Like the stream which holds its own course
From the Monte Veso towards the East,
Upon the left-hand slope of Apennine,
Which is called Acquacheta
Descending down into its low bed,
And losing its name at Forlì
Reverberating there above San Benedetto
From the Alps, by falling at a single leap,
Where there is enough room fro a thousand;
We found resounding a dark-tinted water
Falling downward from a bank precipice,
Offending the ear.
So Dante described the beautiful waterfall of Acquacheta, comparing it to the waterfall of the infernal river Flegetone. Today we will follow the footsteps of the poet, to the discovery of a wonderful waterfall and beautiful nature in the Foreste Casentinesi Monte Falterona Campigna National Park, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. We start, just as Dante himself, in San Benedetto in Alpe, a mountain village of Romagna at 485m above sea level.
We head to the main road and, after passing the bridge over the stream Acqua Cheta, we take the path that runs along the creek. We find ourselves in a beautiful grove of alder trees, the landscape looks like a painting, a work of art. The route is part of the nature trails of the National Park and is well marked, and it never moves away from the stream.
When we pass the old building called Ca 'del Rospo, a steep climb begins, it will leads up to the ancient mill of Romiti. Only a kilometer divides us from the waterfall, but the most difficult part of the day is in front of us: a series of steep and craggy up and down lead us to destination. The thunderous sound of the water tell us the we are near the waterfall, which appears to us with its height of 70m and a width that reaches up to 30m. We sit down, tired but happy, in the benches to admire this show of nature; in the same point where Dante himself stopped to watch the waterfall.
The fittest of you can go towards the top of the waterfall, in the alluvial upland Romiti. Not far from the waterfall, we see the cascade Lavane, which forms a wonderful green natural swimming pool that invites us, in summer, to dive in. After a few minutes we reach the upland where there are the ruins of the Hermitage belonged to the Abbey of San Benedetto in Alpe. So our excursion ends. The return follows the same route for a total of 3 hours of walking.
The wild nature of the landscape fully repays the effort. It's like being in a fairy tale, far from civilization, in an enchanted forest. We seem alone, but we are not: the silence is broken by the sound of the water, the wind in the trees, the birds singing and the tapping of the woodpecker on the wood.
Author: Chiara Marras