Apennine of Tuscany and Romagna
The Apennine of Tuscany and Romagna: here we go from the Futa pass to Bocca Trabaria pass, referring to the main ridge. We already discussed about setting the start of this part at the Futa pass, in the introductory page to the Apennine of Tuscany and Emilia. About the end, at Bocca Trabaria, few doubts: this is the pass at which the northern Apennine is usually considered to have its end. Within these limits, this part of Apennine includes however also the northern part of the Marche region, namely the area of historic Montefeltro.
At the Futa pass the main ridge starts again with a rather straight direction, NW to SE. North of the ridge, there is the region known as Romagna of Tuscany: it administratively belongs to the Toscana region, but it is is open towards the Romagna plains and lays in the upper valleys of rivers flowing to Romagna: river Santerno, with the ample basin of Firenzuola; river Senio, with the ancient city of Palazzuolo sul Senio and river Lamone, with Marradi. The middle and lower valleys of these rivers belong to Romagna, even if, until Imola, they still belong to the province of Bologna. South of the main ridge there is the ample river Sieve valley, better known as Mugello, with Barberino, that reaches the outskirts of Florence, at Pontassieve, where river Sieve flows into the river Arno.
The rivers of Romagna are rather short, gradually taking the W-E direction that will be characterising of the rivers flowing to the Adriatic sea, down south to the Puglia region. River Marecchia springs again in Toscana, in the northern part of the Alpe della Luna range, close to the Viamaggio pass, then flows almost entirely in Romagna, until Rimini. River Metauro, already entirely flowing within the Marche region, is the other river of this area having its springs on the main ridge, again on the Alpe della Luna range, but in its southern part, close to Bocca Trabaria pass. Between the two, river Conca, springs on the Marche side, on mount Carpegna becoming then the last river of the Romagna region, having its mouth close to Cattolica. River Foglia is the river of the Montefeltro, that springs close to the main ridge and ends in the Adriatic sea close to Pesaro.
On the side of Toscana, things are a bit different. After the river Sieve valley, river Arno, first, then river Tevere, flow in a N to S direction. A first ridge leaves the main ridge more or less in correspondence of mount Falterona, heading south, and dividing the river Sieve valley from the upper river Arno valley, that is the area known as Casentino. Further south, river Arno makes an ample turn round, heading north again, and this ridge goes up to the Pratomagno mountains, dividing the middle from the upper Arno valley. A second ridge leaves the main ridge from the Montecoronaro pass and, after the mount of la Verna, its shapes onto the Alpe di Catenaia range, dividing the Casentino from the upper river Tevere valley. This latter valley, in turn, is bordered, on its eastern side, by the Alpe della Luna range. On the Toscana side, this part of the Apennine corresponds therefore to the three above mentioned mountain ranges, until more or less a line linking Arezzo – Anghiari – Sansepolcro – Bocca Trabaria.
A forested ridge, wide valleys, with the Toscana region estending its limits north to the main Apennine ridge; abandoned and the restored old villages. Quiet hikings, silent, to be discovered, and the first monasteries among the forests.
The Apennine tries to rise up again, but not becoming again high mountain. Still vast forests with some open tops, with unespected views. Villages on both sides, the river Arno sources, and Camaldoli, the first of the great historic monasteries of this area.
The Apennine ridge changes its direction, heading south, at the borders of Romagna, Toscana and Marche regions. Limestone blocks come from far away, long time ago. The peaks and the centres of the Marecchia valley and the San Marino republic, not really a usual hiking target, but for sure a tourist attraction.
The Pratomagno range, the Casentino valley, the Alpe di Catenaia range, the upper river Tevere valley, to end with the Alpe della Luna range. An area still of woods but, above all, of medieval villages and glorious monasteries, chestnut groves, and ample pasture ridges.