Skip to content
The forest of Monteseario
Photo © Luigi Ferrari
Photo © Luigi Ferrari

Forest of Montesenario

Naturalistic attractions

A mystical and healing place

Located at 817 meters above sea level north of Florence, in the municipality of Vaglia, is the forest of Montesenario, which majestically crowns the ancient monastery founded by the order of the Servants of Mary: an evocative and mystical place surrounded by breath-taking nature and in complete silence.

Taking care of the forest has always been a priority of the Abbey's monks, who distinguished between the coppice (mainly chestnut) used for human needs - making wood, poles, charcoal - and the "crown" of tall trees, a kind of natural cloister aimed at guarding the holiness of the place.

In the 17th century, the mountain was surrounded by firs, chestnuts and oaks. The fir was the inviolable part, consisting mainly of white firs: trees with a strong symbolic value, stretched out toward the sky, with outstretched arms like a cross. The forest of Monte Senario is proof of how the forest, which appears natural, is actually largely the work of man: the reforestations of Monte Senario have occurred over the centuries, the last in the 20th century when black pine, Douglas fir and Scots pine began to be planted.

After centuries of use as a place for meditation and approaching the divine, walks and outings in search of some summer refreshment have become very popular in more recent times. The forest has also become a point of attraction for mountain bikers, walkers on the Path of the Gods, and forest therapy.

Forest therapy in Montesenario

The Club Alpino Italiano and IBE-CNR in cooperation with the municipality of Vaglia and the Order of the Servants of Mary have activated the Forest Therapy project in the Montesenario forest.

The Forest therapy is part of the phytotherapeutic discipline and is considered a very effective alternative medicine to combat anxiety, stress and depression. It consists of a two-and-a-half-hour walk in the woods accompanied by qualified professionals, such as psychologists, along an easy loop trail. The walk along the trail is done in strict silence paying attention to one's senses and the sounds of nature.

All that remains is to embark on a healing and wellness experience, immersed in a thick forest comprising black pines, white spruces, Douglas firs, maples, chestnut trees and accompanied by the sounds of nature.

More attractions in Vaglia

View all