Beata Vergine di San Luca
Another extremely rich leg, full of points of interest, with exceptional views that accompany throughout the first part and historical and cultural suggestions during the second one.
From Baragazza the path moves in the direction of Castiglione dei Pepoli, skirting Poggio Castello and descending towards the river Setta. The following ascent brings to Ca 'di Landino, a historically highly significant place, linked to the construction of the direct railway Bologna - Florence. Once in Castiglione dei Pepoli, a panoramic ridge leads to Monte Catarelto, a place as beautiful as historically important in relation to the Second World War. Lagaro, with its ancient history, and Ripoli, with the charming village of Serrucce, prepare for the Santa Maria della Serra Shrine finale.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Lagaro, small village, in the municipality of Castiglione dei Pepoli, at about 400 m. asl, is located almost at the confluence between the Setta river and the Brasimone torrent.
This territory was known since ancient times, the toponym derives from a pre-Latin term indicating a "field", the same term the German "lager" derives from. Traces of Celtic and Etruscan settlements have been found, then the Romans came and from the 6th and 7th centuries it underwent the Lombard invasion.
In the Middle Ages it was a possession of the Alberti di Prato Counts, and then passed under the authority of Bologna and therefore of the state of the Church. In the seventeenth century it became an autonomous municipality, until the arrival of the French in 1796. In 1815 it returned to the domain of the papal state as part of the Municipality of Castiglione dei Pepoli.
The church, certainly very old, has been an autonomous parish since 7 September 1591. It is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, while San Mamante is co-patron. The construction of the bell tower is quite recent (1945).
The population of the town played an important role in the construction of the long trans Apennine railway tunnel, on the Bologna-Firenze connection, and the hydroelectric power station in Piane.
Castiglione dei Pepoli
At 691 meters above sea level, Castiglione dei Pepoli is located at the foot of Monte Gatta and it is one of the biggest inhabited towns in the Apennines. Famous for the Brasimone lake and the Boccadirio Shrine, its history is linked to the nearby Tuscany region’s one: it was a fief of the Counts Alberti of Prato until 1340, when it was ceded to the noble Pepoli family. The current town hall was their residence until the end of the 18th century. The beautiful historic centre, heart of the municipality life, was also built thanks to the Pepoli family. The parish church is dedicated to San Lorenzo Martire. Its origins are dated back to the early 1300s, while the bell tower was erected in 1606. Subsequently, in 1934, it was raised from 22 to 40 meters height, following a Rivani design, with the construction of the current spire. At the top of it, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, by Dalmonte di Faenza, is placed. The inside was frescoed in 1930 and contains several valuable art works including an altarpiece by Cavedoni, a pupil of the Carraccis, depicting San Lorenzo.
Lake of Santa Maria
Castiglione dei Pepoli
It is a small artificial basin created in 1917 with the construction of a dam on the Brasimone torrent, for the production of electricity. It is located at less than 4 km from the centre of Castiglione dei Pepoli. Its left coast falls within the municipality of Castiglione dei Pepoli, while the right one is in the municipality of Camugnano. It is a very popular summer meeting place, very much appreciated by sport fishing lovers, and it is included in the Brasimone and Suviana Lakes Park, where a trails network is present, connecting all its interesting areas.
Between 28 September and 2 October 1944, Scots Guards, Grenadier Guards and Coldstream Guards battled the German Army to conquer the strategic points of Monte Catarelto and Cresta Bucciagni. Very violent clashes, with many victims and injured left on the ground, on both sides. In the end, the allied forces prevailed, but the impact of this battle was so strong in the Scots Guards, that a March played by bagpipes was dedicated to Monte Catarelto, in rhythm 6/8.
To avoid that the memory of these events is lost, on October 5, 2019, a statue dedicated to Our Lady of Reconciliation was inaugurated, to commemorate the extreme sacrifice of all the soldiers, from any nation, young people in their early twenties who lost their life in Monte Catarelto, as well as the suffering caused to civilian men and women living in the area. An extremely fascinating place, for its outstanding panorama, but equally significant and evocative for the events that took place in these places.
Massacres of the Trains
San Benedetto Val di Sambro and Castiglione dei Pepoli railway station
Active since its inauguration in 1934, it plays an important role in the connection between North and South of Italy.
However, sadly, it remains famous for two terrorist attacks in the decade of the strategy of tension.
The bomb attack to the ITALICUS train, on August 3-4, 1974, with 12 dead and 48 injured, and the bomb attack to the Rapido 904 train on December 23, 1984, with 16 dead and 267 injured.
Two bomb attacks that shook the entire nation for their ferocity and which are remembered today by a monument and annual demonstrations.
Borgo le Serrucce
Following the CAI 021 path, it is possible to reach the very old village of Serrucce, already inhabited by nine families in 1792. It has maintained the characteristics of the medieval village, with its vaults and its stone-paved alleys. The shops, the tavern and the tailoring and carpentry workshops were here. Inside one of the houses, there is a carved stone portal with a trefoil cross, while in another one there is a large column. All these elements confirm the very old age of the village, whose charm will amaze the eyes of the visitors.
Church of Santa Cristina
Very ancient origins as attested by documents from 1281 and 1305.
After the terrible cholera scourge in 1855, works were started to expand the church and rebuild the entire façade in natural stone with chisel. The job was completed in 1865 while in 1866 the bell tower was also finished. Among the furnishings the wooden baptistery by Achille Puccetti di Baragazza (1863) is very appreciated.
The 6th leg does not present any significant technical difficulty as well, nor particularly hard climbs. It is another fairly long stage, which can possibly be shortened by stopping near Lagaro, postponing the final climb to the Ripoli Shrine to the next day. Or eventually, it is possible to stop in Castiglione dei Pepoli, taking advantage of the time available to visit the town and the surrounding areas.
There are no water supply points between Castiglione dei Pepoli and Lagaro. In case of severe bad weather and poor visibility, it is advisable to avoid the climb to Monte Catarelto, remaining on the CAI 007 path until reaching Lagaro.