11. CASENTINO EXCURSION
(08/09) [author's note] - We received an email from Filippo Baroni, who has restored his grandparents’ inn, the Locanda dei Baroni, opposite the Camaldoli Monastery, inside the Casentino National Park. They have rooms, a restaurant (with two fireplaces), pizzeria and bar. It looks very promising, and if anyone tries it, please let us know. Thanks!
LOCANDA DEI BARONI
Via di Camaldoli, 5
tel +39 0575 55 60 15
fax +39 0575 55 60 15
(06/07)- Dear James and Pia, I recently (beginning of June 2007) walked the Camaldoli - Campigna section of the Casentino Excursion. I have some important safety information, which may apply to other walks also. You state at the beginning of the Casentino Excursion that it is the policy of all mountain refuges to accomodate anyone who shows up. This may be misleading. The beginning of June 2007 had some poor weather, and hotels/refuges did not have the number of customers they might have expected. Many hotel/refuge owners took the opportunity to have a holiday. If refuge staff are not on site the refuge will be closed. They will not accomodate anyone who shows up. It may also be of interest to note that many small hotels find it preferable to close than to open for only two customers. At times when a traveller may think there’s bound to be a spare bed somewhere, they may find all the hotels empty, and closed.. (See further Update below)
—Lis O’Connell Tunbridge Wells, England (Camaldoli to Campigna)
(06/07)—The walk from Camaldoli to Campigna was lovely, and as described in the book. Fairly strenous! There are no CAI numbers on this route. All CAI trails are marked with red and white stripes painted on trees or rocks. The route is easy to follow, using the book and a good map. Albergo Camaldoli is no longer a hotel. I can, however, recommend Hotel I Tre Baroni in Moggiona. The hotel staff are very accomodating and can provide transport to Camaldoli to start the walk.
—Lis O’Connell Tunbridge Wells, England (Campigna to Castagno d’Andrea) / Castagno d’Andrea to Passo del Muraglione / Passo del Muraglione to San Benedetto in Alpe)
12. CAMALDOLI RING WALK
(7/07) - On a recent trip to Tuscany, we did the Camaldoli Ring Walk in your 2005 edition. We felt a bit misled by your description of the walk. I would not say that there were “occasional panoramic views.” In fact, the walk was remarkable for its lack of views. Trees, tree, trees. There was a signage issue at the beginning of the walk. As I recall, the CAI number didn’t match, but I could be misremembering. We were aged 51, 56, 63, and 69. We walk regularly, but we’re not mountain climbers. I would imagine that we are pretty typical tourists, reasonably fit, the kind of people your book is aimed at. However, we found the walk more demanding than implied by phrases like “fairly steeply” and “It’s not too bad.” I am used to using walking guides of England, and I can usually manage a walk labeled “moderate” easily. This was an uphill slog with no relief or views for a long time. In addition, the estimated times you gave were shorter than the estimated time on the signs. The result was, that by the time we got to the short cut (CAI 70), we had to take it for time reasons and missed the “panorama, sun, and raspberries.” By that time, we really needed that panorama! Users need more guidance than you give in your “Difficulty Level” paragraph, which is a bit of a cop out. I would suggest rethinking your decision not to rate the walks at all. Every other walking book I use does this–in my opinion, pretty successfully. On the other hand, descending to Sacro Eremo through the woods and seeing one of the most impressive Della Robbias of the whole holiday was absolutely marvellous, and helped revive our spirits.
—Sincerely, Charlotte Fairlie
[author's note] —This walk comes from a chapter we couldn’t update when we did the revised edition. While we say in its introduction that the individual stages of the Casentino Excursion are superior walks, this reader’s comments made me realize that sometimes a person might do only one walk from the book, so there shouldn’t be any walks that aren’t great. I think we really need to find a different version of a walk from here, as Camaldoli and the Eremo are worth visiting. For the same reason, I think we might drop the Badia Prataglia walk, as it isn’t as good as the others in the book.
13. BADIA PRATAGLIA RING WALK