Thursday, September 8, 2022
Consuma to Stia, projected 16.6 km, 10.3 miles, (actual 12.1 miles)
Almost exclusively on paths and gravel roads we walked in “green Tuscany” and saw the first hints of breathtaking mountain views. Our final destination of Stia stands on the headwaters of the Arno amid forests of oak, birch and pine.
After an 8:30 breakfast we finally hit the road by 9:45. We stopped often to observe and hear about local fauna and wildlife. Giovanni pointed out berries and trees, thistles that were used by carders to groom wool and even some wild boar scratching trees where bark has been rubbed bare and boar hair left behind!
Today’s walk was still very difficult with many steady and long uphills, yet there were enough flat tracks interspersed and even a couple of miles of (albeit steep) downhills to make for an enjoyable day in the forest and countryside. Shade, cloud cover, nice breezes, low 80° temperatures, and for most of the day a very comfortable pace added to the incredible and awe inspiring views surrounding us!
We stopped at 2:00 for lunch and were able to enter a very small and beautiful church.
We pressed onwards and upwards to:
Romena Castle. “The imposing ruins of the fortress in Pratovecchio dominate the entire valley. Three towers in the middle of nature dominate the entire Casentino valley at a height of 621 metres: this is the Romena Castle in Pratovecchio, one of the most famous in Tuscany thanks to its long history.
Dating to the early 11th century, the fortress was founded by the Guidi Counts, who made it one of the most important in the territory.Though little more than imposing ruins remain today, the castle is considered one of the most evocative monuments in the Casentino because of both its position and the harmonious architecture that blends with the surrounding nature, standing tall above the valley below. Of what remains, you can admire the drawbridge, the prisoners’ tower and the patrol walkways. The complex is as a fascinating as it is harmonious, located in a place that was beloved even by the supreme poet Dante Alighieri, who immortalized it in his Divine Comedy.”(visittuscany.com)
From the castle we were only three kilometers from our final destination, Hotel Falterona. From their website, “Housed in a 15th century building, our delightful hotel has been carefully renovated and keeps the ancient vibe of a classic Tuscan palace. Albergo Falterona overlooks the famous Piazza Tanucci in Stia, on the hills above Arezzo, in the Casentino Valley.”
We had a Delicious dinner of tagliatelle with duck, turkey medallions and roasted potatoes also apple pie!