Dante’s Train is a journey from Florence to Faenza on the 1893 old railway on a low speed t11rain that allows you to enjoy and admire the surrounding landscape of Mugello and Emilia-Romagna. The train wants to retrace those places he loved so much and that inspired Dante Alighieri, who was born in Florence in 1265. The rais is 101 kilometers long.
From Faenza you can continue the journey of the Dante’s Train to Ravenna , where Dante Alighieri died in 1321.
Florence and Dante Alighieri
Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is one of the most visited cities in the world for its beauty and quantity of prestigious art goods and it is from here that Dante’s Train leaves. It is considered the cradle of the Renaissance and is considered as one of the cradles of art and architecture. Many prestigious people were born here, including Dante Alighieri in 1265. In Florence it is possible to make a small itinerary by tracing the dear places to Dante.
- Casa di Dante: a museum located in via Santa Margherita, which tells about the daily life of the Middle Ages and the context in which the Divine Comedy was born.
- Church of Dante (Santa Margherita de ‘Cerchi): in this church Dante married Gemma Donati and knew his “inspirational muse” Beatrice. Inside the church a picture of the nineteenth century represents the moment of their encounter.
- Baptistery of St. John: called by Dante in the Divine Comedy “the beautiful Saint John”, here was baptized. In the baptistery there is a marble plaque that reminds the poet’s love for Florence.
- Church of Santa Maria Maggiore: in this church was the meeting of Dante and his master Brunetto Latini.
- Bargello Museum: in the Chapel there is also a depiction of Dante, created by the school of Giotto.
Vaglia is a small town that is about 10 km north of Florence and is the first stop of Mugello that meets along the Dante’s Train. The municipality of Vaglia has been inhabited since ancient times. The first inhabitants were probably the Ligures Magelli. Here you can visit: Villa di Bivigliano, Villa Demidoff, Convent of Montesenario, Pieve di San Pietro
San Piero a Sieve
San Piero a Sieve in 2014 was joined to the town of Scarperia, thus forming the municipality of Scarperia and San Piero. These are places rich in history and traditions. In San Piero you can visit: Pieve di San Pietro, Convento Bosco ai Frati, Fortress of San Martino, Castello di Monterezzonico, Villa Adami, Villa Schifonaia, Villa le Mozzete. Scarperia has been declared one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. His reputation is mainly due to the craftsmanship of knives and the Mugello Circuit where MotoGP races take place. Here we can visit: Palazzo dei Vicari, Trebbio Castle, Villa Panna, Centro di Documentazione archeologica and much more.
Borgo San Lorenzo
Borgo San Lorenzo is one of the most important towns of Mugello. In these lands lived the Chini family, masters of ceramics and Art Nouveau style. The discovery of this village can begin with the old town with the 14th century walls, Porta Fiorentina and Clock Tower. Do not forget: Villa Pecori Giraldi and its pottery, Pieve di San Lorenzo, Casa d’Erci Museum, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo del Podestà, Statue of Fido.
Marradi is part of the municipalities of Alto Mugello and is located in the Tosco-Romagna Apennines. This small village is bathed by the river Lamone. The importance of the municipality is also due to the construction of the Firenze-Faenza railway line, to the poet Dino Campana and to the chestnuts (“marron buono”). Here you can admire: Palazzo Torriani, Teatro degli Animosi, Palazzo Comunale, Palazzo Fabroni, Museum of Dino Campana, Fortress of Castiglionchio, Eremo di Gamogna.
Brisighella is an ancient medieval and thermal village located in the Lamone Valley. It was also classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Brisighella was founded at the end of 1200 by Maghinardo Pagani who built the Tower. Maghinardo is also quoted in the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
The city is dominated by three rocky spurs, on which are the Manfrediana Fortress, the Monticino Shrine and the Clock Tower.
The Rocca Manfrediana was built in 1310 by the Manfredi, the lords of Faenza, who held it until 1500. Subsequently he went to Cesare Borgia. It still preserves the characteristics of medieval fortresses today. The Clock Tower was used until 1500 to defend Brisighella. It has been damaged and reconstructed several times. It was completely rebuilt in 1850, when the six-hour clock was also placed. The Sanctuary of the Monticino that we see today was built in 1758. Inside there is a venerated sacred image of polychrome terracotta of 1626.
Faenza is known for its magnificent ceramics. It is a tradition that has been cultivated for many centuries. In 1908 was created the MIC (International Museum of Ceramics) that houses local and Italian productions, ceramics from the Far East and Pre-Columbian. Since the Old Town is not particularly large, it is recommended that you walk around to find out the city best. We meet Piazza del Popolo, overlooking Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Municipale. In Piazza della Libertà lies the Duomo. Do not forget Palazzo Milzetti, Teatro Masini, Pinacoteca and Parco Bucci where you will meet animals in the wild. From this city you can continue the Dante’s train to Ravenna, to discover the place where Dante Alighieri lived the last years of his life.
Ravenna is a city full of history, art and culture. It was the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Very important are mosaics, Paleochristian and Byzantine sites. Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites are included: St. Vitale Basilica, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Baptistery of the Aryans and Orthodox, Basilica of Saint Apollinare Nuovo and Class, Archbishop’s Chapel and Teodorico Mausoleum.
Dante Alighieri spent his last years in Ravenna, where he also ended the Paradise of the Divine Comedy, and died there in 1321.
At the Basilica of San Francesco you can visit the Dante’s Tomb. It is a neoclassical tomb and has become a national monument. The day after his death, Dante was buried in the same sarcophagus where he still stands today, outside the cloister to prevent Florentines from taking relics.
Here ends the magnificent journey with the Dante’s Train, to discover the places dear to him.
Faenza – Florence (Via Pontassieve)
On the way back from Dante’s train journey, coming from Faenza and arriving at the Borgo San Lorenzo station, the tourist can decide to take the Borgo San Lorenzo-Pontassieve railway line, built in 1913. In this case you can admire other towns until you arrive in Florence:
In the municipality of Vicchio was born Giotto and Beato Angelico, two important Italian painters. Giosuè Carducci also visited Vicchio very often and decided to erect a Giotto statue. In the hamlet of Barbiana lived Don Lorenzo Milano, who took care of educating the boys in the countryside. To visit: Giotto’s Statue, Giotto’s House, Church of Sant’Andrea in Barbiana, Ragnaia Bridge, Museum of Sacred and Popular Religious Art and much more.
Dicomano is geographically the last municipality in Mugello. It has a very ancient origin, as the characteristics of its territory were very favorable to the development of human settlements. It was an important venue for exchange between Romagna and Tuscany. The visit of the village can start from Buonamici Square where the Palace of the Pozze and the Snow Palace are facing. Not to miss the archaeological excavations of Frascole, the Archaeological Archaeological Museum, the Oratory of Sant’Onofrio.
Contea / Londa
The railway station serves both Contea (Dicomano district) and Londa. Regarding Londa you can visit the Proposition of the Most Holy Conception and City Hall. Also travel the Etruscan Path. Very nice to visit is the National Park of Foreste Casentinesi.
Rufina is famous for its production of Chianti Rufina. It is immersed in the countryside, surrounded by vineyards, fields cultivated with grain and olive trees. Here you can also find castles and ancient villas. Visit the magnificent Villa Poggio Reale with the Museum of Screw and Wine.
Pontassieve is just 10 km from Florence. It is a place rich in culture and surrounded by gentle hills. The places to visit are: Oratory of the Madonna del Sasso (also called Madonna delle Grazie), Palazzo Sansoni Trombetta, churches of Sant’Eustachio in Acone, Pieve di San Giovanni in Rèmole, Pieve dei Santi Gervasio and Martino in Lobaco.