558 Route 65. PONTASSIEVE. Environs
(h.) Vallombrosa. A visit to this celebrated monastery is now
easily accomplished in one day with the aid of the cable-railway
from Sant' Ellero to Saltino; but in summer several days may be very
pleasantly spent at Vallombrosa (rooms should be ordered in advance
in July and August). The drive from Florence or Pontassieve (see
below) to Vallombrosa is charming.
From Florence to Sant' Ellero, 16 M., railway in ca. i/2-l hr,
(fares 3 fr. 5, 2 fr. 15, 1 fr. 40 c. ; return-tickets to Saltino 10 fr.
60, 9 fr. 25, 8 fr. 10 c). — From the central station the train per-
forms the circuit of the city, and stops at the suburban station ol
(3 M.) Campo di Marte. It then skirts the right bank of the Arno.
Fiesole lies above us, to the left. The valley soon oontracts. 8 M.
Compiobbi, in a fertile district, above which rise barren heights.
13 M. Pontassieve. — Hotels. Alb. del Vapore; Locanda dellí
Stazione. — Diligences daily, at 2.30 p.m., to Stia and to Pratovecchic
(fare 3 fr.). — Carriages at the hotels: one-horse carriage to Vallombrosa foi
1 pers., 8 fr.; two-horse carr., 2 pers. 15, each additional pers. 6 fr.,
luggage 5 e. per kilogramme (21/s lbs.). Carr. and pair from Florence te
Vallombrosa, for 1-4 pers., 40 fr.; one-horse carr. to Stia 12, two-horse
24 fr.; to Camaldoli 25 and 40 fr.
Pontassieve (325 ft.), a small village atthe confluence of the Sieve
and the Arno, formerly derived some importance from its situation
on the highroad over the Apennines to Forll.
The road from Pontassieve to (5 hrs.) Vallombrosa crosses the Sieve
beyond the village and ascends the valley of the Arno. About 1 M. from
I ontassieve, where the road forks, we keep to the left. From the second
fork (IV2 M. farther) the left branch leads to the Consuma Pass aud the
Casentino (p. 560), the right follows the ridge to (3 M.) the village of Pelago
(Locanda della Pace), the birthplace of Lor. Ghiberti, and (2'/4 M.) Paterno,
formerly a monastery-farm, and thence ascends a picturesque gorge (steep
towards the end) to tbe village of Tosí, 2V2 M. farther on. The road
steadily ascends, usually through woods, to (IV4 hr.) Vallombrosu (p. 559).
16 M. Sant' Ellero (365 ft.; Railway Restaurant) is an insigni-
fleant village with an oíd. castle, in which the Ghibellines expelled
from Florence in 1267 were besieged by the Guelphs. — To Arezzo
(p. 562; 38 M., in II/4-21/2 brs.), see Baedeker's Central Italy.
The Cable Rallway from S. Ellero to Saltino is 5 M. long,
with a máximum gradient of 22:100. The ascent takes about 1 hr.;
fare 4, retum-ticket 6 fr. — The train starts from the railway-
station at S. Ellero and ascends through a grove of oaks, on the
bank of the torrent Vicano, to the crest of one of the numerous
spurs which the Pratomagno range throws ont into the valley of the
Arno. A striking view is disclosed; straight on, Saltino appears,
above a steep slope. — 2l/2 M. Donnini. We now traverse a well-
cultivated district high above the Vicano, and then ascend gently
on the right bank of the Ciliana to (3 M.J Filiberti, beautifully
situated at the foot of the Pratomagno chain. The railway skirts
the slope in windings (fine views). — 6 M. Saltino (3140 ft.), finely
situated on a barren promontory, commanding a splendid view. Near
the station are the Hotel Vallombrosa (R. 4-6, B. li/2, dé"; 31/