Casentino is “the Valley of the Soul” … nature and clean air make this valley a happy oasis.
The green valley, surrounded by unspoiled nature, is very close to art cities (Florence, Arezzo, Siena) and is home to the National Park of the Casentino Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna, made up of the centuries-old forests of fir, beech, and chestnut trees and recognized as a UNESCO heritage site.
The Arno river originates in Monte Falterona. It runs through this valley and is closely linked to the historical events that took place over the centuries.
There are very significant religious buildings: the Eremo [Hermitage] and the Monastery of Camaldoli, the Sanctuary of La Verna, and the ancient Romanesque churches … where “Le Novelle della Nonna”, by author Emma Perodi, fanciful, mythical stories of magicians, witches, elves, devils, and saints are set.
The Casentino is a “Middle Ages Island“; every sunny hill was the site of a castle owned by a local feudal lord in ancient times.
This is where Dante spent a part of his exile as a guest of the various local Counts. From the Castles of Romena, Porciano and Poppi, the Supreme Poet wrote many Letters, also on behalf of the Guidi Counts. Inspired, he also wrote the rhymes of some of the most famous “Divine Comedy” sonnets.
Indeed, it can be said that Dante lived his “hell”, his “purgatory” and his “paradise” in Casentino.
The Municipalities involved are Montemignaio, Castel San Niccolò, Pratovecchio Stia, Poppi, Chiusi della Verna, Bibbiena, Chitignano, Subbiano, Talla, Castel Focognano and Ortignano-Raggiolo.