VIA DELLA LANA E DELLA SETA
FROM BOLOGNA TO PRATO THROUGH WOODS AND INDUSTRIAL ARCHITECTURE
Since the VII century b.C the Etruscan populations of Tuscany started their expansion beyond the Apennine mountains, building settlements in strategic points in Emilian side: the best known are Kainua (present-day Marzabotto), Felsina (present-day Bologna) and Gonfienti (present-day borough in Prato). Thriving commercial trades and pilgrimage increased also thanks to the paths that were gradually forming across the Apennines.
One of these is the Via della Lana e della Seta, connecting Piazza Duomo in Prato with Piazza Maggiore in Bologna on a trekking route that spabs about 130 chilometers.
Why these two cities? Both had a strong connection with water!
In Bologna, up to the mid XX century, many canals could be seen flowing through the city center. They were the preferred communication routes to move cargo towards the Adriatic: a complex and efficient mechanical system that fixed the height difference issue.
Since the XV century, Bologna was leader in the silk production, symbolized in one of the most ancient examples of hydraulic work in the world, the Sluice of Casalecchio: a first wooden version dated back around the XI century subsequently converted in masonry in 1250. The Sluice played a fundamental role in the silk industry between the XIII and the XVIII century, that was the leading industry of the city, becoming the major water supplier to the city's mills.
Prato also owes its fortunes to the textile industry, particularly to the processing of wool.
Historical sources point out that the textile idustry was among the most important commercial activities of the city since the XIII century, as proven by the documents of the famous merchant Francesco Datini, also known as "Il Mercante di Prato" and remembered by scholars as the inventor of the check: from his rich archive of letters and logs, rediscovered in the XIX century, it's possible to reconstruct the life and business of the merchants of the XIV century.
Prato is also known for the presence of an ancient hydric system, the Cavalciotto, that dates back to the XI century, a weir used to divert the natural course of the Bisenzio River and create the so-called Gorone, the first and largest millstream in Prato.
THE PATH OF WOOL AND SILK LEG TO LEG
If you want to organize your Path of Wool and Silk tailoring it to your requirements, we will help you! You will only have to choose the dates!
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
Overnight stay with breakfast
Luggage transport between stages
Hiking map and guide (1 x)
Credential (1 each)
Want to join one of our groups*?
*the groups are formed mainly by Italian-speaking people, our guides however all speak more or less fluently English
We also make custom quotes, contact us!