The old Fornello’s Mine

New weekday tour, this time with good old Elian and another shady dude. As usual I plan the loop and I decide to visit one of those place I have on my list from years: Fornello. There are two ways to reach this place: coming up from Gattaia or going down from the Colla’s Pass. We choose the second loop simply because in this way there will be more hiking and less driving 🙂

As you can infere, the first half is ALL DOWNHILL. The first cache of the day is nearby the starting point. The landscape is beautiful, with many sight on the deep Mugello. We pass nearby some abandoned houses: one is called Capanna Galeotti and here we reactivate an old cache.

We head into a not so visible trail, marked on OSM, that is the only way to reach our destination coming from north. The way is very steep, but one step at a time we arrive on the marked way, CAI 56. We are in in proximity of the Muccione’s Creek.

Now we are nearby our first stop: we arrive at an abandoned train gallery used by the old Fornello’s Station (where we find a cache). It was used as a “parking” for an extra locomotive used to help the train overcoming the steepest part of the railroad tracks.

Passeing the gallery took us away from the right way, but we didn’t notice it. We would have to go up BEFORE entering. We go ahead until we have to climb up on a very steep and barely visible track to reach the same level of the railroad tracks. After all the sweat dropped we finally arrive at the abandoned station! It was used up to the fifties, when the mines were closed and the train had no more reason to stop here. The railroad is still used so pay attention when you cross the tracks!

Here we take a break: we eat something (I cook some wurstel), we look for a cache with no luck and we enjoy the shadow. After a bit an hiker arrives, probably coming up from Gattaia, asking for direction to the Colla’s Pass. The sun is very hot on our heads (it’s nearly midday) but we are ready to go again! Following the right way this time we reach the junction with the indication for the nearby mines. A few minutes and we reach two very old winches that, with all probability, were used to load minerals on the train. A couple of meters away we arrive at a group of abandoned houses used probably by the miners: there are still some mine carts outside!

We see the old track on the ground, surely used by the mine carts in the past! After logging the nearby cache a second treasure-hunt begins: following the track to find the mine’s entrance. Sometimes the track get lost in the grass and sometimes they cross chasms, but in a couple of minutes we reach the entrance… or its remains. In fact it was blown up probably by the miners when the mine was officially closed. What a pity, it would have been interesting to check inside.

It’s time to go uphill: it’s hotter and hotter but since it’s getting late we follow the shorter but steeper road. Initially, still following the CAI 56, we wade the creek multiple times passing by many beautiful waterfalls. Once out of the woods the sun is nearly unbearable and the way is even steeper: passing nearby Le Casette, an old group of abandoned houses, we reach the CAI 00, that we will follow up to the end.

From here it gets easiere, even if we have no more water (the loop I planned initially was longer but with at least a couple of places where to refill). As a last stop we reach the Springs of Lamone river even if, being summer, there’s no water to see: it gets direclty channeled into the nearby aqueduct… From here we directly reach the Colla’s Pass and, before going back home, a quick pit-stop at Fonte dell’Alpe, a source of fresh water on the road headed to Florence.

We go back home burnt by the sun, but it was worth it: this tour about industrial archeology are really cool!


The holy rope (Eupatorium cannabinum) is a flower that prefer wet places, expecially nearby creeks and rivers up to 1600 mt over sea level. It was used in popular medicine as a laxative and anti-inflammatory agent. It can be found in all Italy and Eurasia in general.

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