Protected areas, Natura 2000 network and Forests


Bascio (624 m)
Eremo Madonna del Faggio (1266 m)
GRADIENT: + 800 m (without the detour to the Sassi) / - 150 m
HIKING TIME: 6,30 hours; 7,30 hours if you hike by Carpegna; consider another 2 hours for the detour to see the Sassi Simone and Simoncello

View of the gullies overlooking the Sasso Simone from the Tuscan side (author B. Maioli)This is a powerfully fascinating environment, from the sea of clay outcrops to the ancient forest of oaks and stretches of open meadows. The Sassi Simone e Simoncello and Mount Carpegna dominate􀀀he view.
This stage features a quiet start, along the dirt road that leads to Miratoio, through open spaces alternating with large patches of Turkey oak. The two Sassi (Simone and Simoncello) that we are approaching, are the hub of the environment and the landscape.
They are preceded by a vast expanse of clayey soil, dotted with pastures or tormented by eroded gullies. Now the ancient forest of oaks (mainly Turkey oaks) begins at the foot of the rocky outcrops. After the oaks are the beeches, where the clay gives way to limestone debris encircling the cliffs.
Should one have the time and inclination, one can make the wonderful detour on the loop that goes around the Sasso di Simone, possibly also reaching the stretch of level ground on its summit, that was originally home to the Benedictine abbey, then the “sun city” envisioned by the Medicis, whose construction was started after the mid-sixteenth century, then stopped (for complex political reasons but mainly climatic), and never completed.
A few ruins among meadows and ash trees still testify the utopian Renaissance dream of Cosimo de’ Medici. Back on the main trail, one goes along it to Cantoniera Pass, where one can stop if tired. Otherwise, one can go directly down to the village of Carpegna, or even go up directly to the mountain of the same name above.
Our journey ends anyway on the summit of Mount Carpegna, where the Hermitage of the Madonna del Faggio is the destination that ideally combines within a wealth of history, nature and spirituality.

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published on 2018/11/19 13:16:00 GMT+2 last modified 2020-03-05T18:10:16+02:00

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