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Abetone

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Inhabitants in 1991: 758

The municipal territory extends for 31,26 square kilometres on the two slopes of the Abetone Pass in the Tosco-Emiliano Appennino mountains. Originally made up part of the community of Cutigliano and part of that of Fiumalbo (Modena), it is an autonomous municipality since 1936.

The capital was born following the construction of the road connecting Toscana to the Estense territory, as a post and commercial station (1766-1779); the occasion is today recalled by the two stone pyramids placed there in honour of Francesco III of Modena and Pietro Leopoldo I of Toscana. But the road did not help to reach the desired commercial increase and after the Unification of Italy it dwindled even as a transit route. It was therefore only in the last forty years that the municipality, thanks to tourism, has progressively developed.

Abetone is a well-known mountain resort in the Pistoia Appennines situated 1388m above sea level. It takes its name from a massive fir (abete) tree that was cut down when the Lorraine and the Este ordered the building of the Trans-Appennine road linking the Duchies of Modena and Tuscany. For a long time it has been popular as a retreat from the heat in summer and for skiing in the winter. The 3700 hectares of the Abetone forest extend from 1100m to 1800m; criss-crossed by roads and paths, it has the typical flora of the Appennine mountains - maple, beech, larch, and Scotch fir.
At 1315m there is also the Orto botanico forestale, a forest botanical garden, which forms part of the Eco-Museum of the Pistoia mountains. Close to Abetone, if you descend three kilometres on the Emilian side of the mountain and then climb the Val di Luce, there is the chair-lift which takes you to the Alpe Tre Potenze at 1940m, which marked the boundary between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Modena, and the Duchy of Lucca.

Places to visit:
The State forest of Abetone, made up of formations of long trunked trees, prevalently centuries old beech and silver fir. It extends for 3,700 hectares and of 950-1930 m altitude, and is a landscape of great impact.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford
Picture by Sandro Santioli


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