77 – (ITA STAGE 29) – Valle Santa – Chitignano

Place of Departure VALLE SANTA
Place of Arrival CHITIGNANO
Length – KM
20,5 / 12,5
Nation of the route Italy
Region Toscana
Uphill Gap
662 m/208 m
Downhill Gap
840 m/840 m
CAI (Diff. Escurs.) E
Praticability Foot


Stage 29 Casa Santicchio or La Verna – Chitignano – The stage starts from two different origins: either from Casa Santicchio (Vallesanta, historical route) or from the Sanctuary of La Verna (variant). They are both short and easy. You cross paths, cart roads. There are very beautiful small inhabited areas, largely recovered with several second hauses.

HISTORICAL ROUTE: to continue our journey following the “Melior via” indicated by Monaco Alberto, we leave Casa Santicchio and proceed on the ancient road in the middle of the forest. After the village of Pezza, with a beautiful spring, we pass through Giona, Moscaio, Banzena and Caselle, where we cross the road to La Verna and continue to Querceto. You then arrive in Campi, near an ancient bridge over the Corsalone river, on the road that leads to La Verna, now replaced by a modern wooden footbridge. Once in Campi, you go towards Camparsena, an Etruscan toponym of a building abandoned for a long time and now renovated; after the Fosso Grande, we go up to Sarna (Chiusi). It is a village-castle with a 10th century tower, remodeled into a lord’s house in later periods: a fortified castle gate and a hospice next to it, both from the 14th century. After passing through the small inhabited centre, and then Croce di Sarna, you come across the route that comes from La Verna (from Casa Santicchio to Croce di Sarna it is approximately 16.3 km).

VARIANT DE LA VERNA: to return from the Sanctuary of La Verna on the historical route, you leave the Sanctuary through the ancient gate and go down to Beccia, the hamlet (once a women’s hotel, since women could not stay overnight in the monastery) located just below the rock on which the sanctuary stands. Then there is the pretty village of Chiusi della Verna where we can stock up on food and water. Take the small hamlet of Vezzano: on the wall of the church there is a plaque commemorating the baptism of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Starting again we take various small roads until we come to cross the first path in Croce di Sarna.
Note: mainly downhill route; from Vezzano to Sarna trekking shoes and a water reserve are recommended. The route is classified EE due to the very irregular surface; from La Verna to Croce di Sarna it is about 10 km (cyclists from the sanctuary take the paved road of La Verna, arriving in Chiusi and the SP 60 up to Chitignano. In all, 14.7 km). From Croce di Sarna you go down to Ròsina. After crossing a stream (note the source of the ferruginous waters), you go up to Chitignano (about 3.5 km from Croce di Sarna to Chitignano).

TO VISIT: before reaching Campi (Campeàn degli Annales Stadenses) you can take a path to visit Bibbiena. At the crossroads after Querceto, you go down to the Convent of the Dominicans, Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso, an institution of Medici origin, rich in works of art and a good place for refreshment and rest. Then you can continue up to Bibbiena. However, it is necessary to retrace our steps to resume the Via Romea

UPDATES: Once in Campi you go towards the Corsalone river; the footbridge that crosses the river is not currently usable, so it is best to check the water level before venturing across the ford. If it is not possible to reach the other bank of the river, take the road that runs along the river itself up to the intersection with the SS 71. Head in the direction of La Lappola. Following the Corsalone river, past the tiny village of La Lappola, you arrive at the path that goes up to Sarna. Unfortunately, the detour extends the stage by 5 km, but does not present any difficulty in terms of height difference and traffic.

29 – Points of Interest

Bibbiena – The origins of Bibbiena date back to the second half of the 11th century, with the construction of the outpost castle of Arezzo on the High Casentino. The Battle of Campaldino in 1289 marked a negative turning point for Bibbiena, allied with the losers from Arezzo. It resumed its development in 1300 with Bishop Tarlati. Then it passed into Florentine rule. The beautiful Clock Tower on the corner of a large building overlooking Piazza Tarlati is of medieval origin. In the Church of St. Lawrence there are two large glazed terracottas by Luca della Robbia the Younger (1515). The most important church in Bibbiena is the Propositura. Bibbiena houses the Archaeological Museum of Casentino; Exhibited here are the artefacts discovered by the Archaeological Group of Casentino, over many years of activity.

Santa Maria del Sasso – A devotional complex of great historical, artistic and religious value, the only Renaissance example in the Casentino area. The sanctuary takes its name from a large boulder on which, during the year 1347, the peasants of the area noticed several times a white dove that allowed itself to be approached only by children and a Camaldolese hermit. On the 23rd of June, Our Lady appeared to a little girl and gave her some seed pods, which shortly afterwards were found full of blood. In the terrible plague of 1348, Bibbiena and its surrounding area remained immune. In 1486, a fire destroyed the primitive little church; in the same year, work began on the construction of the present-day sanctuary, which was consecrated in 1507.

Chitignano – This municipality of the Lower Casentino is known and remembered for two very different aspects: the smuggling of tobacco and gunpowder (an aspect happily remembered by the population and to which the Eco-museum of the smuggler has been dedicated), and the presence in the territory of sulphuric-ferruginous thermal waters, appreciated in the Middle Ages as they are today. This second aspect helps make Chitignano a pleasant place for summer holidays. The most important place in the municipality from a historical and architectural perspective is surely the Ubertini Castle, along the road that leads from Rassina. The exact date of its construction is not known; we know that initially (13th century) it belonged to the Earls of Chiusi, and that from 1261 it passed to the bishops of Arezzo, who belonged to the Ubertini family.

please, see the Official Guide of the Via Romea Germanica (www.guidaromea.eu)


Bold type for structures we already used
Red type for structures we have an arrangement (with Credential*)
(*) Prices might change for special situations: please book early and ask for confirmation

How to arrive

SANTUARIO LA VERNA From airport (BOLOGNA, FIRENZE, PISA, PERUGIA) to Arezzo FS Railway Station TRAIN – Arezzo FS Railway Station- Bibbiena Railway Station: TFT trains (www.trasportoferroviariotoscano.it/index.php/Viaggia-con-noi/Orari-dei-treni) BUS/LOCAL TRAIN – From Bibbiena FS Railway Station with bus route to Chiusi la Verna (Monastero/Beccia)
CASA SANTICCHIO From airport (BOLOGNA, FIRENZE, PISA, PERUGIA) to Arezzo FS Railway Station TRAIN – Arezzo FS Railway Station – Bibbiena Railway Station: TFT  trains (www.trasportoferroviariotoscano.it/index.php/Viaggia-con-noi/Orari-dei-treni)  

Where to eat

  Typical Dishes = Buonissimo Typical Dishes = Dissapore Typical Dishes = Initalia Typical Dishes = Gambero Rosso
Pensione “DOCCIOLA” Via Belardi, 6 – 52010 CHITIGNANO AR 0575-596714 info@hotelristorantedocciola.com ; luciovaleri@virgilio.it www.hotelristorantedocciola.com
Castello Ubertini di Chitignano Via Castello, 52010 CHITIGNANO-AR 339-5276046 devivopaint@libero.it info@naturaarteincontro.org
Agriturismo Sommo di Banzena Loc. Banzena 52011 BIBBIENA AR 339-4573603 tamarabiagioni@libero.it  
Ristorante “Il Sogno di Francesca” Via Arrigucci,21 – 52010 CHITIGNANO-AR 0575-454541 /333-738 7777   www.facebook.com/IlSognodiFrancesca/

Where to sleep

Bike Service

Motors Cycles Rent Località Ferrantina,23 – 52011 BIBBIENA AR 392-3576013    

Pilgrim Service

COMUNE CHITIGNANO Via Belardi, 6 – 52010 CHITIGNANO AR     www.comune.chitignano.arezzo.it
Associazione Amici dell’Asino – Guida e Organizzatore 52010 Loc. Casanova,63 – 52011 BIBBIENA AR 320-0676766 – signi marta amici.asino@alice.it www.gliamicidellasino.it

Photos from the Track


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