Fun for all
Follow the numbers on the map to recreate this itinerary and find our suggestions for activities, cultural points of interest, gastronomy, and accommodations below. The red route is the main itinerary but you can stop along the blue route detours to further discover the area.
2. Lake Bilancino
7. San Piero a Sieve
8. Ischieti - San Giusto a Fortuna - Cafaggiolo
9. Latera - Lake - Cavallina
A. Bosco ai Frati - Lucigliano
B. Lumena - Gabbiano
Exiting the A1 highway, you’ll find yourself in a typical commercial area, confused but coherent, that takes us towards Borgo San Lorenzo, going through Barberino di Mugello, where you can visit Palazzo Pretorio and the castles and villas that dot the northern shore of Lake Bilancino. Created in 1999, it is the largest artificial basin in Tuscany, today a green oasis and a secret paradise for sailors and kayakers. A stop just to admire the view is highly recommended.
After the Yacht Club, set on the slopes of the dam, turn left towards Galliano, entering the wooded part of Monte Beccai. Immediately on the right, we suggest making an artistic detour in the direction of the of the Bosco ai Frati Convent, where a wooden naked Christ attributed to Donatello is preserved. Turning left, on the other hand, leads to the Oasi Naturalistica di Gabbianello nature reserve, whose varied ornithological fauna which is fascinating especially in times of the birds’ migration. In the background, Villa Le Maschere, which owes its name to 22 sculpted faces placed along the west facade, one rigorously different from the other. The landscape recalls vintage postcards, among soft rolling hills, rows of cypresses, and well-kept farmhouses. Whether you cross through Galliano, brought to the forefront by a recent Netflix commercial, or continue towards Scarperia, the impression you’ll get is that of a peaceful lifestyle in harmony with nature. The hilly landscape is sweet and the road is gentle, which follows the undulating course of the land and leaves the pleasant sensation of a journey stopped in time in a traditional Tuscan backdrop among ponds, farmhouses, cultivated land, and Medici villas, which follow one another until the entrance of Sant’Agata. Just before is the Bivio di Lumena, near and dear to the hikers of Via degli Dei: an idea for a possible detour.
Turning towards Gabbiano, we are now on the road that the Mugello owes most of its fame for as a pleasant place, both sweet and sour, historic and natural. The view is a memorable one, with the village of Scarperia on the left and the Lucigliano valley on the right, up to reach San Piero a Sieve, with its towers and the Medici Fortress designed by Baldassarre Lanci.
Continuing along the main itinerary, you arrive at Sant’Agata, with its Romanesque church on the left, proceeding in the direction of Scarperia, between 70s villas and restored farmhouses. One of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy,” Scarperia proudly stands going up towards the center through the east entrance between the church dedicated to Saints Jacopo and Filippo, and the fortress which was originally a Medici vicariate. Stopping in the fortified town center for some good food and the Mugello Circuit is suggested.
You leave Scarperia to cross the beating heart of Pianvallico, an industrial area which, surprisingly, hosts contemporary art initiatives, such as the Spazio Brizzolari exhibition, and some high-level artisan businesses. We then arrive at San Piero a Sieve, which from this side appears to be clinging to the hill. Here there are towers, villas, but also contemporary ferment, with cultural events and an interesting Academy. Crossing into Novoli and then continuing right towards Ischieti, an uphill and downhill ride well known to motorcycle enthusiasts. In front of us is the tower of the Trebbio Castle, where Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, one of the last great Italian leaders of the Renaissance spent long periods. Going down Ischieti, you enter the domains of the Villa di Cafaggiolo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is now being recovered thanks to a meticulous project of hospitality and culture that will be finished in a few years. After a beautiful tree-lined avenue, on the left you will pass through a tunnel to enter the panoramic Rivalago, dedicated to the cyclist Gastone Nencini, originally from the village of Bilancino. Churches, farmhouses, and Medici villas dominate above the only equipped beach on the lake, accompanying us to the village of Cavallina, where you can get back on the A1 highway.
Activities & Views
There’s so much to see and do in one visit, but any trip to Mugello should include a few of the following ideas
Via Ilaria Alpi 1, 50037 San Piero a Sieve
Fitness centre with over 650 sq. mt. of internal training rooms and over 10,000 sq. mt. of outdoor areas with a large outdoor pool to keep you cool this summer or to keep up on your fitness.
What better way to see Mugello than rafting down the Sieve river? During the summer months, you can enjoy floating down the crystalline river while admiring the landscape around you.
Cultural Points of Interest
History and culture are deeply rooted in Mugello
Founded by the Ubaldini prior to the 11th century, this convent is one of the oldest in Tuscany. The church and convent, designed by Michelozzo Michelozzi, were rebuilt at the request of Cosimo de' Medici. As with Cafaggiolo and the Trebbio Castle, the structure unites the characteristics of the Renaissance with that of the Medieval.
Via della Pieve 3, 50038 Sant'Agata
The exhibition documents the main archaeological findings from the western part of the Mugello from prehistory to modern times. The exhibition covers the Paleolithic period, the Neolithic, the Metal Age followed by the Etruscan and Roman periods to Middle Ages and modern times.
Palazzo dei Vicari - Piazza dei Vicari 50038 Scarperia
Few objects have accompanied life like the knife. In the case of entire communities such as that of Scaperia, men and women dedicated their lives to the manufacturing of cutting tools. The museum documents the centuries-old activity of Scarperia cutlers.
Accademia de La Felicina
Piazza Colonna 14, 50038 Scarperia e San Piero
Founded in 2014, the Academy has its roots in Positive Thinking. It goes beyond specific themes because its purpose is personal growth through the free sharing of ideas and personal experiences, considered primary sources of growth. It is primarily a physical space in the homonymous hotel, and is open to cultural, economic, social, and life spheres, as well as to any new proposals.
UNESCO World Heritage site, this villa castle was built on the ruins of a feudal tower by Michelozzo Michelozzi and commissioned by Cosimo de' Medici. It stands on a hill that dominates all of the Mugello and where in the past, important communication routes crossed.
A selection of restaurants, trattorias, pizzerias, and much more where you can enjoy a real taste of Tuscan cuisine
Viale della Repubblica 34, 50031 Barberino di Mugello
Traditional Tuscan cuisine like Tortelli Mugellani or Neopolitan pizzas will be sure to have your mouth watering at contained prices. Indoor and outdoor seating available.
Società Agraria Bacciotti
A family business that specializes in raising Sardinian milk sheep according to organic faming methods since 2001. Milk and cheese are produced.
Podere Fortuna exclusively produces wine, and they were the first to plant Pinot Nero in Mugello. They carry out the harvesting and selection of the grapes by hand, and produce about 25,000 bottles per year. They produce IGT wines including 3 reds, 1 white, and 1 rosé.
A selection of some of the best hotels, agritourisms, resorts, and B&Bs along this itinerary
An ancient medieval castle that survived ruin and oblivion, nestled in an unspoiled and exclusive oasis of absolute peace. Here you will be able to rediscover the pleasures of relaxation, well-being, conviviality, and good food in a fascinating and evocative setting of elegance and charm.
Via di Lucigliano 13, 50037 Scarperia e San Piero
The Mugello valley is the perfect combination of location and landscape and the ideal place to create a luxurious agritourism, an authentic example of Tuscan rural architecture. 6 hectares of certified organic land are cultivated with passion and research of biodiversity, providing the kitchen with seasonal products. Virtuoso Gourmet is the 1 Michelin star restaurant within the Tenuta where Chef Antonello Sardi serves his personal interpretation of classic Tuscan cuisine.
Via della Lupaia 1556, 50036 Pratolino
4-star resort ideal for a relaxing holiday or weekend to spend with the family, immersed in the quiet and green Tuscan countryside. It is located just 10 km from Florence.
Via Massorondinaio 39, 50038 Scarperia e San Piero
Campsite with bar, restaurant-pizzeria, small mini-market, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, ping pong, billiards, and children's playground. Apartments and mobile homes for 2-6 guests available as well as a large camping area for caravans and tents. 2 groups of sanitary facilities with free hot water, camper service, portable toilets, electricity, and washing machines and dryers are available.
Mugello landscape photos by Christian Ghelardini
Watercolor maps by Lisa Brancatisano
Photos of hotels, restaurants, and activities provided by each entity