For both beginning and experienced hikers or mountain bikers, is the Via degli Dei, or the “Way of the Gods,” is the 130-km route which famously connects the historic center of Florence to Bologna, passing through the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine.
Filled with biodiversity and echoes of its Etruscan and Roman past, the route isn’t just for fitness fiends or outdoor adventurers – history buffs and landscape lovers will feel at home here, too. Legs of the historic road – a manageable mix of trails, asphalt stretches and dirt roads – can be conquered individually, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can traverse the whole thing. Typically full-route hikers take about five to six days to finish, depending on experience and fitness level.
The roas is helpfully lined with CAI (Club Alpino Italiano) signs and maps so you don’t lose your way. Hospitality centers, restaurants and tourist attractions also abound for those moments when you need a breather or just a hint of something beyond the hike.
The official starting point is piazza Maggiore in Bologna; crossing under a Baroque arcade and through the Parco Talon in Casalecchio di Reno, the Reno river and a host of other sights and stimulants, you’ll end up in Badolo.
The second leg (about 28km) moves from Badolo to Madonna dei Fornelli; a highlight is the top of the aforementioned Monte Adone (“Mount Adonis”). The third stretch, from Madonna dei Fornelli to Monte di Fo’, is where the Tuscan portion of the walk technically begins, halfway between Madonna dei Fornelli and the Passo della Futa. A memorable part of this portion is undoubtedly the German war memorial cemetery in Firenzuola, which stretches out over 12 hectares and is home to 30,683 German soldiers lost during World War II. On the midpoint of the Gothic Line, the cemetery offers a solemn experience aimed at highlighting the horrors of war.
The final stretch from San Piero a Sieve to Florence takes you through the green olive groves of the Tuscan countryside and ultimately rewards you with a jaw-droppingly beautiful view of Florence and Brunelleschi’s dome: who needs a trophy or certificate when you have panoramas like this one?
PLEASE NOTE: THE FACILITIES HAVE BEEN ENTIRELY SANITIZED AND THE VISITS WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS STATED BY THE HEALTH EMERGENCY.