“The Alps are visible pillars, made of well-lit monoliths and traversed by great roads. The Apennines are not: they are archaic, depopulated, despite the fact that the deep identity of the nation nests in them.” Paolo Rumiz
The Via degli Dei, is an ancient pilgrimage route and hiking trail that crosses the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, connecting the cities of Bologna and Florence. This fascinating trail offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature, discover fascinating historical sites, and experience a sense of spiritual connection with the past. In this article, we will explore what the Way of the Gods is and what makes it such a special itinerary.
A bridge between past and present
The Way of the Gods as you will see is not a route invented yesterday but has ancient roots dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, when it was used as an important communication route between the two cities. In the late 1980s, the trail was recovered and marked by the “Dû pâs e ‘na gran magnè” group, walkers and gourmets from the Bologna CAI who wanted to reach Florence, allowing visitors to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and immerse themselves in the millennial history of these two regions.
The Via degli Dei traverses some of the most spectacular landscapes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. During the approximately 130-kilometer route, walkers will have the opportunity to admire scenic views, ancient forests, green pastures and charming medieval villages. Along the way, wild animals and a variety of plant species can also be seen, making the experience even more fascinating for nature lovers.
To name a few: The spectacular Mount Adonis, from the top of which there is a beautiful 360-degree panorama. Not to mention the Tuscan landscapes, from the view atop Mount Gazzarro over the Mugellan valley with its lake to the view from Fiesole over superb Florence and its dome.
Cultural treasures along the way
The Way of the Gods is not only an immersion experience in nature, but also offers the opportunity to discover important cultural treasures along the way. Along the way, walkers can visit castles, churches, monasteries and ancient archaeological sites that testify to the rich history of this region. The Gothic Line, a German defensive line visible in the section from Brento to Monzuno, where the Church of San Giovanni, a Romanesque jewel dating from the 11th century, is located.
Not to mention the remains of the ancient Flaminia Militare visible here and there all along the walking route. The Sanctuary of Montesenario near Florence, through which you will pass before arriving in Fiesole, where you can visit the impressive Etruscan-Roman archaeological site.
An experience of inner connection
The Way of the Gods is more than just a hiking trail. Walking along this route offers an experience of inner connection, allowing modern pilgrims to reflect on their spirituality and enjoy moments of tranquility and contemplation. Away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the Way of the Gods offers an opportunity to slow the pace, immerse oneself in nature and rediscover a sense of inner peace.
In working on the Way, however, I have had the opportunity to realize that the wayfarer will not always find an experience of inner connection, but of connection with others. The path, which has been increasingly traveled over the years, offers a real opportunity to connect with people who, caught up in the same ideals, take the path as you do giving rise to connections that were lacking in these super-technological years.
The Way of the Gods is an itinerary that combines nature, history and spirituality into an unforgettable experience. Passing through the striking landscapes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the thousand-year history of this region and experience a deep connection with nature and with themselves. Whether you are a hiking enthusiast, culture lover or looking for an escape from daily stress, the Way of the Gods offers a unique opportunity for discovery and renewal.