Straddling the Tuscany border but sitting in Emilia-Romagna, the quaint town of Tredozio offers old world allure with outdoors fun. It is south of Faenza, and in reach of that city, Forli', and Imola, as well as Florence to the south. It is at the foot of the national park Foresta Casentinesi, and rests amidst wooded hills and mountains. It was a popular summer getaway for noble Florentines during the Renaissance, who came to escape the heat of the city and enjoy the views and clean air.
The town's roots are ancient, with the first settlement during the Bronze Age in the area above town known as Santa Maria in Castello. The Romans arrived, and then the Byzantines. In the 12th century the territory became a feudal estate of the Guidi di Modigliana counts, who built the Castellaccio above town (now in ruins). The Florentine Republic took control in 1428, and many palazzi still adorn the streets from that era, all painted pretty pastels. In 1923, the town reverted to the jurisdiction of Emilia-Romagna in the province of Forli-Cesena, from its previous standing in Tuscany.
A castle was built in the 10th century featuring an octagonal shape and a 17-meter high tower at its center, used for munitions and surveillance over the land. Only ruins remain, but it's a nice spot with views. The churches to see include the Pieve di San Michele, a 12th century monastery-church, originally dating to the 12th century and recently restore, holding some nice paintings of the Rimini style. The Beata Vergine delle Grazie has some paintings a compact but artful facade in brick.
There are several palazzi in town, but the most spectacular is the Palazzo Fantini, in the heart of the centro but holding two courtyards and an Italian garden. It hosts a museum, and special events, but can be visited regularly.
Outside of town, the Lago di Ponte is a pretty respite pond surrounded by woods. Up Monte Busca there are beautiful scenes to behold and loads of trail to hike. An ususual feature is the Volcano del Monte Busca, that isn't an actual lava eruption but a natural gas that escapes and can be lit which is especially evocative at night.
The town still retains its artisan crafts, in particular -shoe-making. The craftsmen here are skilled at riding boots and have made some famously for actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, and shoes and boots for Kate Middleton. Nearby, Modigliana has a graceful arched Medieval bridge, a pleasant old town, and a castle on top.
The bit festival is the Sagra del Tertolaccio, a local specialty, held every November. They are filled tortelli pasta stuffed with potatoes, pancetta and pecorino cheese, cooked on a piastra (iron griddle).
Explore nearby towns
Straddling the Tuscany - Emilia Romagna border, the town of Marradi rests along the River Lamone in a wooded, mountainous zone midway between Florence and Faenza.
An elegant small city of about 55,000 people, Faenza has a showy piazza with arched and draped porticoes, a Romanesque cathedral and a nice vibe.
Dicomano enjoys a pretty setting among the undisturbed hills northwest of Florence.
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