ALL AROUND FLORENCE: EXPLORING MONTE MORELLO
Tastings, trekking, Medici parks and castles: what to see and do in Calenzano, Sesto Fiorentino and Vaglia
All around Florence! There are many things to do in Florence just beyond the Airport in the north of the city. This area alternates innovative industrial areas with spectacularly beautiful nature of particular local importance, such as the Pratolino Medici Park and Monte Morello, at the base of which you can find the municipalities of Calenzano, Sesto Fiorentino and Vaglia.
Things to see in Calenzano
The populated historic center was formed in the mid-late 20th century at the foot of the hill where the medieval village of Calenzano Alto stands. Still enclosed within the walls of Calenzano castle, it's also home to the Museum of Historical Figurines, a true treasure trove of detailed models going from Assyria to World War II (TAKE NOTE! Firenzecard holders are entitled to a free guided tour of the museum). Calenzano is also a destination for many university students given the Design Campus and the Industrial Design Museum.
Things to do in Calenzano
Calenzano, between the Calvana Mountains and Monte Morello, is crossed by numerous waterways, allowing nature and adventure lovers to explore this territory and Sesto Fiorentino along the Water Paths, a project with various itineraries that enhance the environmental and natural heritage and the water resource with a view to slow travel. Following the streams, you can discover Travalle Park and Neto Park, where you'll find the magnificent Taxodium (bald cypress), a species that's over 50 meters tall and has an incredible longevity; in fact, it often exceeds a thousand years.
The strong green vocation of the Municipality of Calenzano with its attention to organic agriculture and promotion of environmental education, has meant that it was recognized by the Tuscan Region as a bio-district in 2022 (following in the footsteps of Fiesole!). With Destination Florence, you can enjoy the best of the area through the Tenuta di San Donato experience, savouring the scents of its olive oil and wines.
Things to do in Sesto Fiorentino
Sesto Fiorentino has Etruscan origins, which have left their traces in numerous monuments that can be spotted in the area such as the Etruscan tomb of Montagnola, a tholos tomb made almost entirely of large blocks of Alberes stone, dating back to the mid-late 7th century. The city spreads over a vast area in the centre of the plain between Florence and Prato. It is dominated to the north by Monte Morello whose peaks reach over 900 meters, a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts and cyclists due to its charming panoramic views.
To the south, the territory is bordered by Piana Park, a favourite place for birdwatchers who can observe native species and migratory birds, such as the fascinating pink flamingos in March. Right on the edge of the park, you can find the campus that hosts the National Research Council and the Scientific Center of the University of Florence, which has international-level laboratories, giving the territory a place of high-level training and research.
Things to do in Vaglia
Located a few kilometres north of Florence, Vaglia is at an altitude of 290m above sea level, with its charm owing to the sublime coexistence between the places of art and its alluring nature. Gems include the Pratolino Medici Park (a UNESCO heritage site since 2013), which houses the famous Colossus (or Giant!) of the Giambologna Apennines, and the Monte Senario Sanctuary, nestled among forests and pristine valleys. It's a great area also for children, who can enjoy sports and playing in nature at the Il Gigante Adventure Park, the largest in Tuscany.
Slow tourism with destination Monte Morello
The three municipalities of Monte Morello are all splendid destinations for paths and trails that cross history, landscapes and territories: Via degli Dei, the Renaissance Ring, and San Jacopo Way. Take a look at the map with all the paths in the Florentine area.
How to reach Calenzano, Sesto Fiorentino and Vaglia
The Calenzano, Sesto Fiorentino and Vaglia municipalities can be reached by train from Florence's Santa Maria Novella station.
Download the All Around Florence Brochure
Learn more about all the things to do in Florence just north of the city and discover the fascinating history of these Florentine surroundings. Download the Feel Florence brochure, the official tourism information site of the Municipality of Florence and the Metropolitan City: Click here to download the brochure.