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From the Poppi Castle to the gold-tinged forests

Autumn in the Casentino: a weekend admist villages and forests

Autumn in the Casentino is truly magical. The ancestral forests are tinted with a thousand shades of yellow, red, orange and gold and the villages are filled with the aromas of wood burning in the fireplaces and chestnuts roasting on the fire. Nature readies itself for winter, flaunting its most beautiful colours, and in the towns, you can breathe in the crisp air that speaks of snow to come.

It’s a wonderful moment to go hiking in the forest, to look for mushrooms, to visit towns that seem to be frozen in time. Here’s an itinerary for two days surrounded by castles, hermitages and untouched forests, experiencing this wild corner of Tuscany during its most beautiful season.

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First Day

From Poppi Castle to the Camaldoli Hermitage

The weekend begins in the village of Poppi, home to the imposing castle that once belonged to the Guidi Counts, one of the most important examples of medieval architecture in Tuscany, still perfectly conserved. You can’t miss a visit to the former home, where you can admire the Banquet Hall and its rich decorations, the prisons and the Rilliana Library, which conserves 25,000 volumes and 800 manuscripts, 150 of which date to the Middle Ages.

After a walk through the historic centre, perhaps you can shop for the traditional Casentino “panno,” a famous, local wool cloth, followed by lunch to taste some of the territory’s classic dishes, like potato tortelli served with butter and sage.

In the afternoon, head to the Camaldoli Monastery and Hermitage, in the heart of the Foreste Casentinesi National Park: the community of Benedictine monks was founded 1,000 years ago by St. Romuald and is today an oasis of peace and tranquillity immersed in the forest, where you can admire incredible artworks, like the seven panel paintings by Giorgio Vasari.

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Second day

In the Foreste Casentinesi National Park

The second day is dedicated to exploring the wonderful forests that characterize the Casentino, the most colourful in Italy. Here, you can admire a unique fall foliage, when the leaves are tinted a thousand different shades, from canary yellow to reddish-purple, intense green to orange.

Make sure not to miss the Acquacheta waterfalls, with a drop more than 70 metres down, which were even described by Dante in Inferno, as well as the Sassofratino Nature Reserve, home to ancient beech trees.

Offering one of the most majestic views in the area is Monte Penna: from up here, you can enjoy a unique view of the Lama forests and a large portion of the valleys descending towards Emilia-Romagna, with splendid forests boasting their own autumn colours.

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