The Apennine Way of Gods connects Bologna with Florence following the ancient Roman road Flaminia Minor. This is a military route built by the consul Caio Flaminio around 187 BC. The road followed the Etruscan route that connected Bologna to Fiesole and Arezzo. Bologna was Bononia in Roman Times and before that it was named Felsinea by the Etruscans. This trail was fundamental for the defeat of the Apuan and Magelli Ligurian tribes dominating those territories.
The Way of Gods is one of a few possible translations for the Italian Via degli Dei. Other possible forms include the Gods’ trail and the Path of the Gods. This road follows exactly the watershed ridge between Savena and Setta rivers. After the Futa pass, the Apennine Way of Gods descends gently to the Mugello valley. In the Middle Ages, as well as the most famous via Francigena, this trans-Apennine variant was also operating. In fact, many pilgrims and wayfarers of the Middle Ages preferred to walk upwards to better orient themselves.
But where does the name Apennine Way of Gods come from? Because the route passes from places like Mount Adonis, Monzuno (Mons Iovis, mount Jupiter), Mount Venus etc. The Way of Gods today is one of the main attractions of adventure tourism in the Apennines. Many lovers of mountain biking and trekking are rediscovering this ancient path, enjoying the pristine beauty of these places.
The entire crossing from Bologna to Florence can be done in four / six days on foot (depending on the training and the ability of the walker), or in two / 4 days by mountain bike. We suggest covering the Apennine Way of Gods in 5 stages. Of these, the third and fourth concern the Mugello. To tackle this marvelous adventure we strongly suggest to get the official map of the Way of Gods. In recent years, the Way of Gods is experiencing a boom in tourism interest. There is even talk of over 5000 presences a year on the entire route distributed in 5 stages. Mugello meets it a few kilometers before the Futa pass and then leaves it past the town of Vaglia just before reaching Fiesole.
If possible, we recommend taking a little extra time to visit the Mugello valley. The millenarian church of Santagata is on the road but the beautiful town of Scarperia is only 5 km away. During the summer it might be worthwhile to use a variant on the 3rd stage and go through Barberino.
Not far from the town of Barberino lies in fact the wonderful lake Bilancino. A stop in one of the many free beaches of the lake is recommended. On the side of the Romanesque church of San Giovanni in Petroio is the Bahia lakeshore resort. Here you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas, canoes and surf and have lunch or dinner on a lovely veranda overlooking the lake.
In Bosco ai Frati, just a few kilometres from Lake Bilancino, you can visit the historic monastery of the same name. Inside, in addition to some valuable paintings, there is the famous wooden crucifix by the great sculptor Donatello dated 1460.
The end of the third leg of the journey is at San Piero a Sieve only 4 kilometers from the Bosco ai Frati. We would very much like to help you with further information on the Apennine Way of Gods.