falco (1,658 m, the highest point of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines), not far from the source of the Arno.
We enter the fabulous National Park of the Casentinesi Forests and the Monte Falterona, characterized by centuries-old beech woods.
The climb to the Rifugio Fontanelle is quite steep and in case of rain it can be problematic because of the combined effect of the muddy bottom and the leaves: it is easy to slip.
The only water point is at the Rifugio Fontanelle.
On an easy carriage road in the woods, we lose altitude (approximately 250 m drop) towards the valley floor, then we skirt the Fosso Pian di Soia up to the asphalted road, which we take to the right. Shortly after, we resume the carriage road on the right and we continue to climb (approximately 300 m height difference), along the wooded ridge, towards Fiera dei Poggi, where we descend slightly. Once on the asphalted road again, we arrive at the Passo del Muraglione (908 m).
We leave the road and, back on the 00 path, we gain altitude (approximately 100 m height difference) staying above the road, on a sometimes rocky path, until we reach the Valico dei Tre Faggi (930 m). We continue in ups and downs, passing Poggio Citerna (1,123 m), Poggio Piano (1,138 m), and the beautiful Capanna di Citerna, which offers shelter in case of bad weather. Shortly after, once on the Sella della Posa, we leave the carriage road and, remaining on the 00 path, we start the steep climb (approximately 300 m height difference) above the Balze delle Rondinaie. We spot a beautiful waterfall, the Balzo delle Rondinaie.
After the climb, through a short cross path, we arrive at the Rifugio Fontanelle. We continue on a cross path. Once back on the carriage road, we ascend (about 150 m height difference) to Poggio dei Piancastelli. Shortly after, before continuing along the ridge towards Passo della Calla, it is worth making a detour to climb to Monte Falco (1,658 m), the highest peak in the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines. Not far away, the “twin” Monte Falterona, from which the Arno river flows, as Dante sings in the Divine Comedy.
Continuing on the 00 path, we slowly descend along the watershed, pass the Rifugio Burraia (1,451 m, not far from the Rifugio Città di Forlì), and finally arrive at the Passo della Calla.
In Corniolo (a little further downstream of the Calla Pass, towards the north-east), in February 1944, was established the Corniolo Partisan Republic.
It was the first example of an autonomous Italian government, fighting against the German occupation. However, the experience was soon forgotten due to the controversial killing (by the partisans themselves) of Commander Fedel, the main proponent of the Republic.
The experience lasted for about a month, during which numerous direct management measures and land reforms were discussed and adopted, including disciplinary measures against the partisans themselves, who were prohibited from using alcoholic beverages.
Curiously, Benito Mussolini was born not far from Corniolo, in Predappio.
On the southern slope of Monte Falterona (1,654 m, the second peak of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines) gushes the source of the Capo d'Arno, where the most important Tuscan river originates, as celebrated by a plaque bearing the Dante’s verses of the XIV Canto del Purgatorio: “And I: Through midst of Tuscany there wanders / a streamlet that is born in Falterona / and not a hundred miles of course suffice it”.
The bruciat is a cabbage and onion salad, topped with cooked bacon and vinegar.
Rifugio La Burraia, just north of Monte Gabrendo. Tel. +39 0575 583965 - +39 348 720 5267
Rifugio La Calla, at Passo della Calla (self-managed, call first). Tel. +39 333 544 1554
Agriturismo Il Poderone, 6 km north of the Passo della Calla. Tel. +39 347 946 0946
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest locality reachable by car is the Osteria Nova.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is San Godenzo, starting from the city of Florence with a change in Pontassieve and then Dicomano.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.