The stunning Via degli Dei trail that links Bologna and Florence across the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, practically as the crow flies, begins in the North near the Bolognese hills and continues to the south, running through the splendid Mugello valley right to the gates of Florence.
The landscape between these two cities is highly varied from both a morphological and environmental point of view and this makes the trail an ideal opportunity for observing and experiencing the unique habitat of this section of the Apennines.
THE BOLOGNA HILLS – these beautiful rolling hills, characterised by picturesque vineyards that produce fine wines, rise gently from the city of Bologna to meet the majestic Apennines.
THE FIVE BOLOGNESE VALLEYS – The Savena and Reno valleys border the Via degli Dei to the left and right, opening out onto rich fertile farmland irrigated by the two rivers that spring from the heights of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and flow right into the city of Bologna.
THE BOLOGNESE APENNINES - This part of the Apennines that stretches from the province of Bologna to the border with Tuscany is famous for its outstanding natural beauty that can be enjoyed in parks and reserves like the Contrafforte Pliocenico with its distinctive rockfaces, the Monte Sole Historical Park, the Suviana and Brasimone lake Regional Park and the Corno alle Scale Regional Park, whose peaks frame the views on the northern side of the Via degli Dei. Many of the hillsides are covered by chestnut forests that in Autumn abound with wild mushrooms, such as porcini, ovuli and galletti. The area is also home to a wide variety of wild animals, including roe and fallow deer, boar, foxes, peregrine falcons that nest in the Contrafforte cliffsides, and even some wolves.
THE TUSCAN APENNINES – The “Passo della Futa” is a pass midway between Bologna and Florence that marks the divide between the Tuscan and the Emilian Apennines. Here, the thick forests and conifer woods typical of this area accompany the old mule and cart tracks of the Via degli Dei, which in some stretches runs along the old Roman road known as the Via Flaminia Militare.
MUGELLO – This area runs from the Apennine heights of the Futa Pass down to the Mugello plain where the hilltop forests give way to olive orchards. From the 1990s onwards the Mugello valley panorama has been enhanced by the Bilancino lake, an artificial reservoir that collects the waters of the Sieve river and channels them into the waterways of Florence.