A few kilometres from Florence, in the Mugello, we can find traces of history worthy of a great European capital. Along the river Sieve centres of ancient origins and complex foundation rise at close distances. Important Etruscan areas became a place of settlements and villages in Roman times. The Mediaeval Lordships – the Guidi and the Ubaldini- were soon in competition with the Commune of Florence which was expanding and in search of “new lands”.

Starting in 1300 this area went through a renewed period of a remarkable development thanks to the particular strategic and economic value that the Mugello Basin held for Florence. The Medici family, which originally came from this area, and the Lorenesi family made it their pride and joy by investing financial resources to strengthen their presence around Florence.

Important buildings and fortresses, castles, villas and palaces remain to testify the development of the Mugello.
Moreover, even the cultural and artistic history of Florence finds elements of primacy importance for its development in this area.

Artists like Giotto and Beato Angelico were born here, famous architects worked at the construction of the towns of the “walled lands”, the features in the landscape of many Florentine paintings have found their inspiration here.

The valley of Mugello  is located near Florence and it is the ideal location to spend your holiday in Tuscany.
Known internationally for the Mugello Race Circuit, there is much more to discover and explore in Mugello!
The valley has plenty of characteristic Tuscan towns and villages that define the territory.

Visitors will find information on golfing, water sports at Lake Bilancinotrekkinghorseback riding,cycling  and other activities which can be enjoyed doing your stay. If you enjoy shopping and items “Made in Italy”, spend a day at the Designer Shopping Outlet in Barberino di Mugello. There is also information on markets, festivals, events and initiatives taking place throughout the year.

THE HISTORY

Vacanze Toscana: The villa of Cafaggiolo The villa of CafaggioloQuaint, ancient, intricately constructed towns are situated fairly close to one another along the flow of the Sieve River. What was once an area dominated by important Etruscan developments later becomes, in Roman times, the site of numerous colonies and hamlets. Later the Guidi and Ubaldini families, the medieval lords of the territory, come into conflict with the city of Florence, which was expanding and searching for “new lands”.

The territory witnesses a remarkable period of growth in the 14th century because the Mugello basin represents an extremely important strategic and economic asset for Florence. Mugello was a source of pride for the Medici, whose origins lay here, and the Lorenesi families, which invested strongly in the territory to consolidate their power in the area surrounding Florence. Numerous important structures and fortresses, castles, villas, and palaces still bear witness to this important period of growth in Mugello. In fact, even the artistic and cultural history of Florence owes much of its development to key individuals from the area. Artists such as Giotto and Beato Angelico were born here; important architects worked on the construction of the hamlets in the “walled lands”; and moreover, the Mugello landscape has provided inspiration for numerous Florentine paintings.

THE LAND

Vacanze Toscana: Landscape with cypresses nearby Borgo San LorenzoLandscape with cypresses nearby Borgo San LorenzoThe territory of the Unione Montana unites two geographic areas: Mugello, and what is known as Upper Mugello orTuscan Romagna. The Mugello valley is situated in the upper middle part of the hydrographical basin of the Sieve River: it is an enormous valley closed in on the north by the main watershed of the Apennines (from Mount Citerna to Giogo di Villore), on the south by the spurs of Mount Giovi and Mount Senario, and closed in on the west by Mount Calvana beyond which the city and province of Prato extends. Here we find the towns of San Piero a Sieve, Barberino di Mugello, Scarperia, Borgo San Lorenzo, Vicchio and Dicomano. The Mugello countryside is varied: from the lofty crests of thick woodland where the wild boar, the roe deer and the fox reign, to the chestnut and olive groves; from the fields of wheat and sunflowers on the vast flat terraced lands bordered by cliffs, to the fertile lower valley where the main towns and roads lie. On the north side, among the towering peaks of Mugello, and the mountain passes that make their way down to Bologna and Romagna, in the upper part of the Santerno, Senio and Lamone basins, you find Upper Mugello with such centres as Firenzuola, Palazzuolo sul Senio and Marradi. The huge boulders and peaks, although reaching only 1000 metres above sea level, present an exceptionally breathtaking and imposing profile.

The view is dominated by uncontaminated beech, chestnut and oak woods, by vast meadows dotted every now and again with juniper bushes, and by the occasional outcrop of rock. The limpid waters and luxuriant riparian vegetation make this valley the perfect habitat for numerous species of fishes and birds. The weather shifts from the harsh Padana Planes climate, where the cold winds gust down unrestrained from the lofty Alps, to the milder Mediterranean one that is typical of central Italy. The Mugello basin, which lies just below the higher passes of the mountain chain, is often where the cold north wind meets the hot and humid libeccio, sirocco and westerly winds: the result is that the cold winds sweep away the fog produced by the warm winds in winter, and bring in some cool relief to mitigate the hot damp spells those same winds produce in summer.

THE GASTRONOMY

Vacanze Toscana: PastaIn this Tuscan territory between Florence and Bologna, the traveller can discover traditional dishes and a variety of local produce that have maintained their authenticity to this day. The few dishes that have been passed down in Mugello from the gastronomic tradition of the past are all important, typical recipes with “natural” flavours, made with traditional wholesome ingredients and never with the strong spices that are often overused in modern day food. First servings often include “tortelli di patate” (small pockets of pasta stuffed with potatoes), the “tagliatelle sui funghi, sul cinghiale, sulla lepre” (thick string pasta with mushroom, wild boar or hare meat sauce), “farinata” (polenta with kale and beans), soup, and minestrone.

Meat is a very important part of the Mugello cuisine: we find steaks two inches thick, but also “rosticciana” pork ribs, and sausages or “coniglio ripieno” (stuffed rabbit), and the very particular boiled duck. The main cheese is “pecorino”, made with pure sheep’s milk, or “misto” mixed with cow’s milk; the side dishes include “fagioli all’olio” (beans with extra virgin olive oil dressing), and a tasty variety of garden vegetables dipped in batter and fried (artichokes, aubergines, pumpkin flowers). Desserts can be quite simple like the “pan di ramerino” (sweet buns with rosemary and raisins) and the “schiacciata con l’uva” (sweet flat bread with grapes), classical like the tarts made with delicious jams, or more elaborate like the cake or the “budino” (pudding), from Marradi, made with the delicious “Marrone del Mugello”, the I.G.P. denominated Mugello chestnut.

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