We enter Mugello with a fairly long stage but with little difference in height.
We cross the Gothic Line, passing through the Giogo di Scarperia, just where the Allies broke through.
In the first half, some descents (such as that from Poggiolino to the Passo Osteria Bruciata) require attention, due to the steep terrain often covered with leaves: sometimes they are equipped with cables, useful for not losing balance.
The only water points are at Passo del Giogo and Fonte del Lupo, on the north side of Monte Pratone.
We take the 00 path and, along the prairies of the ridge, we take altitude (approximately 200 m height difference) towards Monte Gazzaro (1,125 m), where we admire, behind us, the remarkable Monte Cimone. We continue with agile ups and downs in the woods, overcome the Poggiolino and descend (with some difficulty, due to the steep and crumbly terrain) to the Passo Osteria Bruciata (917 m) then we gain the ridge again and proceed in continuous ups and downs, easy but a little tiring. To the south, towards the Mugello plain, shines the surface of Bilancino Lake.
With a small sudden climb we go up (approx. 100 m height difference) Monte Castel Guerrino and we descend into the dense woods up to the bucolic clearing of Passo del Giogo, where the road climbing from Mugello arrives. It is an excellent point for a lunch stop, taking advantage of the nearby mountain lodge (where those who are tired can break the stage). A sign says that here, the Allies broke through the Gothic Line.
We resume the march along the usual 00 path. The second part of the route is much simpler than the first thanks to the very comfortable dirt road, on which we walk quickly. After a long stretch between large meadows full of flowers, we enter a monumental forest and slowly gain altitude, bypassing the Poggio dei Prati and Monte Pratone from the north side and then reaching Varco di Acquabona (1,019 m), where we continue to descend in slight slope.
We pass the Bivacco Capanna Marcone, located in a beautiful clearing. Instead of continuing straight towards Passo della Colla di Casaglia (where the old Locanda della Colla had to close its doors due to the danger of landslides), we take the path on the right, descending easily to the Rifugio Valdiccioli, an ancient farmhouse surrounded by nut trees.
Mugello has always been a fundamental place of transit, that witnessed the passage and clash of countless armies. Here the Ligurian peoples, the Etruscans, the Romans, the Lombards, the Carolingians, and the Florentines succeeded each other ...
The Medici were originally from these areas, where it is said that, before becoming a noble family, they worked as charcoal burners in the woods, as well as the painter Giotto and Giovanni della Casa, author of the famous Galateo.
Today Mugello is known for the racetrack (owned by Ferrari) which every year hosts the motorcycling Grand Prix.
If you happen to be here in July, it is worth going down to Razzuolo (half an hour on foot from the Rifugio Valdiccioli) to participate in the Foglia Tonda Festival, promoted by local young people. Through debates, walks, music and shows it aims to provide a different point of view on the narration of the mountain territory, often reduced to the sole purpose of tourism.
Anyone wishing to stop at the Giogo di Scarperia (or Passo del Giogo) can take the opportunity to go, even by bus, to the village of Scarperia, one of the most beautiful in Italy. Definitely worth a visit is the beautiful Palazzo dei Vicari, which houses the interesting Museo dei Ferri Taglienti (very interactive): the production of knives was in fact the predominant artisan activity of the village, which for this reason enjoys international prestige.
For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
The tortelli from Mugello are filled with potatoes mixed with a mixture of garlic and parsley, a little tomato, nutmeg, and parmesan. They are served with Bolognese sauce or in white, with only oil and Parmesan.
Easily recognizable for its square shape and for being much larger than its peers, the tortello from Mugello (i.e. with potato) was created as a poor version of the one stuffed with chestnuts.
Tortello, meant as stuffed pasta, had already been known for centuries in Tuscan and Romagna cuisine: it was mentioned as early as 1400 by a poet at the court of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
Rifugio Casa al Giogo, just north of the Passo del Giogo. Tel. +39 055 8144173 - +39 333 845 8770
Bivacco Capanna Marcone, just before Passo della Colla; just a table and a fireplace. Always Open.
Rifugio autogestito Valdiccioli, about 1 km south of the Capanna Marcone. Tel. +39 339 772 2208
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Prato, with a change in Vernio.
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.