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Information of Casentino

The Casentino valley:

The Casentino valley is crossed by river Arno in the Arezzo province and extends over from Mount Falterona to Pratomagno. The landscape is characterized by large forests, almost pristine, close to the above mentioned mountains, as well as hills and valleys. The valley is divided into 13 municipalities: Bibbiena, Capolona, Focognano, Castel San Niccolò, Chitignano, Chiusi della Verna, Montemignaio, Ortignano Raggiolo, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Stia, Subbiano and Talla. They are called the Casentino Mountain Community . The climate is typically Apennine in the upper Casentino, and is more temperate and continental in the area below, called low Casentino.

The Etruscan settlement area has been very important during the Middle Ages due to the expansion of Florence. The Casentino valley is a Medieval land and from eleventhth to mid-fifteenth century expressed its political, architectural, artistic and economic heyday.

Land of religious tourism, it is also well known for the National Park of Casentino Forests, a large protected area of woods and forests, with many wildlife species. It is home to the sanctuary of La Verna and the monastery of Camaldoli.

The Apennines form the main mountain range of the park. One of the most beautiful paths to climb is definitely the one starting from the small and characteristic village of Castagno d'Andrea. In the southern slopes of Mount Falterona, at an altitude of 1358 m, there is a spring called Capo d'Arno, which is considered the source of the most important stream in Tuscany.

The history

The archeological findings in the Casentino valley go back to the Etruscan and Roman periods. At the fall of the Roman Empire, the valley was dominated by the Goths and Lombards, and for a brief period by the Byzantines. These conquests led to an enormous strengthening of the power of the Church: the numerous religious buildings are a proof of it. During the Lombard domination, a fortification to control the territories has been set and that has been closely tied to the fortunes and fate of the great ruling families. The most powerful were the Guidis, lords of Poppi, Romena, Porciano, Urbech, Castel San Niccolò, Borgo alla Collina, Fronzola, Raggiolo. Precisely in this area the battle of Campaldino (June 11, 1289) - described in Dante's Hell canto XXII - was fighted.

Dante Alighieri himself took part in it, and the battle resulted in the victory of the Guelphs on the Ghibellines. From the mid-fifteenth century, the Casentino was united to the Florentine Republic, and later passed to the Medici and then to the Habsburg-Lorraine in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Famous people of this land are: Paolo Uccello, the inventor of musical notes Guido Monaco, Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi Bibbiena, secretary of Pope Leo X, and Bernardo Tanucci from Stia, important figure in the political life of the king of Naples.


Farm holiday in typical locations of Casentino