Geographically, Camaldoli is the "heart" of the Casentino Forests. It is a spiritual place surrounded by those great and ancient woods of spruce trees and beech trees grown and taken care of by the monks themselves since the 11th century. Therefore, Camaldoli means faith, nature, history and art (most importantly Giorgio Vasari's paintings conserved in the Church of the Monastery). This naturalistic area can offer a mix of aspects that makes this place well-known not only on a national level, but much further as well. In Camaldoli (but also in the rest of the Casentino Forest Park), nature is synonymous of excursions and walks, which can be more or less long and tiring. If we want, many of these can offer that mix of aspects above mentioned.
With this spirit, the pages of this section will "lead" us to a visit of Camaldoli that will be a little different from the usual. We will connect with this place of worship (only the Monastery because we will talk about the Sacred Hermitage in the text of another excursion) during a walk that starts from the chestnut trees in Camaldoli. For centuries, these trees have been an irreplaceable food supply for the monks; nowadays, it is a place where to go in the summer if looking for some fresh relax, or during the fall if looking for delicious chestnuts. After this, we will visit the monastery of Camaldoli's most famous spots as the cloisters, the church and the ancient pharmacy; we will also pay a short visit to the Ornithological Museum of Camaldoli. The real walk starts here. It will take us to a "giant" of the forest: the well-known Castagno Miraglia.
This excursion lasts for a little more than two kilometers, including the return journey, with a difference in altitude of less than one hundred meters between the starting point in Camaldoli and the arrival one in front of the Castagno Miraglia. This path is characterised by an enjoyable alternation of ups-and-downs and flat stretches; therefore, it is also suitable for people that are not particularly trained for walks. The first three hundred and fifty meters of steady climb represent the most demanding section; while, going back from the Castagno Miraglia to the Monastery of Camaldoli is almost entirely a descending.
This itinerary could be almost called "visit to a small arboretum" because, in addition to the classic spruces and beeches trees, there are also several other species of plants along the path. This is the reason why it is included among the Nature Trails of the Casentino Forest Park. These plants are indicated by numbers 1 through 10. For those who are interested into this aspect, it is suggested getting the short guide book regarding this path and other Nature Trails that can be purchased at a particularly modest price at the Park Visitor Centers. One of these is located in the building from which the itinerary starts, at the entrance of the Ornithological Museum of Camaldoli. For any information about the opening days and hours of the Visitor Centers, which change during the year, check the Park website.