A vast prairie covers the very summit of the mountain with its sinewy silhouette that divides the Valdarno from Casentino, a magno prato (great field) of intense green from which you can enjoy splendid views over the surrounding valleys and beyond: the Pratomagno.
Green mountain pasture at 1593 above sea level.
It is pointless to insist on the origin of its name, which obviously evokes the reasoning and immediately brings to mind incredible walks in the middle of flourishing pastures and astounding nature. The Pratomagno is an Appennine extremity reaching almost 1,600 metres above sea level, 1592 to be exact at the Pratomagno Cross, a symbol of the massif constructed in 1928, while the highest part is Mount Pianellaccio. The ridge runs along for around 30km and the mountain complex touches the provinces of Florence and Arezzo, acting as a frame to charming medieval villages such as Loro Ciuffenna, Gropina with its splendida parish church, one of the most important expressions of Romanesque culture in Tuscany, the village of Anciolina and Rocca Ricciarda.
Visiting the mountain
The main points of access to the ridge of the Pratomagno are Mount Lori, in the Valdarno area and which can be reached via the road that leads from Loro Ciuffenna to Anciolina and continuing; while from the Casentino side, from Mount Secchieta, reached from Montemignaio and Vallombrosa, and from Poppi following the road that leads to the Giocondo restaurant in Le Ceraie.
A mountainous area of rounded crests, radiated outwards by a vast network of pathways, perfect for both quick and easy walks and more demanding treks. A particularly rich environment regarding its biodiversity: it is home to flora species of particular naturalistic importance and many species of fauna, including the wolf.
The seasons on the Pratomagno
Moreover, the spectacle of the mountain changes depending on the season – but it is always awe-inspiring. The fields that become green in the springtime are dotted with colour and perfume, with some splendid blossoms – like the daffodil which blooms around mid-May; in the summer, as well as being perfect for trekking days, the Pratomagno is the ideal place for fascinating night time excursions under the light of a full moon. Then when the green gives way to yellows and oranges, the woods along the slopes are dyed with the warm, cosy nuances of autumn, before hibernating under the pure white duvet of the snow, becoming the perfect place for exciting snowshoe walks.
A trekking route to start with
The best trekking route to be able to enjoy all the wonders offered by the mountain, is the one that starts at Mount Lori and arrives at the cross. A return journey path of around 15km in length and climbs of around 600m, it is technically easy and suitable for all levels, though best for those used to walking and equipped with the basic trekking gear, such as a pair of hiking boots with good adherence on the soles. It winds along the ridge and the view stretches out towards the mountains of Chianti, the Apuans on one side and, in clearer days, all the way to the Sibillini Mountains in Le Marche. An exceptional panorama to take in as you take advantage of a quick break under the impressive Pratomagno Cross.