Via dell’Erta Canina in Florence: the ancient route of wayfarersJuly 4, 2014
Via dell’Erta Canina is one of the most picturesque areas of Florence. The name is not by accident, since it is such a steep place: in fact, this road is characterized by a strong slope that leads from the Porta San Miniato, near the banks of the Arno River, to viale Galileo, almost in front of the basilica of San Miniato in Monte.
This route is part of the winding and narrow hilly roads that surround Florence, all of them offering a magnificent view over the Tuscan countryside. Bordered by walls, via dell’Erta Canina is a very old road and until the nineteenth century, it was one of the paths used to reach the city. It was also one of the shortcuts used to reach Siena and Rome and for this reason, it was a very busy route. As a visible proof of its ancient origin, you can still find old tabernacles gravestones along the way, the ones that accompanied the travelers with blessings and distance informations. Among them there is a plaque inviting travelers to rest, which was a useful tip, as the path appeared to be somewhat tiring for those who transported goods and led animals.
Squeezed between houses and fields, its upper part is now paved and accessible to vehicles, but the route becomes pedestrian only once you get past the Colle Ginevra. This lower part of the road is covered with grass just as it once was and it is the one offering the most spectacular view over the surrounding hills and the Tuscan capital. The villas in here have been built during different centuries, but they all are majestic buildings with large gardens surrounding them.
Via dell’Erta Canina is one of the most favorite destinations for Florentines and visitors who want to enjoy long walks outdoors; it is actually no surprise, given the old, fascinating atmosphere and the lovely scenario. As a consequence, this road is also one of the most sought after for houses and flats to rent, or even as a holiday resort for people seeking relaxation and fresh air away from the chaos of the city.
Finally, the street is full of typical restaurants and cafes, so that you can enjoy the nightlife as much as you want.