A watershed territory. This is the definition that some maps give to the Alpe della Luna, which is a complex and fascinating area. This is a place that guards its little eccentricities, difficult to find elsewhere, quite carefully. Examples are the Alpe della Luna and Rosalia Alpina “cardo,” a very particular and exacting type of beetle that can only survive in well-preserved forests. This area protects life, then, but it also protects history. A border region, its history tells us of ancient Romans who took timber from its forests to use on their basilicas and naves; a military road still traceable amid all the vegetation; the Grotta della Tabussa, a natural ravine and safe haven for highwaymen. It’s also home to some now-abandoned buildings that welcomed the first insurgents from this side of the Appenines. Its complexity in both nature and history have made it a rather contested territory, where the borders (whether natural or administrative) are still a great asset today.
A border land, so we were saying. Severe in certain respects, but simply because it’s so rich and complex. Home to some undisputed masterpieces. Among these: the Della Robbia ceramics, which you’ll discover along alternative itineraries, far from the traditional tourist track. This is a tranquil part of Tuscany filled to the brim with treasures, right in the heart of the faraway Apennines, where a long history is told through artworks—they are living testaments to faith and belonging, carefully conserved in their original contexts.
A land that guards its history. There’s remarkable heritage here in the Gothic Line, which passes through Badia Tedalda. Material goods (such as fortresses) and immaterial assets (such as the stories that protect these memories) are linked together by walking and cycling routes where you can rediscover history and then pass it on to new generations.
This is an abundant land. In this Apennine border area, packed with fields and open spaces, you may spot some white giants grazing. These are the Chianina cattle,, appreciated by the Etruscans and Romans for their strength and resistence at work and today prized for their genuine, delicious meat. The animals are raised in the open air according to the area’s natural rhythms, and might inspire you to explore this territory with a gastronomic mission, aiming to uncover the flavors and know-how of a lost time.