Quite a long stage but in fact without significant differences in height, all in slight ups and downs in the beech woods, along the watershed.
The route is entirely in Tuscany. The postcard of the day is certainly the Toschi Hermitage, immersed in a fairytale landscape, at the gates of the Casentinesi Forests.
In several sections the path, although wide and easy, is infested with tall ferns and thorny plants.
The only water point is at the Rifugio Castellina: bring a good supply.
We resume the path of the previous stage and turn right at the first crossroads, along the carriage road that goes down. Upon reaching the nearby asphalted road, we turn left and climb up to the Passo della Colla di Casaglia (913 m).
Instead of taking the 00 path, we take the carriage road that goes around the Poggio delle Travi from the north and we soon rejoin the 00 path. We continue on the Giogana ridge on an excellent track, barely gaining altitude. Gradually, the forest gives way to grasslands covered with ferns and thorny shrubs.
We pass the Poggio degli Allocchi and progress with light and pleasant ups and downs, surrounded by a wild environment, alternating wooded sections with some large lawns. The 00 path takes us to Poggio Castellina ( 1.102 m), not far from the mountain lodge of the same name, then to Alpe di Vitigliano (1,117 m) and to Poggio del Tiglio (1,085 m). At the Passo di Campigliono (1,024 m) the woods leave again room for a large clearing, where numerous paths branch off (be careful not to take the wrong one). We go up (approximately 100 m height difference) to Monte Peschiena and, with the usual ups and downs, we reach the Colla della Maestà (1.008 m).
Instead of continuing on the 00 path towards the Muraglione Pass (crowded with motorcyclists), we take the dirt road on the left and continue north. At the signs for the Toschi Hermitage, we turn right and in a few minutes, we arrive at the beautiful farmhouse, built from an ancient stone hermitage, immersed in a fairytale landscape, at the gates of the Casentinesi Forests - a few kilometers away, the splendid Acquacheta waterfalls.
The nearby Passo del Muraglione is so called because, when a transit road and a small hotel were built there in 1836, a high stone wall had to be erected to shelter travelers from the strong ridge wind.
The Toschi Hermitage, surrounded by wild nature, is a complex that includes historic buildings including a medieval church of the 11th century, still consecrated. A place of absolute peace.
Not far from the Toschi Hermitage (1 hour walk, northward), you can admire the spectacular Acquacheta waterfalls: the water has a jump of 90 meters, causing such a noise as to convince Dante to use them as object in a simile in the XVI Canto of Hell: "Even as that stream which holdeth its own course / (...) Which is above called Acquacheta / (...) Reverberates there above San Benedetto / From Alps, by falling at a single leap / Where for a thousand there were room enough”.
At the Toschi Hermitage are highly recommended the excellent goat cheeses, along with many dishes with home-grown products: everything is strictly organic.
Eremo dei Toschi, Eremo locality. Tel. +39 340 325 8726
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest place reachable by car is the Madonna dell'Albero car park.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest town reachable by bus is Razzuolo, starting from the city of Florence with a change in Borgo San Lorenzo.
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.