The Londa path between nature and history

23 November 2023 | Itineraries and trails, Things to do

In mid-autumn, the forest is transformed into a palette of vibrant colours: the leaves’ yellow, orange and red blend into a symphony of infinite hues. It’s an eye-catching view that gives enthusiasts and hikers the feeling of being part of an actual impressionist painting.

To immerse yourself in the colours of the foliage, we suggest a 12 km circuit, with a 300 m difference in altitude, starting from Londa and touching the surrounding hamlets of Caiano, Fornace, Rincine and Petroio.

Path no. 7 linking Londa to its hamlets

Long forgotten, this path has recently been rediscovered by the CAI, which has named it “Sentiero per Londa” (Path to Londa).

The path, an ancient link between the town and its hamlets, offers a fresco of local history. The old parish churches, the characteristic farmhouses, the historic mills, the Etruscan rock carvings, the ancient tabernacles, the vineyards and olive groves, the chestnut, oak and beech woods and the rushing streams form a complex mosaic that tells of the different eras that have lived in this territory. Each element is a small trace of the past, but together, they bear witness to the deep bond between the communities that have succeeded one another and the territory that has welcomed them.

The itinerary begins at the Visitor Centre of the Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park on the shores of Lake Londa. Following the signs, take the old Londa road up to Caiano, where you will soon visit the Antico Mulino del Gorazzaio.

Along the provincial road to Caiano, you find Villa Belvedere, which preserves some medieval elements and was owned by the Passerini family.

Continue along the asphalt road for about a hundred metres and, near a hairpin bend on the right, take the path on the left, passing the old Cerreta farmhouse, until you reach Caiano with its 12th-century Romanesque church of Santa Maria. Here, at an altitude of 456 metres, you can admire the great forests in all their autumnal splendour.

Continuing along the old road, which runs parallel to the asphalt road, you cross the provincial road and an old Renaissance bridge near the ruins of the Fornace mill.

Passing through Fornace, you come to the 18th-century Villa Gori, the birthplace of Jacopo Ricci, a priest and agronomist who lived in the first half of the 19th century and was an honorary member of the Georgofili Academy. The itinerary also includes the Rocca dei Conti Guidi and the 12th-century church of San Lorenzo.

Shortly afterward, you reach Rincine, where, at the entrance to the village, you find the 13th-century parish church of S. Elena, an example of Romanesque architecture.

Leaving the church, follow the road until you reach the crossroads of the Rincine ditch with the mill of the same name. Continue along the road for about a hundred metres until you see the signs for path no. 7 on the right.

After some ups and downs, you reach the hamlet of Petroio with the 12th-century church of Santo Stefano and, a little further on, the Etruscan rock engravings in the hamlet of La Lastra.

Continue downhill following the CAI signs, pass under the bridge on the road to Caiano and return to the Londa Lake Visitor Centre to complete the itinerary.