The  Saint Francis Monastery  up on  the  Mountain of La Verna  near Dei Mori La Massa

This is a lovely loop !  Even if you are not into religion, you will enjoy the spirituality of our valley.


Leave the villa, forget the Dei Mori LaMassa swimming pool and go !

Just follow the map we have made for you and loop around.

Wherever you start, you will enjoy the view of villages like  Poppi and Bibbiena down the Casentino valley and the driving up-hill.     See the wood turning from oaks to chestnuts then even white-pines, all  up to LaVerna .


The “capital M” Monastery is clinged to the rocky side of a distinguished shape mountain .  St Francis from Assisi came there and spent a big part of his life there.  Admire the many Della Robbia glazed terracottas and the view of the valley from high.  With time you may walk to the Mount Penna peak or the Ghiacciaie loop

Done that ?  Now follow the direction Camaldoli : you will drive through the heart of NationalParkOfCasentinoForests.  Lots of chances to see dears, porcupines, wild-boars and all wild life.  While Franciscans monks are wearing brown habit, Camaldolesi wear white and study herbs and roots and natural remedies.  That  is why there is a beautiful historical pharmacy there –   worth a visit.  Please do not forget the hermitage just above the main village, a lot to see there as well.
Last but not least the Benedictines monks of Vallombrosa Abbey wearing black habit   .  The abbey is a gorgeous complex sunk into a centuries old forest planned by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany enjoy fresh air and beauty.  Make a pic-nic on the beautiful medow within the Vallombrosa park.


On the way back to the La Massa holiday home, you will drive through Montemignaio where you can have a nice schiacciata at the local grocery or at the bakery in the midsquare below the castle.
La Schiacciata all'Olio is a typical Tuscan recipe. Very simple to make, it was prepared with what was left of the dough used to make weekly bread.