Hiking and itineraries in Mugello: between Scarperia and Castel del Rio
If you have stopped by the Mugello racing circuit, for hiking lovers, almost an institution here, a fantastic excursion into the Val d’Inferno (‘Valley of Hell’) will take you into an evocative 3 km gorge, almost a canyon, that accompanies the flow of the Veccione river. If you love walking, reach the Dante-esque Acquacheta waterfalls. If you are fascinated by the ancient villages and abandoned settlements, near Firenzuola you will have the opportunity to visit several: Brentosanico, Pratolecchio, Castiglioncello, now ‘re-colonised’ by vegetation.
Of course, from Lugo, there are areas closer by for walking amidst the nature, but these valleys are well worth the 90 km journey needed to reach them!
Beyond Giogo di Scarperia, we reach what has long defined itself as Mugello’s capital: Scarperia (90 km from Lugo). Proof of the ancient origins here can be seen in the Palazzo dei Vicari, with the characteristic facade covered by the countless arms of the Republic vicars. The works of art inside the Church della Propositura dei Ss. Jacopo e Filippo, near the palace, are also well worth seeing. The festival of Diotto (di otto = of eight) takes place in Scarperia, with a scene-setting sixteenth century parade and the Show of knives and wrought iron. Nearby, you can also visit the most important monument of Mugello, the parish of Sant’Agata (11th-12th century): the baptismal font is quite something.
As we head back towards the plains, having passed Passo della Faggiola, we reach Castel del Rio (45 km from Lugo): the Mediaeval village is worth much more than a quick trip, with the beautiful Palazzo Alidosi (15th century) and the unique Alidosi bridge (15th century) in whose shade the waters of Santerno offer cool relief during the summer months to locals and tourists alike. Here too, Mediaeval festivals and celebrations of typical products (particularly the chestnut) are beautiful and popular.