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Lago degli Idoli, Monte Falterona
Photo ©Matteo Tani

At the source of the Arno on Mount Falterona

A route through nature and castles to get to the source of the "silver river"

First stage
The Porciano Castle
Porciano Castle
Porciano Castle - Credit: VardaHB

Leaving Stia behind, take the No:556 Stia – Londa state road, bearing right at the Castello di Porciano crossroads. Here the road climbs the hillside and once you arrive at the castle the panoramic view stretches out in front of you, encompassing the Casentino with the large Romena Castle in the foreground and Poppi and Bibbiena further away.

Second stage
The Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary
- Credit: Mariette

From Porciano, go back onto the state road towards Londa; then take a righthand turn for the  Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary. After visiting this Marian Sanctuary, go on for another three kilometres and you will arrive at the typical hamlet of Molin di Bucchio on the banks of the Arno. It was once a mill but today it is the starting point for excursions towards Castel Castagnaio and Il Falterona. From Molin di Bucchio the state road begins to climb up towards the Croce ai Mori Pass, crossing it, then dropping down towards Londa and from there heading to the Mugello.

Third stage
Towards the Lago degli Idoli and Mount Falterona

Just past Molin di Bucchio, on the right, a dirt track branches off, passing through a group of hamlets such as Serelli and Vallucciole. The road continues into the forest until it ends at Pantenna where you must leave your car. From here you can go for walks towards the Lago degli Idoli, Capo d’Arno, Il Falterona and Monte Acuto. These places have been famous since ancient times. Indeed, when the Etruscans crossed this part of the Apennines, they would throw small, bronze, votive statues into the Lago degli Idoli as religious offerings. Capo d’Arno, which Dante writes about, is the place where, among beechwoods and shady forests, the stream that becomes the Arno flows.

Fourth stage
Passing through the Della Calla Pass to Mount Falterona
Monte Falco, Casentino
Monte Falco, Casentino - Credit: Elwhajeff

Mount Falterona can be reached from Stia on the state road 310 “Bidente” by following signs towards the Della Calla Pass and turning left at the junction for Papiano. After Papiano you will come across the Maestà di Montalto oratory, which has a splendid view.

After going back onto the state road 310 “Bidente” and following on towards the Della Calla Pass you will find, above the road on the left, the small 18th century church dedicated to Saint Andrea Corsini in Gaviserri. Having passed through Gaviserri you will finally arrive at the Della Calla Pass, the departure point for some fantastic walks to the Burraia refuge, the Fangacci Pass, Mount Falco and lastly, Mount Falterona.

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