A swirl of holes and infinite ridges. That in the heart of the Apennines, on the borders between the Tuscany, Romagna and Marche regions, we find a network of trails that flow into the protected mountain area of the Alpe della Luna. An enchanted place to discover on horseback, by bicycle or on foot. Where it is not uncommon to see roe deer or follow the flight of the golden eagle and the sparrow hawk.
Along the Via Ariminensis, the ancient road that united Arezzo with Rimini. In Roman times the town was a stopover for pilgrims, monks and travellers. The name comes from one of the two Benedictine abbeys that arose in the Middle Ages, called the Tedaldi. The old town is a maze of alleyways lined with monumental buildings from medieval times, close to the top of the village. Like the ancient abbey of San Michele Arcangelo, inside which there is an illuminated terracotta altarpiece depicting the Madonna on the throne with Child and San Benedetto di Buglioni.
Once a year, the Benedectine monks led by their abbot return to animate the life of the ancient abbey of Sant'Angelo Michele dei Tedaldi and preside over the Palio dei Castelli. The historic re-enactment, scheduled around August, the procession winds along the country's roads in an uphill climb to the castle accompanied by antique liturgies and tastings in medieval taverns overflowing with typical dishes and wine. The most anticipated moment is the equestrian tournament with lances that knights of the castles of Badia Tedalda compete in.
The gentle landscape of the Alpe della Luna nature reserve is the cornerstone of the hamlet of Badia Tedalda. In the protected mountain area, guided hikes can be organised to reach the wildest and most striking points: the rocky wall of Ripa della Luna, a semicircle that opens for two hundred and fifty meters high on the northern slope of Monte dei Frati, the highest of the reserve , and the Tabussa Cave, excavated for centuries by spring waters. About six kilometrse from the town, at 900 meters above sea level, stands the village of Montebotolino known as the "paradise village". The fittest visitors can get there by bike, crossing a bridge over the River Marecchia and climbing up to the church of Santa Maria in Rofelle, then continuing climbing along the mountain.
A much-attended and participatory initiative is the La Staffetta of the historic bicycle race that runs along the Apennine to commemorate events that led to the birth of the Italian Republic and the Constitution. The race runs along the entire Gothic Line linking the historic park of Badia Tedalda and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park.