ITINERARIES AND EXCURSIONS

From Casale Camalda several old and historical paths lead to the Monastery of Camaldoli and are connected to the whole path- network of the Foreste Casentinesi National Park (more than 800 km of signed paths).

Three paths,(link) all smooth, are extremely interesting from a natural and historical point of view, and because of the landscape you can enjoy walking.
Advice and assistance for other interesting excursions to the wildest and secluded spots of the National Park are offered by the owner of Casale Camalda, Ennio Dallari, Guide of the Park.

THE CAMALDA PATH: (link) Rural life in the Apennines and the return of Nature. Self-guided path with 10 resting places.

AGRITURISMO CASALE CAMALDA

AGRITURISMO CASALE CAMALDA

Casale Camalda is near

Thematic Visitor's Centres of the National Park (11 altogether). The nearest are at Badia Prataglia (8 km), Serravalle (4 km) and Camaldoli (6,5 km).
Stream with falls and bathing pools 15 minute walking.
The Hermitage and Monastery of Camaldoli (founded in XI cent.) with the ancient chemistry (6,5 km).
The Franciscan Sanctuary and Convent of "La Verna" (XIII-XVI cent.) (28 km).
Medieval castles in Poppi, Romena, Porciano, San Niccolò, Gressa, Montemignaio.
Romanic churches in Romena, Strada, Socana, Stia, Montemignaio.
Sanctuaries of the Reinassance of Santa Maria del Sasso (12 km) and Santa Maria delle Grazie (22 km).
Abbey and Forest of Vallombrosa ( where J. Milton wrote his "Paradise Lost" (35 km).
Very interesting historical villages: Poppi, Strada, San Niccolò, Sarna, Stia, Pratovecchio, Quota, Raggiolo and many others.
Nearby artistic town: Florence, Arezzo, San Sepolcro, Cortona, Siena, Ravenna, Urbino, Perugia, Assisi.

HIKING CENTRE

Three itineraries suitable for all to reach Camaldoli Monastery on foot and how to reach the footpaths in the C. F. National Park

ITINERARY A (Yellow)

Uphill: 224 m
Downhill: 86 m
Distance and time: 5.85 km – 2h 30m
From Casale Camalda (678 m), take the track leading to the left at the vegetable plot gate. The track follows a path (CAI n° 68/a) marked with red and white markings you’ll see on trees and stones and it is also the initial section of the Camalda Path. The first section is easy walking, almost on the flat; after passing meadows, fruit trees and reforestation with Austrian pines, you enter a wonderful wood of hardwood trees, mainly bitteroaks with some maples (opalo, field maples and alders), black hornbeams, chestnut trees, Douglas firs and other species. Turn down to the left at the first fork and continue following the red and white signs marking the path. After you have forded the Barberinestream, the path starts to climb amidst brambles and wild strawberries with woods of silver firs on the left. When you arrive at the ruins of the old farm called “I Prati” (703 m) it is possible to take a small sidetrack to the left of the house (downhill) in order to reach a large clearing where you may be lucky enough to see wild animals grazing if you approach in silence (deer, roe deer, fallow deer and wild boar) especially in the early hours of the morning and at dusk. abete
cervo After passing the “I Prati” ruins, the path climbs up to the Frèggina pass (745 m) and then starts to descend between fenced fields on the left and reforestations of Scots pines and Austrian pines on the right. After about 300 m you should take the path that takes a sharp right turn (CAI n° 68); if you carry straight on, you will arrive at Frègginavillage. The path is now marked more often with CAI markings and you soon go past some panoramic viewpoints across the Barberine valley, Casale Camalda’s land and woods and Serravalle village.
After the Fonte del Gallo spring (775 m), you climb up to Maestà di Cerreta (902 m), a picnic spot with tables and benches. Make sure you don’t take the tarmac road that starts there but turn right onto the wide path: you’ll find this is also marked with wooden signs for “Prato al Tiglio” and “Camaldoli” (the latter is often removed and therefore missing). After a couple of hundred metres you will arrive at the old Summer Holiday Camp at Cerreta (877 m), which is no longer used and is fenced off. Continue for about 50 metres and take a small path uphill to the left that indicates the way for “Camaldoli” with a wooden sign. There are other similar signs to guide you to the last path downhill (keep to the right at the next fork in the path) and this will take you to the Monastery, through lovely woods with beech, chestnut and other species of trees. The experts among you may notice clear signs of the old charcoal pits that can still occasionally be seen. chiostro_camaldoli

ITINERARY B (Orange)
Uphill: 224 m
Downhill: 86 m
Distance and time: 4.125 km – 1.30 h.

upupa From Casale Camalda (678 m) take the cart track that starts out behind the small house near the main farm building (used once to dry chestnuts). Continue uphill on the path, past the orchard until you reach a fork in the path where a wooden sign for “Cerreta-Camaldoli” tells you to turn right. The path continues uphill, past bushes and shrubs of gorse, dog roses and juniper.
Continue to follow signs similar to the first one until you arrive at a ridge with a wonderful view that takes in the Pratomagno Massif and Catenaia Alp. Continue on through copses of bitteroaks and downy oaks, woods of Austrian pine and formations of Douglas firs until you enter a wood of tall bitteroaks, with the occasional chestnut, silver fir, Douglas fir and other hardwood trees. Make sure you keep to the right and go uphill at the last fork and the path will take you straight to the Cerreta seedling nursery (858m).
The path now becomes a forestry road and as you walk along it you will go past majestic examples of Douglas fir and crabwood cedars, as far as Maestà di Cerreta (902 m), a picnic spot with tables and benches. The path now takes the same route as our itinerary A (yellow). Make sure you don’t take the tarmac road that starts there but turn right onto the wide path: you’ll find this is also marked with wooden signs for “Prato al Tiglio” and “Camaldoli” (the latter is often removed and therefore missing). After a couple of hundred metres you will arrive at the old Summer Holiday Camp at Cerreta (877 m), which is no longer used and is fenced off. Continue for about 50 metres and take a small path uphill to the left that indicates the way for “Camaldoli” with a wooden sign.
There are other similar signs to guide you to the last path downhill (keep to the right at the next fork in the path) and this will take you to the Monastery, through lovely woods with beech, chestnut and other species of trees. The experts among you may notice clear signs that can still occasionally be seen of the old charcoal pits Follow the many wooden signs for “Camaldoli” on the last stretch near the campsite fence and you pass through a superb centuries-old wood of chestnut trees shortly after this, finally reaching Camaldoli Monastery (816 m).
 faggiofoto

ITINERARY C (Green)

Uphill: 138 m
Total length: 3.150 km
Time: 1.15 h

From Casale Camalda (678 m) follow the main gravel road downhill for 300 metres until you arrive at Case Castagnoli; here you take the path (CAI n°68/a) that goes past these country houses on the left. When you arrive at a spring, the path turns right and starts to climb; after passing a small country cottage and a bend to the left, it levels off and passes through bitteroaks, downy oaks and brambles, gorse and dog roses, going gently up and downhill.The scenery changes after you take a sharp left: a wood of large, centuries old chestnut trees starts here, once cared for by the monks of Camaldoli. Continue west, along the flat path amidst these large chestnut trees until you arrive at the gravel road at Prato al Tiglio (724m). Take this road uphill to the left for about 350 metres, and then continue gently downhill.
You will come across a sports ground and then a ford that has become a little trickier because of a landslide, and then, after about 1.5 km, you will find yourself directly below the enormous Camaldoli Monastery (816m). The visit to the Monastery is very interesting and takes in the church, two cloisters, the guest lodge, the bookshop (that sells on a fair-trading basis) and the old pharmacy. Should you wish to continue up to the Hermitage (1111 m) simply follow the well-marked path and calculate about 45 minutes –one hour.
Follow our itinerary A or B for the return route, starting out just past the car park, almost in front of the hotel-restaurant: after you have passed the bridge on the main road, immediately turn left onto the little road closed by a bar.

THE CAMALDA PATH

The itinerary starts and finishes at Casale Camalda and goes mainly across the land that was once enclosed by the boundaries of this old and historic farm. It follows an underlying theme recalling how this land looked until the very recent past, the transformations of the landscape that took place after it was abandoned and the reestablishment of a small, organic farm, almost “on tiptoes”, inside the context of a National Park.

Various aspects are also taken into consideration concerning the flora and the fauna of the area, now part of a large protected zone encircling the crest of the Apennines Mountains on both sides from the Sacro Monte de La Verna as far as Mount Falterona .

Botanical nametags are provided along the first part of the path, indicating both the common and scientific names of the main species of trees and shrubs encountered.

The path and the 10 observation points are also described in our book “Casale Camalda – Un antico podere della montagna casentinese tra passato e presente”, (link) which is available for the visitors and the guests of the farm.