Length: 35 km
Uphill difference in height: 783 m
Altitude difference downhill: 649 m
For whom: expert cyclists
After Borgo San Lorenzo, we continue along the Via Faentina. The first part of the stage winds uphill for about 17 km until it reaches the Passo della Colla di Casaglia, the highest point of this itinerary, while the second part is characterized by a long descent that leads to Marradi.
About 7 km from Borgo San Lorenzo, we find ourselves passing through Pulicciano, where the previously mentioned Pulicciano Castle was located in Dante's time. Here, in March 1303, a fierce battle was held between the army made up of white Florentine and Ghibelline Guelphs, and the army of black Guelphs of the Florentine Republic. The army of Florentine exiles was led by the Forlì Ghibelline, Scarpetta degli Ordelaffi, who hosted Dante in Forlì several times during the first years of his exile, while the army of the Republic was led by Podestà Fulcieri da Calboli, described in Purgatory by Dante as a "hunter" of human flesh (Pur. XIV, vv. 58-66).
The army in support of the exiled Florentines was badly defeated, and the survivors retreated to take refuge in the Castle of Montaccianico, which resisted the siege of the Republic until 1306.
There are few remains of the historic walls of Pulicciano Castle, and the important battle is remembered by a commemorative plaque placed on the facade of the Church of Santa Maria in Pullicciano, built in the place where the castle was located.
Leaving Pulicciano behind, our itinerary continues uphill and crosses the towns of Ronta, Madonna dei Tre Fiumi and Razzuolo. In the picturesque hamlet of the Madonna dei Tre Fiumi, we find the centuries-old Margheri mill, dating back to the year 845 AD. It works without electricity by using the water of the Razzuolo stream.
Having overcome the Passo della Colla at a height of 913 m asl, the road descends towards the villages of Casaglia and Crespino del Lamone, finally arriving at the last Tuscan town of this route, Marradi, a quiet town crossed by the Lamone river that flows right into Ravenna.
Above all, Marradi is famous for being the birthplace of the poet Dino Campana (1885-1932) and for their delicious Marrone chestnuts. In the historic centre, we find Palazzo Torriani, now a period residence with works by Galileo Chini and Silvestro Lega. We can also see the 18th-century Teatro degli Animosi, and Piazza Le Scalell which are overlooked by the Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Fabroni and the Church of the Suffragio. Entering the Church of San Lorenzo, you can admire the contemporary works by the Master of Marradi, close in style to Domenico Ghirlandaio.
See the route of the third stage on Google Maps.
The third stage in 360° on Google Street View: