The Poggio Ripaghera, Santa Brigida and Valle dell’Inferno Nature Reserveis located in the municipality of Pontassieve, near the hamlet of Santa Brigida, and is 800 hectares in size. The area can be easily visited thanks to its curated paths: starting from the visitors’ centre, you can explore the woods, discover the landscape and learn about the history of this territory. The reserve is home to interesting buildings, centuries-old mule tracks and unique plants, like fiore della Madonna, which only grows in Italy.
You can’t miss the excellently-preserved chestnut grove. The best trails to follow are the sentiero delle burraie, named for the presence of burraie, or butter mills, and the sentiero per tutti, a “trail for all” that can be traversed even by those with limited mobility.
Inside the reserve, you’ll also find the Sasso Sanctuary, famous for a miraculous apparition that turned it into a pilgrimage destination. The building, which dates to the end of the 1400s, houses an altar in pietra serena, a commonly-used material for making decorative elements in Florentine architecture and which, right here in this area, was extracted and worked by skilled stonecutters.