If you are visiting the Casentino region and would like to learn about its agriculture and products, scenic beauty and history, drive along the SS71 from Badia Prataglia and the right turn off a few kilometres away leads to Camaldoli (www.camaldoli.it).
Its famed monastery (Picture 1 and 2) surrounded by the forest which has supplied the monks with fruit for centuries is still productive. The monks that belonged to the Benedictine order were important in the medieval times. Since these times they have taken advantage of the forest fruit and prepared medicine and products based on herbs. They also make liqueur, honey, perfume and chocolate. Their products are sold at the bar opposite the monastery or in other towns in the region.
The land where the Eremo di Camaldoli (Picture 3) sits belonged to Count Maldolo who gave it to Saint Romualdo in the 11th century and whose name was given to the town. Later on Romualdo started the monastery that today we can visit along with the monks´ cells.
From the monastery you can go to another town in the region, Pratovecchio, only 16 km away. The scenic drive through forests and enchanting views is rewarding in spite of the twisting road.