The Via degli Dei or Sentiero degli Dei is a path that connects Bologna to Florence. The route, dusted off in the 1990s, partly follows the preferred route connecting the two cities in the Middle Ages.
The Via degli Dei is certainly a fascinating route. It begins in the centre of Bologna and, crossing the Apennines, leads to the centre of Florence.
This connecting route began with the Etruscans, who used it to move from Fiesole to Felsina. Then it was the turn of the Romans who, in 187 BC, thanks to the consul Caio Flaminio, built a real trans-Apennine road called Flaminia Militare (still partially) visible along the way.
Initially created to be tackled on foot, the original route has been reimagined and partially modified to guarantee cyclability, creating a stunning mountain bike route. The route was tested at the end of September 2016. If you are interested, you can find the guide to the Via degli Dei here.
When to walk the Via degli Dei
The route of the Via degli Dei is an unforgettable experience for bicycle lovers, but it is essential to plan your excursion carefully to avoid adverse weather conditions. In particular, it is advisable to avoid travelling during rainy periods, as a large part of the route is on paths which can become dangerous if muddy. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid undertaking the journey during the winter months, as the central part of the route can often be covered in snow.
The summer months are generally suitable for walking the Via degli Dei, but pay attention to the intense heat and insects, as the area is rich in horseflies.
For the best experience, walking the Via degli Dei is recommended during spring and autumn, when the climatic conditions are milder and the landscapes are particularly spectacular. It is always important to monitor the weather forecast and prepare for any eventuality.
The Via degli Dei is a cycle path that stands out for its logistical simplicity. The journey begins at the Bologna Central railway station, which can be easily reached by regional trains that accept bicycles. Upon arrival, your final destination is Florence Santa Maria Novella station, where you can take a regional train to continue your journey to any other destination in Italy, with frequent and flexible timetables.
Furthermore, there are numerous train stations and bus stops along the way, allowing easy access to towns and villages. This makes the Via degli Dei an ideal option for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany regions without worrying about finding accommodation or carrying too much equipment.
While the route is designed to be walked, your options for finding food along the way can be limited. For this reason, it is advisable to study the route well in advance and bring enough food and water with you for the trip. However, it is possible to book your lunch or dinner at the restaurants along the way or stop in small shops to buy local products for a picnic.
It is also recommended to bring a detailed map of the route with you and to find out about the refreshment points available along the way to adequately plan the stages of the journey. In general, it is always best to have a plan B in case food options along the way are not available.
The Via degli Dei is a cycle path that can easily be covered on a mountain bike in 2 days. However, to fully enjoy the landscape and attractions along the way, it is advisable to take the time to make stops and plan your trip so that you can sleep near the Futa Pass.
As for accommodation, near the Futa Pass, in the Monte di Fò area, is the Albergo Ristorante Camping “Il Sergente”, an excellent choice for spending the night and enjoying a delicious dinner. This hotel offers a variety of accommodation options, including private rooms, bungalows and tent sites. Furthermore, the hotel’s restaurant serves typical dishes of the area, allowing you to savour the local flavours and complete the travel experience.
The path of the Via degli Dei
The Via degli Dei is a cycle path that offers cyclists diverse difficulties and landscapes. The beginning and end of the route, near the cities of Bologna and Florence, are relatively flat and flowing, ideal for a relaxing ride. However, the central part of the route, which crosses the Apennines, is characterised by steep slopes and varied terrain, which can be challenging for less experienced cyclists. This area is very evocative as you can admire breathtaking views, discover small villages and breathe fresh mountain air.
It is advisable to be prepared for this part of the route, both physically and technically, as it requires some training and a suitable bike.