of Florence. CAMALDOLI. 65. Route. 561
Poggio Scali (4355 ft.) and the Prato al Soglio (see below) to the
Sacro Eremo 4 hrs., back to Camaldoli 3/4 hr. (in the reverse direc¬
tion, from Camaldoli to the Falterona, 7 hrs.). — Hurried travellers
may ascend direct to the E. from Stia, viá (IY4 br.) Lonnano, to
(472 hrs.) the Prato di Bertone, and descend thence viá Sacro Eremo
to (17é hr.) Camaldoli (guide desirable).
The suppressed abbey of Camaldoli (2717 ft.; *Grande Albergo,
pens. with wine 12 fr.; Restaurant, on the groundfloor, cheaper),
prettily situated in a narrow wooded valley, was founded in 1012
by St. Romuald (d. 1027) but frequently devastated by fire and
war. The environs are wild and beautiful. A steep road ascends
to (174 hr.) the Sacro Eremo (3680 ft.), a monastery with hermit-
ages, founded in 1046 and surrounded by fine pine-woods.
The ñame of the place is said to be derived from Campus Maldoli,
after a certain pious Count Maldolus, who presented it to his friend St.
Romuald. From this spot the reputation of the order for austere discipline,
sanctity, and erudition extended throughout the whole of Italy, although
the number of their cloisters was never great. Camaldoli, as well as
Vallombrosa, lost its valuable library and many treasures of art through
the rapacity of the French in 1809.
The "Views from the narrow ridge of the Apennines at the back of
Sacro Eremo, especially from the summit which is not planted with trees,
called the Prato al Soglio (4420 ft.), are very extensive and beautiful. To
the N.E. the houses of Forli may be distinguished in clear weather, still
farther off the site of Ravenna, and in the extreme distance the glittering
Adriatic; W. the chain of the Pratomagno, the lower valley of the Arno
as far as Pisa and Leghorn, and beyond them the Mediterranean. The
spectator here stands on one of the summits of the 'backbone of Italy',
whence innumerable mountains and valleys, as well as the two different
seas, are visible.
Walkers from Camaldoli may reach the highroad from Cesena
to Bibbiena in 172hr. by a rough and stony track, and then proceed
viá Partina to (6 M.) Bibbiena (p. 562). If time allows, however,
the road from Camaldoli to (7!/2 M.) Poppi (p. 562) is preferable.
In the opposite direction Camaldoli may be reached by carriage from
Poppi in 2, from Bibbiena in 272 hrs.
From Camaldoli to La Verna on foot. Pedestrians should
select the beautiful but fatiguing route (with guide) viá the Sacro
Eremo and the village of (2 hrs.) Badia a Prataglia (2765 ft.; Hót.
Mulinacci; Pens. Boscoverde, English, 8 fr.), which lies on the
above-mentioned road from Bibbiena to Cesena. Thence we proceed
to the S.E. to (2 hrs.) Corezzo and descend along the stream of
that ñame to (3/4 hr.) Biforco, at its confluence with the Corsalone.
We then ascend along the Corsalone and through plantations of
oaks to (274 hTS.) a stony upland plain, interspersed with marshes.
Above this rises the abrupt sandstone mass of the Verna, to a height
of 850 ft. On its S.W. slope, one-third of the way up, and 3700 ft.
above the sea-level, is seen a wall with small windows, the oldest
part of the monastery, built in 1215 by St. Francis of Assisi, and
substantially rebuilt after a fire in 1472. Strangers receive good
food and accommodation here, for which a fair recompense is ex-
Baedeker. Italy I. 13th Edit. 36