VIA MATER DEI

5th/B Leg
Bruscoli - Baragazza

A very fascinating leg, where small villages alternate with forests and points with beautiful views of the Apennine mountains, in particular Monte Cimone and Corno alle Scale. The village of Bruscoli is the intermediate stop, only stopover point located in Tuscany. From Madonna dei Fornelli, it heads towards the charming village of Qualto, then pass near Montefredente and then towards Ca’ de’ Santoni, with the characteristic Pian del Voglio Church in sight. While crossing a beautiful beech and fir trees forest, it enters Tuscany arriving to Bruscoli immediately after, a charming village with several points of interest that are worth a stop. A descent along the Biscione torrent, with its beautiful falls, and then the Gambellatotorrent, to be crossed at a beautiful farmhouse, heads to Roncobilaccio. A suggestive climb leads to the magical Shrine of Boccadirio, located near the arrival in Baragazza.

Shrines

10,3 km

4h30min

+ 442

- 526

10,3 km

4h30min

+ 442

- 526

Not to be missed

The Bruscoli area occupies the right side of the Gambellato valley. Its history begins long ago, the first substantial traces date back to the Etruscan period, when the valley was crossed by a branch of the so-called "iron road" that connected the southern coast of Tuscany to Spina, on the Adriatic Sea, for trading with Greek people. Close to the village of Albagino, located near the Gambellato torrent, numerous votive bronzes belonging to an Etruscan temple have been recently found. Toponymic traces of the Byzantine period and of the Goth population remain from the early Middle Ages: the toponym Bruscoli seems to derive from this age. The stories told by the elders speak of the passage of Frederick Barbarossa, perhaps also Frederick II of Swabia came here and stayed in the fortress of Bruscoli. These stories are supported by recent research. We have news of the castle of Bruscoli since the twelfth century, when it was the gateway to the territories of the powerful family of the Alberti di Prato Counts (vassals of Frederick Barbarossa), whose territory extended from Bruscoli to the Tuscan Maremma. Finds from this and other historical periods are exhibited in the town's Historical and Gothic Line Museum The hamlet of the ‘Albergo’ is really outstanding: incorporated into the current town, its history goes hand in hand with the fortress one. It includes, in addition to the thirteenth-century church, dedicated to San Nicolò first, later to San Francesco, then to Santa Maria and today to the Madonna del Rosario, also a palace from the fourteenth-fifteenth century, a Medici family palace, perhaps an ancient customs house and another palace, by the Medici as well. In these residences, there are superb and valuable coats of arms of the most important families who dominated these territories, such as the Medici, the Minni, etcetera. There are also several naturalistic points of interest, including the Biscione waterfall, unique in the area with its 50 meters high. The Museum of Sacred Art, located on the premises of the parish church, is also worth a visit.

Roncobilaccio

A border village, Baragazza has a very ancient history, characterized by the disputes between Tuscany and Bologna, which at the end of the fourteenth century managed, with a big effort, to gain control over it. Its church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel and was rebuilt in the late 1700s: a valuable painting of the Florentine school depicting the patron saint appears on the main altar. The history of this community has always been linked to the Boccadirio Shrine’s one. In the village there are some accommodation facilities and places to eat.

Baragazza

A border village, Baragazza has a very ancient history, characterized by the disputes between Tuscany and Bologna, which at the end of the fourteenth century managed, with a big effort, to gain control over it. Its church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel and was rebuilt in the late 1700s: a valuable painting of the Florentine school depicting the patron saint appears on the main altar. The history of this community has always been linked to the Boccadirio Shrine’s one. In the village there are some accommodation facilities and places to eat.