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A journey through villages and landscapes in the Pistoia mountains

In the footsteps of Francesco Ferrucci

first stop
From Calamecca to Prunetta
- Credit: Filippo Brancoli

Begin in Calamecca, a small medieval village built and developed around an 11th-century castle. In the town’s narrow streets, you can see centuries-old houses and, every once in a while, splendid views of the valley below, while looking up, you’ll catch sight of the Church of San Miniato, a Romanesque structure on show for all to marvel at. The panorama from its piazza is a must-see.

The walk begins from the small piazza at the entrance to the town, along a path that winds past the houses on its way to via della Rosa. Continue until you reach the provincial road around the crossroads for Maceglia, taking a path adjacent to a small sanctuary. Now head into the forest, crossing over a few streams, after which you’ll arrive in Prunetta.

second stop
From Prunetta to Migliorini
- Credit: Filippo Brancoli

The small village, a hamlet of San Marcello, sits at a little less than 1,000 metres above sea level and boasts an array of stone houses. Originally, the village was founded to host a medieval hospice for pilgrims, which was later destroyed during the suppression of the Knights Templar.

Past the Poste, follow the signs for the Reno springs (sorgenti del Reno) along an unpaved road. The route will overlap with the MTP, the Montagna Pistoiese Trekking. Once you’ve reached the springs, continue until you see a clearing, after which you’ll head in the direction of Prataccio.

Keeping Rio Buio to your right, begin the descent toward State Road 633. Continue to Prataccio and follow the directions for Aiale. From here, you’ll once again come across the MPT and soon arrive in Migliorini, another small medieval village that has been transformed into a tourist resort.

third stop
From Migliorini to Gavinana
- Credit: Filippo Brancoli

Cross through the village of Migliorini and then head back up toward Rio Pagano, after which you’ll come to another descent in the direction of Val di Noce. From here, you’ll quickly arrive at San Marcello Pistoiese. Since the 1800s, San Marcello Pistoiese has been considered a tourist destination thanks to the mountains and forests surrounding the village, ideal for long walks.

From San Marcello, capital of the namesake municipality, continue for about a kilometre on State Road 66, after which you’ll head in the direction of Gavinana, taking a white road that branches off the state road: this is the old route of the Ferrovia Alto Pistoiese, a mountain train line that closed in 1965.

You’ll first come across the old Limestre station, then slowly climb the namesake valley. After crossing the Gonfienti stream, you’ll see the old Gavinana station, from where you can arrive in the city centre. The cornerstone of the historic centre is naturally piazza Francesco Ferrucci, dominated by the equestrian statue of the Florentine condottiero.

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