Falterona Mount: the Source of the Arno

The Arno is the main river in Tuscany and has a length of 241 km. It is the eighth longest river in Italy, but the second in the ranking by extension, after the Tiber, if we consider peninsular Italy. The source of the Arno river, also known as “Capo d’Arno”, is located on Monte Falterona, in correspondence with the municipality of Pratovecchio Stia, at a height of 1 358 meters.

At this point, just to point out the matter, there is a plaque with the verses of the 14th canto of the Purgatory of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri engraved on it. Mount Falterona, with its 1654 m in height, is the second highest peak in the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines. The first is Mount Falco, with a height of 1658 m. The Falterona is located in the Casentinesi Forests and is part of the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, born in 1993.

Monte Falterona where it is: what to do in the Casentinesi Forest Park

All around Mount Falterona, there is the Casentinesi Forest National Park, which has some breathtaking areas that are absolutely not to be missed.

It is in fact a territory rich in flora and fauna, but also in artificial structures, which blend with the natural landscape.

The first thing to see is the Acquacheta Waterfall, which makes a jump of 70 meters. On its summit we find the hamlet of the Romiti, the place where Dante Alighieri took refuge in the period of his exile from Florence.

In fact, in the Divine Comedy there is a description of the place in the XVI canto of the Inferno. We must also mention the Monastery of Camaldoli, dating back to the year one thousand, initially as a hospice.

Subsequently, it became a monastery of the Camaldolese, who printed the Camaldolese Constitutions, written to protect forest management.

Instead, in the church of Saints Donnino and Ilariano, you can find paintings by Giorgio Vasari.

In the Campigna Forest we can admire the perfect fusion of man and nature. Here it is in fact possible to find the Grand Ducal Palace, dating back to the 18th century and initially used as a hunting lodge for the Lorraine, while nowadays it is a hotel. As a natural beauty, there is a columnar trunk of silver fir. To celebrate nature, there is also a small naturalistic museum in the area.

How to reach the summit of Monte Falterona

Among the things to do on Monte Falterona there is certainly the possibility of climbing it and reaching the top.

The climb to the top will prove to be a truly unique experience, especially if you choose to follow the path that starts from the town of Castagno d’Andrea.

On the side facing south is the source of the Arno river, while heading east you come across a particular grassy depression called Lake of the Idols, where archaeological excavations have found numerous statuettes from the Etruscan era.

Finally, you cannot miss a visit to the village of Ridracoli, where you can admire the ruins of an ancient medieval castle, a dam and the very interesting Hydro Ecomuseum of the Water of Ridracoli.

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