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Protected Area of ​​Monteferrato

The overall area of ​​4486 hectares straddling the municipalities of Vaiano, Prato and Montemurlo, offers a wide variety of environments and landscapes, forests, hilly agricultural areas, and very particular geological and vegetation formations for which it is also considered a site of conservation interest both at Community and regional level.
The area is immediately recognizable for the three peaks of the ophiolitic relief of Monteferrato, from which the fine green marble of Prato was obtained, which dominates the plain and whose particular nature has given rise to a selection of very specialized floristic species and particularly rare wild orchids. North of Monteferrato, at Prato Tondo there are large expanses of gorse (Ulex europeus), while towards the nearby reserve of Acquerino-Cantagallo, the landscape becomes the typical one of the Apennines, with broad-leaved woods and beautiful beech woods. Overlooking the Bisenzio Valley, the eastern boundary of the area is marked by the pointed profile of Mount Le Coste, called "Spazzavento", a suggestive panoramic point and a place that houses the Mausoleum of Curzio Malaparte.

Hiking itineraries in the protected area of ​​Monteferrato

From La Rocca to Javello beeches

It is a path that crosses different types of landscape, from ancient villages rich in history, to agricultural landscapes up to the majestic beech woods.
From Montemurlo along the CAI path n. 70 you can reach the ancient Borgo della Rocca, the path still maintains the original stone paving, particularly impressive is the entrance to the village through the Fattoio door, where is the Parish Church of San Giovanni.
You leave the village through Porta Freccioni to get to Pian di Scalino, a large degrading plain exploited in the past for the alberese extraction; continuing through the coppices of Cerro, you reach Mount Spicchio that together with Poggio Becco are the highest peaks of the median part of the territory of Montemurlo and for this they offer a beautiful view. Arriving at the tabernacle, we head towards Fattoria di Javello, which rises in a dominant position between the creeks Agna and Bagnolo. The route continues through chestnut, hornbeam, and Turkey oak woods where you can discover the ancient areas of the charcoal burners.

Monte Javello path

Starting from Vallupaia, a picnic area with a well-known spring, and through splendid chestnut and beech woods, follow the CAI path n. 14° and then n. 14, the itinerary leads to the summit of the Mountain where the imposing Beech trees of Javello mark the ridge with the typical double row layout.
Journey time: 1 hour
Difficulty: medium difficulty (uphill route)

Patriarchi - Monte Lopi path

From the Bagnolo Visitor Center (Via Bagnolo di Sopra, 24 - 59013 Montemurlo), through a dense oak forest the CAI path n. 12b leads to two oaks of spectacular size (over 30 meters) called “Patriarchi” (the Patriarchs).
Past the ford of the Fosso della Casaccia you can reach Monte Lopi, a panoramic point on the Bagnolo torrent valley.
Journey time: 1hour and 15 min.
Difficulty: easy

Monteferrato path

Suggestive route through one of the greatest naturalistic interest areas in the province, characterized by a particular rock vegetation and a sparse maritime pine forest: The itinerary starts from the Galceti Park following the CAI path n. 12 until you reach Poggio Ferrato, the highest peak in the area (420 m) and panoramic point of considerable width towards the Prato plain and up to Montalbano.
Journey time: 1 h
Difficulty: medium (the path is all uphill)

Spazzavento Path (Mausoleum of Malaparte)

The summit of Mount Le Coste, called Spazzavento, and the Mausoleum of Curzio Malaparte, can be reached following the CAI path n. 10 from the south, starting from Prato (Villa Verzoni, Le Sacca, Santa Lucia area) and from the north, starting from La Collina. Once you arrive you can admire a panorama of great width that ranges from the Prato plain to the Bisenzio Valley.
Journey time: 1hour and 30 min starting from Prato (medium difficulty uphill)
1 hour and 30 min. from La Collina. (Easy route)