Difficulty level

E

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Die Abtei und Bäder von San Michele alle Formiche

The route consists of two parts. The first is a short linear route that will take you to a spectacular viewpoint over the waterfall and the Radicagnoli gorge. From the end of this path you shall walk back to the beginning and start the second part, a ring route that completes the whole itinerary.

Along the deep, narrow valley of the Radicagnoli stream, erosion has carved gorges, waterfalls and deep pools into the green rocks, the same ophiolites often found in the nearby Valle del Diavolo and throughout the valley of the river Cecina, evidence of the complex geological origin of the area. These places were already famous in ancient times due to the presence of numerous hydrothermal phenomena linked to geothermal energy and being home to thermal baths.

The first section of the route offers spectacular views of the torrent, with unexpected glimpses of the mighty waterfalls that follow one another along the rocky riverbed. Immediately after a loop, you can follow the ancient paths of the retrace the historic paths of the hillock, known as Spartacciano. At the bottom of the valley you can see the ruins of the thermal baths of San Michele, evidence of which dates back to 1266. The existing building, equipped with the typical covered bridge, connected the hotel with the small spa building on the other side of the stream.

The spa, mentioned among the sites used for the treatment of the sick since 1512, was equipped with various baths and service rooms, which are still visible. At the top of the hill are the ruins of the ancient hermitage of San Michele alle formiche (14th century), run for centuries by the Celestine monks which is at the same time the site of amazing legends and also a superb viewing spot.

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Itinerary

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The route consists of two parts. The first is a short linear route that will take you to a spectacular viewpoint over the waterfall and the Radicagnoli gorge. From the end of this path you shall walk back to the beginning and start the second part, a ring route that completes the whole itinerary.

Along the deep, narrow valley of the Radicagnoli stream, erosion has carved gorges, waterfalls and deep pools into the green rocks, the same ophiolites often found in the nearby Valle del Diavolo and throughout the valley of the river Cecina, evidence of the complex geological origin of the area. These places were already famous in ancient times due to the presence of numerous hydrothermal phenomena linked to geothermal energy and being home to thermal baths.

The first section of the route offers spectacular views of the torrent, with unexpected glimpses of the mighty waterfalls that follow one another along the rocky riverbed. Immediately after a loop, you can follow the ancient paths of the retrace the historic paths of the hillock, known as Spartacciano. At the bottom of the valley you can see the ruins of the thermal baths of San Michele, evidence of which dates back to 1266. The existing building, equipped with the typical covered bridge, connected the hotel with the small spa building on the other side of the stream.

The spa, mentioned among the sites used for the treatment of the sick since 1512, was equipped with various baths and service rooms, which are still visible. At the top of the hill are the ruins of the ancient hermitage of San Michele alle formiche (14th century), run for centuries by the Celestine monks which is at the same time the site of amazing legends and also a superb viewing spot.

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Hiking difficulty scale

T - Tourist

Itineraries on small roads, mule tracks or easy paths, with clearly evident routes that do not pose uncertainties or problems of orientation. They generally take place below 2000 m and usually constitute access to mountain pastures or refuges. They require some knowledge of the mountain environment and physical preparation for walking.

E - Hiking

Routes that almost always turn on paths, or on traces of passage in various terrain (pastures, debris, stony ground), usually with signs. They require a certain sense of orientation, as well as a certain experience and knowledge of the mountainous territory, walking training, as well as appropriate footwear and equipment. Normally the difference in altitude is between 500 and 1000m.

EE - Expert hikers

Routes not always marked and which require a good ability to move on various mountain terrains. They can be paths or even faint traces that wind over rough or steep terrain, with steep and slippery slopes, scree and short snowfields that can be overcome without the use of climbing equipment. They need a good mountain experience, firm footing and good physical preparation. It is also necessary to have adequate equipment and equipment, as well as a good sense of direction. Normally the difference in height is greater than 1000m.

EEA - Expert hikers with mountaineering equipment

Routes that require the use of via ferrata equipment (lanyards, harness, heat sink, helmet, etc.). They can be equipped paths or real via ferratas. It is necessary to know how to use the technical equipment safely and have a certain habit of exposure and mountaineering terrain.

MTB difficulty scale

TC - Tourist

Route on dirt roads with a compact and smooth surface, suitable for vehicles.

BC - For cyclists with good technical skills

Route on very bumpy dirt roads or on mule tracks and paths with a rather bumpy but fairly smooth surface or compact but irregular, with some natural obstacles (eg rock steps or roots).

OC - For cyclists with excellent technical skills

As above but on very bumpy and / or very irregular paths, with significant presence of obstacles.

EC - Maximum level for the cycle excursionist

Path on very irregular paths, characterized by steps and obstacles in continuous succession, which require trial-type techniques.

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