When you’re in Florence and wish to visit something new in the Tuscan countryside you can rent a car and drive towards the Mugello area.
The Mugello is a green area north of Florence, immersed in the Apennines Mountains. This region hides a lot of gems, it only depends on your hobbies, you will surely find something you’ll love there.
For instance, if you watch the MotoGP every Sunday, you might like the Mugello circuit in Scarperia: you’ll have the chance to see the Italian Champion Valentino Rossi riding his bike during the Italian Grand Prix or simply rent a motorbike and cross the sound barrier!
Moreover, the Mugello is a paradise for bikers that race throughout its bendy roads and the Futa pass is a trophy for many of them. During the 1950s, on the Futa pass a huge German military cemetery was built, where more than 30.000 German soldiers rest in peace after having fought in Italy during WWII. This could be a sad but important experience to do with kids, in order to let them know about the cruelty of every war.
If you are a shopaholic, run with your credit card to the outlet village in Barberino: you’ll have the chance to choose between more than 100 designer brands with discounts from 30% and 70% off the initial price. Of course, while you run around, do not forget to eat!
Potato tortelliare a must have if you are in the Mugello region and are good for the vegetarians, too, but it’s easy to find also game recipes made with wild boar or deer, since hunting is a usual practice in this land full of woods. For dessert, try some “zuccherini”, soft, sweet, “vintage” cookies, very popular in the Fiorenzuola or Bruscoli area.
Hiking is the perfect choice to walk throughout the chestnuts woods and keep in touch with the territory. During your walks in the Mugello paths you’ll have the chance to see stunning panoramas and observe furry animals in their natural environment. While, if you prefer water ports like canoeing or windsurfing, the Bilancino lake can satisfy your desires; on the other hand, if green is your color, you can test yourself in the 18 holes of the Poggio dei Medici Golf and Country Club, near Scarperia (the Mugello Tuscany Open was on May 12-15, 2011).
The Mugello is a perfect choice to discover the Tuscan side of the Apennines Mountains and it’s an original destination if compared with the Chianti or the Valdorcia, nevertheless it is as beautiful as those areas, but wilder and undiscovered. What are you waiting for? ;)