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Walking and Biking



To the Abbazia di Vallombrosa from the Consuma

Skiing round the Apennine hermitages

Interesting route running through the centuries-old forest of Vallombrosa in the Natural Reserve of the same name. It is an easy route which sticks to forest roads, but as there are lots of these, there could be orientation problems.

When you arrive at Consuma, those coming from Florence will see the red and white signs of the CAI no. 00 path on the right of the state road. Following these signs in the car, take a narrow asphalt road that climbs until it reaches some small villas. After passing them, the road turns into a track. Leave the car here, put on your skis and set out, following the red and white signals. The route takes you into the wood and you immediately come to a crossroads with a tabernacle. Go right along the unpaved track that goes into the thick fir wood that cloaks the ridge. Carry on along here for about 2 km (there is no possibility of going wrong) until you reach the Croce di Ribona, where you leave the ridge track and go right along an unpaved track closed off by a bar. This immediately begins to descend (ignore a road to the right) and soon brings you to a junction near a metal shack. If you carry straight on, you descend immediately to the Consuma–Vallombrosa road, which has been closed by a landslide for the last few years and so is not maintained (the left branch take you across one of the most beautiful corners of the Forest of Vallombrosa to the abbey). If, on the other hand, you go left, passing in front of the shack, the route does a wide loop in the wood, running along a gentle, slightly rising path that gradually draws closer to the Fosso del Bifolco. After doing a wide semi-circle to the right around the head of the stream, you come to a junction. Here, going left, you rise quickly to the Vallombrosa–Secchieta paved road (maintained in winter). Taking the road to the right you go downhill, keeping above the stream until you come to another junction. From here all routes lead to to the Consuma–Vallombrosa road (not maintained in winter and excellent for cross-country skiing), but the one going off to the left is the most interesting; this takes in Metato and the Capanna Massa al Monte, finally joining the main road. The abbey of Vallombrosa is along here to the left. You can either return the way you came or along the Consuma–Vallombrosa road.

Distance 20 km (round trip)
Difference in height 250 m
Time 5.30 hours
Level of difficulty   Easy
Map Multigraphic 1:25.000 "Massiccio del Pratomagno"
Suggested period January/February
Rest point/accommodation Abbey guest house, tel. 055/862074
Getting there The Consuma can be reached from Florence and Arezzo along SS. no. 70 which links the two provincial capitals.



Text and picture: Cinzia Pezzani & Sergio Grillo
Translation: Jeremy Carden

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