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Veduta di Palazzuolo sul SenioVeduta di Palazzuolo sul Senio

 

The landscape, the territory, the strength of our roots, and everything that binds us to them, even when life leads us elsewhere, are often the essence of a poet's art. There are even artists for which these elements are absolutely fundamental and without which he remains incomprehensible. Dino Campana is one example. One of the greatest poets of the 20th century - a man of the world, a nomad, a traveller, but mostly a "madman", like so many other contemporary poets - universal, but irreparably bound to his roots, the roots of the "mountain man" from the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines.

 

 

 

Marradi, his home, was a town he loved and despised. He fled from it and returned to it, over and over again, in what was a sort of existential undertow, both joyous re-union and imprisonment; and it moulded his rugged, closed character, which was violent but also frail, and strangely wise, like all tormented poets.

 

 

 

Campana walked for days and days, far and wide, covering the grand landscapes in the area surrounding Marradi, but also the whole of the Mugello countryside; he "inflicted" this cure, this atonement, on himself for the tragedy in his soul. The woods and rocks, the fields and valleys, the towns, the land and the sky, which the poet penetrated on his mystic travels soon became, as we can see from his travel diary, or in his later work, a reflection of his soul, both visionary and transfiguring, but without losing their true nature, and actually intensifying his evocative capacities. In fact, after reading Campana's descriptions, when you stand facing the "real thing", you cannot but see it through his eyes - the "mystic valley", "stone abodes on the laborious green", the "magnificent and solitary arch stretched catastrophically under an unsettling mountain of rocks", "the layers on layers of rocks".

 

 

 

Il teatro degli Animosi a MarradiIl teatro degli Animosi a Marradi

The same thing is true, almost emblematically, of the love story he shared with his only true love, Sibilla Aleramo: a passionate yet frenzied adventure that ends with his inevitable recovery in a mental institution, where he will later die.

 

An extraordinary voyage into the heart of Mugello, precariously between reality and reverie, in which the landscape blends impenetrably with the adventure of his life and the eternal mystery of human relations.

 

Like his solitary pilgrimage to the Verna six years earlier, he would be transfigured into that exhausting climb - like the life of man - in part appeasing.

 

 

 

Campana and the Mugello territory, in fact, are so completely intertwined that the idea of a "parallel" guide - of Mugello and Campana forever linked - was a tribute that could no longer be put off: a twin-track that will hold continuous surprises because to see a landscape through the eyes of the soul, especially the soul of such elevated sensibility as this poet's, will reveal aspects that no other guide, however well written, can possibly unveil.

 

 

 

Maria Cristina Carratu (journalist)

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

 

The landscape, the territory, the strength of our roots, and everything that binds us to them, even when life leads us elsewhere, are often the essence of a poet's art. There are even artists for which these elements are absolutely fundamental and without which he remains incomprehensible. Dino Campana is one example. One of the greatest poets of the 20th century - a man of the world, a nomad, a traveller, but mostly a "madman", like so many other contemporary poets - universal, but irreparably bound to his roots, the roots of the "mountain man" from the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines.

 

Marradi, his home, was a town he loved and despised. He fled from it and returned to it, over and over again, in what was a sort of existential undertow, both joyous re-union and imprisonment; and it moulded his rugged, closed character, which was violent but also frail, and strangely wise, like all tormented poets.

 

Campana walked for days and days, far and wide, covering the grand landscapes in the area surrounding Marradi, but also the whole of the Mugello countryside; he "inflicted" this cure, this atonement, on himself for the tragedy in his soul. The woods and rocks, the fields and valleys, the towns, the land and the sky, which the poet penetrated on his mystic travels soon became, as we can see from his travel diary, or in his later work, a reflection of his soul, both visionary and transfiguring, but without losing their true nature, and actually intensifying his evocative capacities. In fact, after reading Campana's descriptions, when you stand facing the "real thing", you cannot but see it through his eyes - the "mystic valley", "stone abodes on the laborious green", the "magnificent and solitary arch stretched catastrophically under an unsettling mountain of rocks", "the layers on layers of rocks".

 

The same thing is true, almost emblematically, of the love story he shared with his only true love, Sibilla Aleramo: a passionate yet frenzied adventure that ends with his inevitable recovery in a mental institution, where he will later die.

An extraordinary voyage into the heart of Mugello, precariously between reality and reverie, in which the landscape blends impenetrably with the adventure of his life and the eternal mystery of human relations.

Like his solitary pilgrimage to the Verna six years earlier, he would be transfigured into that exhausting climb - like the life of man - in part appeasing.

 

Campana and the Mugello territory, in fact, are so completely intertwined that the idea of a "parallel" guide - of Mugello and Campana forever linked - was a tribute that could no longer be put off: a twin-track that will hold continuous surprises because to see a landscape through the eyes of the soul, especially the soul of such elevated sensibility as this poet's, will reveal aspects that no other guide, however well written, can possibly unveil.

 

Maria Cristina Carratu (journalist)

 

 

 

 

Campana and Marradi

 

 

Marradi, small Tuscan town overlooking the Romagna plains, was a place that Campana both loved and despised. He ran from it often because he found it suffocating, but returned just as often to start breathing again. In his prose, from the collection called "Orphic Chants", the poet's ties with his native land, the mountains, the river, the woods and nature as a whole, are quite obvious. There are numerous references to dwellings and areas: the Faentina railway and the station, Colombaia, Vigoli, Campigno, the bridge over the Lamone River etc., which today hold memorials with the verses of the poet's work and antique photos.

The municipality, from the second half of the '80s, awards a literary prize in Dino Campana's name.

 

 

Letter from Campana to Aleramo – Campigno
Tuesday, August 8, 1917 (written in Campigno)

Dear Rina
I'm finally home in Marradi among the virgin forests that you too have seen. I regret the time I have spent in places that were less pure...From the cliffs of Campigno, among the rocks in which the falcons live, I hope to rise and fly over them with all the pride and the strength of the eagle...Dino Campana
So-called poet of the present and the future.

Dai Canti Orfici

Reprint of the Marradi edition of 1914

Sogno di prigione
(…..) Ora il mio paese tra le montagne. Io al parapetto del cimitero davanti alla stazione che guardo il cammino nero delle macchine, su, giù. Non è ancor notte; silenzio occhiuto de fuoco: le macchine mangiano e rimangiano il nero silenzio nel cammino della notte. Un treno: si sgonfia, arriva in silenzio, è fermo; la porpora del treno morde la notte: dal parapetto del cimitero le occhiaie rosse che si gonfiano nella notte; poi tutto, mi pare, si muta in rombo: Da un finestrino in fuga io? Io chi alzo le braccia nella luce.

(Il treno mi passa sotto rombando come un demonio).

L'invetriata
La sera fumosa d'estate
Dall'alta invetriata mesce chiarori nell'ombra
E mi lascia nel cuore un suggello ardente.
Ma chi ha (sul terrazzo sul fiume si accende una lampada) chi ha
A la Madonnina del Ponte chi è chi è che ha acceso la lampada? - c'è
Nella stanza un odor di putredine: c'è
Nella stanza una piaga rossa languente.
Le stelle sono bottoni di madreperla e la sera si veste di velluto:
E tremola la sera fatua: è fatua la sera e tremola ma c'è
Nel cuore della sera c'è,
Sempre una piaga rossa languente

 

A "Journey of love"

The protagonists

Dino Campana

He was born in Marradi on September 20, 1885, and died in the Castel Pulci psychiatric hospital on March 1, 1932, a “mad” poet. He had a difficult life, and travelled the world doing the oddest jobs. He was arrested numerous times until the time he was committed to the mental hospital. In 1914 he published a book of poems and poetic prose called “Orphic Chants” which will set him among the literary "greats" of the twentieth century.

Rina Faccio, known as Sibilla Aleramo

She was born in Alessandria on September 14, 1876, and died in Rome on January 13, 1960, renowned feminist and “free lover”, as she herself stated. In 1906, she published an autobiographical novel called “A woman”, which immediately made her famous. In 1948, her book of poems “Selva d'amore” wins the “Premio Versilia”, created especially for her as part of the Premio Viareggio.

A Love Story in Mugello

Their "journey of love" starts with a letter written to Dino Campana by Sibilla Aleramo on June 10, 1916. After reading the "Orphic Chants", she expresses her admiration and declares herself "both enchanted and lovestruck".

Aleramo was on holiday at "Villa La Topaia" in Borgo San Lorenzo while Campana was staying at the Barco - Rifredo Spa in Firenzuola to regain his health. Campana, in fact, had suffered a slight palsy on the right side of his body. After an exchange of letters, the two meet at the Barco at 8 am on Thursday, August 3, 1916.

They fall passionately in love: they take on an "impossible" relationship, which is destined to go wrong even before it starts. It is a magnificent and desperate love-story born in the solitude of the Mugello woods.

The two lovers meet again between August and September for 20 days in Casetta di Tiara (Palazzuolo sul Senio).

At the beginning of October in, first, Florence, and then Marina di Pisa, Casciana Terme, and later again Florence, the couple starts to have problems. It ends in a brief encounter at Christmas in 1916 in Marradi. In 1917 a period of separation begins and lasts until January, 1918, when Campana is recovered in the San Salvi mental hospital in Florence. He will later be moved to the Castel Pulci mental institution in Scandicci, where he will die of blood poisoning on March 1, 1932, at only 46 years of age, and after having been recovered there for 14 years.



Campana is first buried in the San Colombana cemetery in Badia a Settimo. Ten years later, on March 3, 1942, his remains are moved to the church of Badia a Settimo, where we can see them today.



"Pilgrimage to the Verna"

I went to the Verna when I was 25 years old. I went there from Marradi. It takes two or three days to get to the "Verna".

Dino Campana to Carlo Pariani



SALGO (nello spazio, fuori del tempo)
L'acqua il vento
La sanità delle prime cose -
Il lavoro umano sull'elemento
Liquido - la natura che conduce
Strati di rocce su strati - il vento
Che scherza nella valle - ed ombra del vento
La nuvola - il lontano ammonimento
Del fiume nella valle -
E la rovina del contrafforte - la frana
La vittoria dell'elemento - il vento
Che scherza nella valle.
Su la lunghissima valle che sale in scale
La casetta di sasso sul faticoso verde:
La bianca immagine dell'elemento.
Canti Orfici (Orphic Chants) - Diario 1910

Towards the middle of 1910, Campana, after years of wandering from Bologna to Florence, Paris to Argentina, returns to Marradi. That same year, in September - October, he returns to La Verna on foot, and writes his famous "travel diary."

Campana, therefore, poet and "wanderer". A wayfarer who takes notes on his long journey from Marradi to La Verna, creating a sort of extraordinary "travel guide." To climb the mountains of Romagna and Tuscany in the company of his verses is like reliving the poet's own experience: the landscape, the hamlets, the mountains and the people he describes.

The stops along the way, described in poetic verse in the Orphic Chants are the following:

Marradi - le Scalelle - Campigno - Castagno d'Andrea - Falterona - Campigna - Stia - La Verna and back.

We would like to thank:
IVO MORINI, poet, for his research on the poems and SERGIO GRILLO and CINZIA PEZZANI for the accurate description of the itinerary, and for the photographs.





Itinerary on foot

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.

From Barco to Palazzuolo sul Senio



Campana, together with Sibilla, reached Casetta di Tiara after crossing the splendid Val d'Inferno. He returned to Marradi alone it seems, on foot, passing through Palazzuolo sul Senio. His rambling nature allowed him to appreciate the sun-drenched heights, the wood-covered valleys, the white sandstone and the green pastures of the Apennines, the hidden hamlets and isolated mountain homes that once were abandoned but today have been restored to their ancient rustic splendour.

The route we suggest takes 11 hours to cover. For this reason it is best to divide it into two excursions stopping in Palazzuolo sul Senio, which is roughly half way, for the night.





From Barco to Palazzuolo sul Senio

Introductory and technical notes

The itinerary is a synthesis of the best this corner of the Apennines has to offer: ancient religious retreats, (Moscheta Abbey, Acquadalto Santuary), mountain towns that have maintained their original architecture (Casetta di Tiara, Campanara), tens of isolated historical farm estates, geological and natural wonders (in particular Valle dell'Inferno and the sandstone stratification in Cimon della Bastia). The elevation gain is roughly 700 metres and the time it takes to cover the whole route goes from 7 to 8 hours on foot. It is not possible to cover this route on horseback or MTB due to the narrow and uneven trail that crosses Valle dell'Inferno.

Access

Barco is on state road n. 503, which leads from Florence to Firenzuola, just below the Giogo Pass.

Description of the route on foot

From Barco the trail descends along the state road to Firenzuola and quickly reaches Rifredo. Here, on the right, it takes the road for Badia di Moscheta: a narrow strip of asphalt that dips towards the Veccione valley and then, on fairly level ground, to the Abbey. In front of the sacred structure the trail moves left and, keeping on the main track, crosses a pine wood that leads to a bridge. Just before the bridge a sign indicating the trail for Valle dell'Inferno (GEA and SOFT signs) can be seen. This trail, fairly wide, goes past Molino del Veccione and enters the valley. As it enters the deep crevice, the walls narrow and the layers of sand stone are visible. Once past an abandoned farm house and a series of streams, we come to Case Val d'Inferno, once an outpost and now completely abandoned but not totally in ruins. From the houses the track descends and, round a cliff, enters the Rovigo River valley. The trail meets a wider dirt road and goes straight on past the bridge on the left. It ascends and soon after leaves this road and moves left and over a foot bridge over the Rovigo River. The trail then ascends towards a group of restored houses (Porcia), which it crosses, until it reaches a wide dirt road which, rising steeply, leads to Casetta di Tiara. We pass an ancient beauty and after a series of bends through the chestnut woods reach the church of Casetta di Tiara.

From here you turn right and through a quaint mountain location. The route moves along a road that ascends through an age-old chestnut wood with some of the largest examples of this fine tree.

The route continues to ascend steeply to a chapel (an excellent rest stop set on a sunny knoll) from which it continues, less steeply this time, along the crest. Continuing along the main route, we pass Case Mengacci and Campo Rinaldi along the way. Along this route we often see horses grazing in the wild. The road passes two groups of abandoned residences and, along a rocky tract, reaches the main crest, just under Poggio Rincaccio, where it meets route n. 701 which from the Sambuca Pass moves in the direction of Valmaggiore (the path moves along an ancient path along the mountain crest that was the main link between the Apennines and the Romagna plains up until the last century). The route goes left (follow green trail signs), without touching Poggio Roncaccio, and then arrives just under Cimon della Bastia (mentioned in the letter of September 15-17 by Aleramo). The route reaches an important crossways. We leave the main road and move right along a route that descends towards Palazzuolo sul Senio (route n. 607 CAI and n.16 SOFT). This route offers an excellent view of the Romagna mountain chain as it moves along the eastern ridges of the Cimon della Bastia, the most beautiful mountain in the area. Once past Monte Ferioli, the route descends rapidly along the so called "Scale di Lotro" until it reaches a fork. Two possible routes can be taken here: one that descends to Campanara and one that goes left, passing just above a quaint hamlet (the church in Campanara, a 14th century structure that was rebuilt in 1684, has a wonderful cusped bell-tower with two arched openings, and is situated along an ancient, probably Medieval or older, road). Continuing along this marked trail the route crosses the Monte Castellaccio di Tana side of the mountain, passing Monte dell'Incisa, and then, continuing along the crest, descends progressively until it reaches the state road just under the Santuario di Acquadalto. The paved road on the left leads back to Palazzuolo sul Senio.

From Palazzuolo sul Senio to Marradi

Introductory and technical notes

The route runs along, for the most part, the ancient road that linked Palazzuolo sul Senio to Marradi, a road which, therefore, may have been travelled by Campana. The road, in fact, is dotted with farm houses that once offered refuge and aid to anyone who travelled here. In particular we find the 17th century Villa di Gruffieto, a grand residence that, notwithstanding a part that is in ruins, maintains its elegant architectural style. The trail ascends more that 510 metres and takes from 3 to 4 hours to walk.

It is not possible to take the route on horseback, because in the first section from Palazzuolo sul Senio there are two steep metal stairways, and in the part that descends towards Marradi, you must climb a number of ladders to pass over fences. It can be covered by MTB if you take the alternative route described below.

Access

Palazzuolo sul Senio can be reached from Florence by car along state road 302, which leads to Borgo San Lorenzo and Colla di Casaglia. From the Colla, the route goes left onto state road 477 to Palazzuolo.

Itinerary on foot

From Palazzuolo sul Senio the route moves along the road to Marradi but, just outside the town, once past the bridge, it leaves the paved road and climbs left along a steep grassy hill (red and white signage n. 519). It immediately reaches a metal stairway leading to the water deposit. It climbs steeply and, by way of another ladder, crosses over a fence and into the pine wood forest overlooking Palazzuolo, offering a breathtaking view. Just below a restored farm house, a paved road leads left. It soon becomes a dirt road and crosses an ancient, well kept, chestnut forest. Maintaining these forests, mostly chestnut, is one of the many important duties of the towns of Palazzuolo and Marradi. The route turns widely through the chestnut forest, reaching an area where the chestnuts are dried and then, shortly after, straight up to the top of the crest. We leave the marked paths behind and follow the route up to the peak: this is the ancient route for Marradi. It leads, farther up, to the fields of Campo d'Olivo, a wonderfully restored farm estate. The route moves around the property and down the rocky path that starts here.



Soon after, the signs lead off the road and ascend left towards the Bacero, an abandoned farmhouse. It is, however, best to continue on the path which leads quickly to another dirt road. Here we turn right, and shortly after leave it, turning left on the marked trail. We cross a forest and come out onto an open field with a beautiful view. It is a wonderful place to stop and rest, or picnic in the sun. At the other end of the field, we take the dirt road left. After a few metres, we leave this new path to descend left towards Villa di Gruffietto, whose red roof was visible from above. We enter another chestnut wood and, moving downhill, reach the villa. We move along the right of the property until we reach a dirt road. The route climbs right a few hundred metres until it reaches the white and red trail sign, which we follow, pointing to the trail that climbs along the side of Monte Gamberaldi. The path crosses trail n. 505 from Croce Daniele. We go right, and just above Ca' Mondera leave trail n. 505 for trail n. 519 on the left. The descent that takes us to Marradi starts here. This road, in tracts, offers glimpses of the underlying Medieval road. At Ca' Mondera we continue softly downhill towards Ca' del Falco and, after a steeper descent, reach Ca' del Vento. From the crests, therefore, moving swiftly downhill, the route takes us to Marradi and the state road just in front of the station.





Alternative route for MTB

From Palazzuolo sul Senio the route moves along the road to Marradi for roughly 5 kilometres until we reach Valico S. Ilario. On the left, a trail marked n. 505 is clearly visible. The route moves along this trail to a farmhouse and then just above Ca' Mondera. Trail n. 519 for Marradi descends towards the right from here, following the directions described in the itinerary on foot, which is also suited for MTB.

In the Moscheta Canyons



In the days spent first at Barco and then Casetta di Tiara, the couple certainly took long walks together "through the great woods", in the wild, solitary, natural setting of the Apennines. Surely Moscheta with its austere Abbey, halfway from Barco to Casetta, was a place the lovers visited often. The itinerary we suggest is a route that moves around Moscheta, a famous rest-stop for trekkers and excursionists, as well as horseback riders, and today the home of a museum of the Apennines landscape.

Introductory and technical notes

The route allows us to touch on two of the most spectacular valleys in the Firenzuola territory: Val del Vecchuone and Val del Rovigo. The first, just past Badia di Moscheta, is closed in on both sides by high walls that create a narrow passage called Valle dell'Inferno (the valley of hell). The second, above the locality of Lastra, is also closed in by stratified sandstone walls from which water often falls in rivulets. The route includes a 640 metre climb and takes roughly 7 hours on foot, which makes it accessible to experienced excursionists who have a knowledge of mountain trekking. The route cannot be travelled on horseback or by MTB because many of the corridors are very narrow.



Access

From Florence by way of state road n. 503 to San Piero a Sieve, then Scarperia, and up to the Giogo Pass, which descends to Barco and Rifredi. The road on the right, at Rifredi, leads to Moscheta.

Description on foot

From Badia di Moscheta the road leads to the fork for Poggio Roncaccio, as described in itinerary 1 of the Campana and Sibilla Aleramo excursion. From here the route goes right on to trail n. 701 CAI (Gea and the main SOFT route) along sections of the mountain crests. It leads to an important fork in the road. We take the track on the right (trail n. 739 and 741 CAI) towards Valle del Rovigo. We thus move along a secondary crest, leaving behind us, just a bit later, trail n. 739, which continues left along the main trail. Near the Pian dell'Aiara farmhouses, we leave the main trail and descend towards the left. It is possible, at this point, to choose whether to take this path or to remain on the main trail, both of which lead to the bottom of the Rovigo valley. If you feel up to it and are in good physical condition, however, we suggest you take the path which descends to the valley bottom much farther on, near one of the biggest waterfalls created by this river. Both routes descend to the valley and to Lastra, from which we turn back to Badia di Moscheta on the same route.

Rocca di Castiglione



Dino Campana manifested his mental discomfort through his restlessness, which lead him to wander through the area around Marradi. The two itineraries described link the places the poet visited on his many pilgrimages along the crests and through the valleys of his native land, the land in which he matured and wrote his "Orphic Chants".



Introductory and technical notes

"The morning arid on the mountain tops.
High among the cusps of a desolate triangle
a castle is alight, higher and farther away."

This is how Campana recalled one of the most breathtaking landscapes of Marradi, Rocca di Castiglione, which stands isolated on high ground not far from the town. The fortress can be reached on foot by following a marked path on a uphill climb of roughly 220 metres, and takes roughly 2 hours. The route is suited to almost anyone, including families with children.



Access

Marradi can be reached by car from Florence or from Faenza by way of state road n. 302, or by train on the Faentina railway line.

Description on foot

From Marradi the route moves along the state road towards Florence. Once past the fork for San Benedetto, the road moves right along a narrow bridge that crosses the Lamone River and then runs along the orographic left bank (left side following the flow). On the left a sliver of asphalt runs flat and then starts to rise until it reaches Via Cardeto. Take the route on the right, passing in front of the church and then ascending along the dirt road that leads to Podere Poggioli. New signage leads to an easy tract that takes you to the historical building with a beautiful square tower, which has been newly restored, and parts of the northern walls. The fortress probably once had an underground passage, a section of which is buried, but whose exit is still visible. The descent follows a paved road that leads to the state road near Ponte di Camurano. Turn left on the state road and, just before Biforco, take Via Cardato left and back to the starting point.



On the Mountains of Campigno

Introductory and technical notes

The itinerary is all embracing and unwinds along the mountains that Campana knew best, in the area of Marradi. The elevation gain is above 580 metres, and it takes roughly 5 hours to walk. Given the elevation gain and, mostly, the length of the route, a certain amount of training is necessary. The paths are well marked and easy to find.

The entire route can be travelled on horseback or by mountain bike (some difficulty may be encountered in the area that from Fosse leads to the mountain crests).

Access

From Florence by way of State road n. 302, we reach Borgo San Lorenzo, Colla di Casaglia and, just before reaching Marradi, a locality called Biforco. The road to Campigno is on the right.

Description on foot

From Campigno you reach the locality of Porcellecchi, on the Apennines crests, as described later in the Marradi - San Godenzo itinerary that traces the steps of Campana. At the fork in the road at 1010 metres above sea level, you leave the trail along the ridge and move left along the CAI n. 541, and the SOFT n.20 trails. The route descends along a forestry path that, once at the secondary watershed between Fosso Campigno and Fosso Chiesine, moves down through sandstone outcrops and beech woods until it reaches Pian degli Arali. Once you reach the house, you leave the trail and move towards the fields. You cross Fosso Chiesine coasting along the right side, and continue to descend. Once past the crossing with the tabernacle, the route moves along a dirt road and reaches Fango (623 m.a.s.l.). You coast Poggio di Fango (588) heading north and, climbing, pass through a huge chestnut wood until you reach a trail that, on the left, follows the Campigno ditch heading northeast to Farfareta. From here the way back to Campigno is easy.



Trekking from Marradi to Stia



Trekking along the wanderer's trail: from Marradi to Stia through all the localities mentioned by Campana in his "La Verna", Orphic Chants . From Marradi it is possible to reach Stia by way of an extraordinary mountain route that moves along the crests and through the valleys of the Mugello territory. It enters the heart of the Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park. From Stia, Campana moved towards Verna by way, probably, of the Casentino valley, which is, today, ungratifying from an excusionistic point of view. It is for this reason that we have chosen to interupt the Trekking along the wanderer's trail at Stia.

The whole route can be divided into four sections with overnight stays in San Godenzo, near the Muraglione Pass, Castagno d'Andrea, in Campigna, and in Stia.

From Marradi to San Godenzo

Introductory and technical notes

The itinerary initially travelles through the Campigno valley, which Campana was know to cross by way of an ancient trail that is presently paved and touches, in parts, the road that links Biforco to Campigno. There is very little traffic along this road, and the mountain landscape through which it passes make it highly interesting. It is still possible to see age-old professions carried out along this route: sheep herding, horse rearing, wood cutting and transport on mules. From Campigno, therefore, the route is more scenic with ascents that lead to Cae Monte Filetto and the Apennines crests.



Campana was know to move along two routes to reach Castagno d'Andrea, one from San Godenzo and one from the Muraglione Pass. We have, therefore, created two routes from Colla della Maestà. In one, the route descends towards Castagneto and then to San Godenzo; in the other, the route moves along the crests to the Muraglione Pass. (It is possible to take one route on your way, through San Godenzo for example, and the other on your way back, passing though the Muraglione Pass.)

The elevation gain in both cases is roughly 1070 metres, and it takes 8- 8.5 hours on foot. The itinerary can be travelled on horseback and, with some difficulty in certain areas, by MTB.

Access

Marradi can be reached by car from Florence or from Faenza by way of state road n. 302. The town can also be reached by train along the Faentina railway line. The railway line reserves numerous surprising sights and touches some of the most important localities in this part of the Apennines.

Description on foot

From Marradi the route initially moves along state road n. 302 towards Florence. It reaches Biforco and from there moves left towards Campigno where the paved road leads into the valley. Along this road, "le rocce e il fiume" (the rocks and river), as Campana writes, are the sole protagonists. Their layers and layers of history lighten the heart of man, «strati su strati, monumenti di tenacia solitaria che consolano il cuore degli uomini», and the river, freshly bubbling in a docile melody, is a queen among the regal bends of the valley , «Per rendere il paesaggio, il paese vergine che il fiume docile a valle solo riempie del suo rumore di tremiti freschi, non basta la pittura, ci vuole l'acqua, l'elemento stesso, la melodia docile dell'acqua che si stende tra le forre dell'ampia rovina del suo letto, che dolce come l'antica voce dei venti incalza verso le valli in curve regali: poi chè essa è qui veramente la regina del paesaggio».

Once we reach Campigno, the route continues along a paved road to Farfareta and just before reaching this quaint location moves right along a paved road that is closed to traffic ( red and white arrow). It descends softly until it reaches the banks of the Campigno river. We cross it by way of a metal bridge. Once on the left bank, the route passes in front of a huge farm house and continues along the main road which, climbing steeply, rises quickly above the valley. The first house on the route, Gattalete, is situated at the edge of vast open field from which you can see the valley below and the "poverty of its homes" , Campigno. At Gattolete, we bypass a minor route on the right and move left along a dirt road that climbs along a rocky slope. The route turns right, ascending (we bypass the road that leads downwards) and entering the woods. We make a wide half circle to an open field where horses often graze. The ruins of Case Monte Filetto, often mentioned by Campana, are hidden by a lush vegetation, and are in an obvious state of abandonment. Moving along the main road, we cross the woods again, huge leafy beech trees surround us, and slowly ascend along the left bank of the river until we reach Le Fosse. Here, in a solitary mountain setting, we find an ancient hamlet which has maintained its original structure, typical of the numerous hamlets that dot the Apennines. We can still admire the Acacia "a tree that is dear to the night" which is able to «appear as a smoky dream» and the walnut tree which "in front of my room. At night it seems to gather the shadows and fold the dark singing leaves like a harvest of chants on the round milky, almost human, trunk." We move along the right of the houses, observing, below, a stone fount. We ascend along a dirt road through the woods and soon reach the crest. The route moves left (red and white signage, and also the yellow SOFT trail signs) along the crest past Monte Femmina Morta. It later reaches the trail that rises from Crespino sul Lamone. Bypassing the trail that goes right, we reach the main crest of the Apennines and trail n. 00 (GEA and Main SOFT trail).

On the crest, we turn left up towards Poggio al Tiglio, then descend towards La Colla, where we find a small shelter, and then climb again along the sides of Monte Giogo di Villore. The trail, a dirt road made for tractors, is very scenic and overlooks the Mugello valley and the surrounding mountain crests. We bypass the dirt road that ascends from Villore, and keep just under the crests until we reach Porchellecchi, where a green antenna stands. We bypass a lane on the right and climb to the fork at 1010 m.a.s.l. To the left a dirt road moves along trails CAI n. 541 and SOFT n. 20. We bypass it and continue to climb along a minor trail, up along the crests, bypassing other trails that go left and right. We reach Monte Peschiena, the highest point of this tract of the Apennines, and continue, descending, along a trail that enters the beech wood. Once we leave the woods, we cross a wide road. On the other side we move along the trail that leads to a narrow dirt road. We reach Colla della Maestà along this route and here we meet a road from Fiera dei Poggi and the route offers two possible trails.



Itinerary for San Godenzo

From Colla della Maestà a green trunk indicates the trails in the area. We ignore the dirt road and move right along a wide forest trail that descends. We find red and white CAI signs along this trail. Lower down the signs move left while our route moves straight on. We continue along the main road (the two routes, however, meet lower down) descending along the edge of a forest, and then across an open field. The trail, rocky now, continues to descend, turning right, and, soon after, reaching the Moia farmhouse, surrounded by perfectly kept, age-old chestnut trees. We pass the house and cross a small bridge to a gate. Past the gate we move right, descending, along a path that is paved in tracts.

This route leads without fail to Castagneto (its name, chestnut woods, is indicative of the land around it) from which, along a narrow strip of asphalt, we reach the Muraglione Pass. We go right and, minutes later, enter San Godenzo.















 

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