Walking in Mugello near Florence as a first post of a Blog should be like the manifesto. It should declare clearly, what content the reader will find in the course of the time.
The first post of Mugello&Tuscany will be a little different. because we did not find, in our opinion, a better way to explain the genesis of this blog, and especially of the site linked to it, as this little story.
Walking in Mugello near Florence between hills and lake… We have visited many places around the world. We were in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Laos, Qatar, Morocco, Greece, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, and then again, in England, Ireland, the US and Brazil .
Despite the plethora of beautiful places that we have seen, the cities, deserts and mountains, crystal clear waters, monuments and works of art, always our land, in some ways fascinates and seduces us, even just leaving the house and taking a walk in the familiar places where we were born.
We hope to bring to life to the reader at least some of those emotions that walking around Mugello near Florence have aroused in us.
It is a late August afternoon 2015. the sun is already low and not so far from disappearing behind the massive and uniform profile of the mountains of Calvana. I take my faithful dog, my camera and driving for a few kilometers along the banks of lake Bilancino.
At one point, I take to the right, and I clamber up the hill. I leave the car along the roadside. Below, on the lake’s smooth surface, hosts of people along the lakesides the dimension of ants. The sun, already low on the horizons, is giving golden reflexes to the waters: the camera captures it all. I start walking toward the woods, after a few meters, on the left, the church of San Giovanni suddenly shows up.
Access is blocked to the public, possibly due to renovations that perhaps have never even started. However, it is just beautiful like that, with its bell tower sticking out from the hill where the church has been standing for almost 1000 years. Another hundred meters and again, I stop to take pictures from a different perspective. As the heat of the day is vanishing it brings him traces of countless wild animals to follow.
Now the road enters into the woods: the temperature is perfect and invites to increase the pace. My eye is used to bucolic scenery, but I always take some extra time in front of a massive oak or an olive grove that, judging by the size of the olive trees, must be there from well before the birth of my grandfather. We flank a rustic villa, where on its conspicuous lawn a dozen people seem busy to set the dinner; observing them from a distance you can feel tranquillity and carefree spirit coming to you. Definitely, it will be a nice evening for them.
The road turns passing near a farmhouse and an uninhabited hayloft. The view opens up really well. Among the cypress trees, the top of the tower of the castle of Trebbio sticks out.
Another luxury Medici location now part together with the castle of Cafaggiolo of the Unesco world heritage sites. The white road, winds down and then climbs up with endless turns and twists. You can follow the trail with your eyes: it must be just over a kilometer. Many road signs warn of the free-range cattle and horses. Further on in fact we meet a group of horses .One of them sticks out its head from the fenced area. It watches us in a curious way as we get nearer.
Gently, I pluck a tuft of grass and give it to the animal which starts to eat it. Then, gently I stroke its head, while the dog, who became smug, brings his head up to the horse’s nose while the horse is lowering its head to peruse my dog. The two animals sniff each other for a few minutes, then, the smaller one decides that is enough.
Arrived at the open space below the castle of Trebbio, I realize that many people have had the same idea. I gaze at the castle in astonishment. I squint my eyes to find the sundial on its facade. The sun is too low to bring to life this primitive clock. The castle is very well preserved. I’m thinkinking that my eyes can see more or less the same thing that, in 1430s, Cosimo de ‘Medici saw, when he came to the castle for one of his beloved hunting parties.
The sundial does not provide me with the time. However the watch on my wrist shows that it is time to go back. In the distance towards Campomigliaio and Vaglia, in the municipality of San Piero there are some of the most beautiful and best preserved and restored farmhouses of the area.
I’m getting back where I came from, the camera around my neck. I hope of being able to capture at least one of the many little creatures that, at our arriving disappear into the vegetation like a pet into a conjuror’s hat. I lift up my face, a hawk is spinning high in the sky. Just the time to focus my 300mm and click: I got it.
I’m back to the car and now the landscape is dominated by a single color shade. Red clouds in the sky, red mountains, red waters of the lake and the dam is almost orange. The camera shoots again and again. I’m not much of a photographer, but I hope that at least this little first blog entry, Walking in Mugello near Florence, will convey at least a small part of the beauty of these moments …