This is where you enter the Mugello valley: the toll booth will be your portal. Crossing it you’ll have access to a wooded landscape, mountainous, verdant and unique. Falcons in flight are not unusual here, high above views dotted with villages, Barberino first of all, which offers a great deal to visitors. Discover it at leisure. Because the palette of the Mugello is multi-coloured and it’s worth seizing every shade.
The skyline of the Mugello is gentle and beautiful, but it’s even more intriguing when viewed from the water. Let’s drop down to Lake Bilancino, the largest in Tuscany, a man-made basin, engineered for drinking water purposes, which has become one of the loveliest places in the valley. Snap a few pictures in canoe or while windsurfing. The lake hosts top events, regattas, watersports and a sailing competition. The destination of countless fishermen who dot the lake with their rods.
After all doing exercise comes naturally in a place like this. Clean air, striking scenery and countless possibilities for all tastes. In addition to watersports, Barberino is home to many other disciplines. Cyclists can climb up to Panna from Galliano and marvel at Tuscan nature along a cypress-lined road. Or tread the nature trails around the lake to experience the wellbeing that comes from the quietude of this countryside with a vast network of walking and horse riding trails.
Art and history are found around every corner in the Mugello: Renaissance churches, country chapels, old buildings and noble villas. Discover them one by one. There’s the fifteenth-century Sant’Andrea a Camoggiano, the solitary Romanesque church of San Gavino Adimari, the churches in Badia a Vigesimo and San Bartolomeo a Galliano, Barberino town centre with its Palazzo Pretorio, the Medici loggias, the Oratorio della Compagnia della Misericordia and the church of San Silvestro, patron saint of the town. Then there’s the old Cattani castle, which dominates the town from on high, little Villanova castle, with truly splendid views over Lake Bilancino, Villa Le Maschere, now a luxury hotel, and in particular the turreted Medici villa of Cafaggiolo. It seems that the noble Florentine family had roots here near Barberino, in Campiano. And the family built one of its main homes in Cafaggiolo, much frequented by Lorenzo the Magnificent. In fact, he dedicated one of his poems to the “Nencia da Barberino”.