ON FOOT AND BY TRAIN
From the station in San Piero a Sieve to the Ubaldini Castles: Montaccianico, Galliano, Castro San Martino
San Piero a Sieve is one of the stops along the busy Via degli Dei. Once on the trail we move towards Gabbiano on CAI trail number 46, a road that is unpaved in places, and reach the medieval town of Sant’Agata.
North of Sant’Agata lay the main fortress of the Ubaldini family, Montaccianico Castle.
On foot or by bus from Sant’Agata, or from the train station in San Piero a Sieve and then by bus, we reach Scarperia.
From Sant’Agata, indeed, we can reach Galliano on foot in about an hour, or we can again take the Via degli Dei trail up towards the Passo dell’Osteria Bruciata, and continue then our descent along Via Romea Bolognese until we reach Cornacchiaia.
Continuing from Cornacchia along Via Romea, we reach Firenzuola, which, like Scarperia, was a “terra nuova” to gain control over the road to Bologna.
From the San Piero a Sieve station towards the site of the battle of Pulicciano and the domains of Maghinardo Pagani
Once we leave the station in San Piero a Sieve, the Faentina railway crosses the Sieve River and enters the heart of Mugello: Borgo San Lorenzo.
At Borgo San Lorenzo the train stretches into an open countryside among fields of wheat, soya or sunflowers. The landscape is more and more breathtaking: we find age-old vineyards and olive groves, ageless churches, ancient farmhouses, and geometric gardens that accompany the traveller to the station in Ronta, the last town in the valley before reaching the Apennines and enchanting holiday locations.
From the station in Ronta we reach Pulicciano on foot. The town is set in a beautiful location on a hill; it was the site of the battle of 1303.
From Ronta the railway then faces the most scenic and picturesque stretch through the Apennines, exiting the last tunnel in Crespino sul Lamone.
From here you reach Biforco and Marradi, where the Rocca di Castiglionchio is, which belonged to Maghinardo Pagani; the train then continues towards Brisighella, Faenza and Ravenna.
In Marradi, the train crosses the path on foot; towards Ravenna you reach Gamberaldi, which in the Middle Ages was one of the castles of Maghinardo Pagani.
From Gamberaldi with the path 619 you reach Palazzuolo sul Senio.
From MARRADI the route towards Florence leads to Badia di Santa Reparata (BADIA DEL BORGO), which was a Benedictine abbey in 1025.
Continuing along the route, we reach the ancient EREMO DI GAMOGNA, on Alpe di San Benedetto. This hermitage was founded by San Pier Damiani in 1053 and it was used for spiritual rites by the monks of the BADIA DELLA VALLE, that stands just below it and can be reached by taking trail 521/A and a dirt road.
Continuing from GAMOGNA along the route we reach SAN BENEDETTO IN ALPE. At just a short distance we find the Cascata dell’Acquacheta;
You can reach the fall from the town by travelling along trail 407 along the Acquacheta stream until it reaches the Lavane.
From Acquacheta, the route leads to San Godenzo, where on June 8, 1302 Dante was among those who signed the agreement between the noble families who were exiled from Florence and the Ubaldini.
From San Godenzo the route leads to the Archaeological site in Frascole and then to Dicomano, and from here to Montebonello, Rufina and Pontassieve.
Alternatively, from the Borgo San Lorenzo station you can continue by train to Florence with the line that runs along the Sieve river, touching the stations of Vicchio, -near Vespignano, Giotto’s birthplace-, and then Dicomano, with the nearby Etruscan archaeological site of Frascole.
From Dicomano, following the route on foot, you can reach San Godenzo.