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The Casentino is the name of the upper valley of the Arno, through which the river flows from its source in Mt Falterona as far as the vicinity of Arezzo. Here its waters escape from the confining Apennines into the plain and continue more placidly towards Florence.
The Arno rises at no great distance from its brother, the Tiber, and runs
parallel to it for a while, as if both had been marked out to share a splendid
destiny. Indeed they are separated only by a sharp ridge, high up on which the monasteries of La Verna and Camaldoli stand sentinel over their respective
valleys. But the basin of the youthful Arno is more smiling than that of the
Tiber, greener and less rugged, its gracious contours wonderfully balanced
by the hand of nature and the work of those who have populated and cultivated
it with intelligence and simplicity.
The Casentino is approached by two roads. The principal one connects Florence with Arezzo and runs north and south through the valley, entering it via the Consuma pass at the Florence end and at Giovi at the Arezzo end. The second road comes in from Romagna across the Mandroli pass.
Up-stream from Arezzo to Bibbiena the valley is narrow and winding. It then widens out as far as Pratovecchio to form a perfect amphitheatre of gentle slopes rising to the Pratomagno ridge on the west and on the east to the heights dominated by Monte Falterona, in which Camaldoli, La Verna and Catenaia are situated.
At Casentino, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.
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