The history and mysticism of the Casentino valley
The tour starts from Arezzo and lasts about 8 hours.
We are the heart of the National Park of the Casentinese Forests where you can find two of the most well-known Italian Christian spiritual centres: the Camaldoli Retreat and the Verna Sanctuary. They both have a peaceful and mystic atmosphere that has always attracted thousands of pilgrims and visitors a year.
In Camaldoli the monk San Romualdo inaugurated the Benedictine order, founding not only the Retreat but also the Monastery where the monks used to prepare medicines with plants and spices. On the Verna mountain San Francesco d’Assisi found the perfect place to bring his life in communion with nature and here he received the Sacred Stigmata. The sanctuary is a special place not only because of the extraordinary collection of Della Robbia terracottas, but also due to its location surrounded by ancient forests.
Still in the green, narrow valley along the Arno river you will be embraced by history walking into the majestic Counts Guidi Castle in Poppi. Here is where the father of the Italian language, Dante Alighieri, lived when he took part in the crucial Campaldino Battle that ended the war between Guelfi (Pope supporters) and Ghibellini (Emperor supporters). Then we will follow the steps of the author of the famous “Divine Comedy”, who also lived in Romena Castle with the lovely “pieve” nearby.
A perfect journey marked with natural beauty, history and spirituality could not leave out “the taste” of the region and of course we don’t want you to miss its delicious typical dishes, still prepared according to ancient recipes.
Other options to combine with an half-day tour in Casentino: Arezzo – Valtiberina (cf. Gourmet Tours)