Distance: 23.4 km
Ascent: 899 m
Descent: 896 m
The sixteenth section of the Romea Strata takes you into the heart of the Pistoiese mountains, with the Apennine woods and watercourses keeping you company. Every so often, the route offers the chance to discover one of the little mountain villages that make up the municipal area of San Marcello Piteglio. The first you come to are Pratale and Lizzano Pistoiese, and then San Marcello Pistoiese, where you should pause to have a look at the church of Santa Caterina, which stands along the route.
Leaving San Marcello Pistoiese behind you, you head on for a few kilometres on an asphalt road, and then find yourself walking along an old railway that once went to Gavinana, but which now serves as a cycle route. Once at Gavinana, you should allow yourself a wander around the town centre, especially for the sake of the church of Santa Maria Assunta. It is also worth visiting Palazzo Achilli, an historic building that is now the information centre for the Ecomuseo della Montagna Pistoiese network, and which also puts on temporary exhibitions. Other villages on the route include Maresca, where you find (a little off the beaten track) the Papini Foundry, which, dating back to 1400, is oldest foundry in Tuscany, and also a constituent of the Ecomuseo.
Towards the end of the section, you meet the village of Campo Tizzoro and, along the banks of the Maresca stream, the little town of Pontepetri. Follow the path of the Ghiacciaia (ice house) along the river Reno, and you will arrive at the Antica Locanda Le Panche, which marks the end of the section.