You have to climb very high to see very far, Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi famously said.
Rising 934 m, Monte Morello is the highest mountain in the Florence plain and a favorite destination for locals looking for a green getaway and panoramic views.
Just a few minutes by car from Florence and from Sesto Fiorentino, it’s a perfect option for a hike in the woods without traveling far from the city. During the summer nights it makes a perfect choice for a romantic escape: traveling along the SP130 you’ll find cozy restaurants perfect for a dinner or snack stop (al fresco) and overlooks where you can enjoy the view.
On the clearest days, you can see Florence’s Duomo surrounded by hundreds of red roofs, far beyond the Tuscan hills in a sequence of reliefs that seem carved out of something infinite.
Pines, oaks, cypress and fir trees: Monte Morello holds a vast variety of vegetation and is home to boars, foxes, and wolves. What is today considered the green heart of the city was once a sort of barren headland in past centuries. The mountain was almost entirely clear cut for over six hundred years, especially at the time of Grand Duke Cosimo I, who used part the wood from area trees to build the canopies of the Uffizi Palace. After many reforestation attempts that began at the end of the 1700s, the current look originates from an intensive process begun in 1900 and finished in 1970.
Today, Monte Morello offers a green refuge from the bustle of the city, a place for long walks, a summit to reach where you can look out into the infinite from a privileged point of view.
From Florence, go up the Via Bolognese and then turn to the road at left that leads to Monte Morello (SP130). The road first reaches piazzale Leonardo and then Fonte dei Seppi. Two perfect starting points for your hike to the summit.
Those arriving by car from Sesto Fiorentino can take the SP 130 by passing through the hamlet of Colonnata and reaching the Gualdo Lodge, another potential starting point for your walk.
The Monte Morello area is covered by a pattern of paths for all kinds of hikers and bike lovers. We tried two of them for you:
The Anello del Rinascimento is a 170 kilometer ring route divided into 13 stages surrounding the city of Florence. One of them starts in Calenzano and ends in Vaglia crossing the slopes of Monte Morello.
Our 10 km itinerary starts in the medieval village of Calenzano Alto. From the north door, walk down and go up again to the San Donato hill. Continue walking on paved roads until you reach Il Colle area: after a kilometer you will be crossing the first olive groves. Follow the Anello del Rinascimento signs and reach the church of San Ruffiniano a Sommaia, then the Fattoria Massonica (one of the local olive oil producers). Leave the main route and take a dirt road that snugs firmly to the left: you will find a bar which marks the beginning of the fire road that leads to the Gualdo Refuge. Enjoy the view!
This soft climb will give you a breathtaking panorama: green hills and extensive olive groves. Reach the Fonte del Ciliegio fountain and follow the road sign for the CAI 10 Trail, also known as Rompistinchi (which means “shin breaker”) that steeply climbs the slopes of Monte Morello. Take the challenge! After about 1 km the trail will take you straight to the wooden cross of Monte Morello highest summit: Poggio all'Aia.
There are three important summits to reach, simply by taking a short walk along the 00 path from Poggio all’Aia (934 m) to Poggio Casaccia (921 m) or viceversa. Coming from Piazzale Leonardo Da Vinci or from Fonte dei Seppi you will reach the Sella delle Colline gap by walking along the 00 path. Continue walking on the same trail along the steeply climbing that will take you to Poggio a Casaccia: the second highest summit of Monte Morello where you will see a big metal cross. Follow CAI n. 00 downhill to Poggio Cornacchia, then Valico della Selletta and uphill until Poggio all’Aia. You can either start your walk to the Three peaks following the Sentiero del Pensionato.
Remember to bring enough water with you because there are no bars or restaurants along the paths.