The places along the route: Marradi and Mugello
Dino Campana was born in Marradi, the Tuscan territory half way from Florence to Bologna. During his brief and active life he was a wandering soul: he travelled to Latin America, Belgium, France and numerous Italian cities.
But mostly, he spent his time in the Mugello woods, reaching as far as Firenzuola, Palazzuolo sul Senio, Vicchio, Borgo San Lorenzo, Scarperia, San Piero a Sieve and Bivigliano (Vaglia) on foot.
We don't know if he went to Florence by steam train long the Faentina Railway or on his own, obviously very fit, two feet.
His poetry describes a territory which, excluding the valley-bottom, has remained much the same in over one hundred years: from the thick woods that line the mountain crests where the wild boar, the roe deer and the fox roam, to the chestnut and olive tree covered hills, and the terraced plains of wheat and sunflowers.
The towns of Marradi, Palazzuolo sul Senio and Firenzuola, where the Journey of love takes place, are in the northern part of the territory, in Upper Mugello, among the mountain crests and the passes that lead down into Bologna and Emilia Romagna, in the highest part of the basins of the Lamone (Campana's river), of the Senio and the Santerno rivers. The rocks and the peaks, although not even 1000 m.a.s.l., create majestic, breathtaking contours. The view is dominated by uncontaminated beech, chestnut and oak forests, extensive pastures dotted with juniper bushes and rock outcrops. The pureness of the water and the lush vegetation of these valleys provide a home for numerous animal species.
It is the part of the territory that has completely preserved its natural resources: migration into the city from the mountain (Marradi once had 10,000 inhabitants and now has 3,500) has allowed the wild beauty of this land to remain untouched. We can still take in the uncontaminated beauty of this area through the eyes of Dino Campana.