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A one-day trip to the Lake of Bilancino

diga1It is summer time and when in Florence it gets too hot and sticky and in your room there is no air conditioning I may suggest you escape from the city and get to the lake of Bilancino in about 40-45 minutes. Situated in the Mugello valley (north of Florence, direction Bologna), the lake is ideal for those who want to sunbathe along the shore, go for a swim, rent a sailboat or a windsurf, walk into the beautiful contryside surrounding this fiord-like water reservoir, built by the “Regione Toscana” at the end of the nineties. If you do not have a car it is unfortunately not easy to reach the lake. The best solution is maybe to take a train from Florence (Campo di Marte station or Santa Maria Novella station, check out the timetables here) to San Piero a Sieve and then the bus to the lake (approximate cost for travelling: 6 Euro). When you get there you may decide to relax in one of the two equipped beaches with deck chairs and parasols (8 – 10 Euro a day for rent), cafés and restaurants (it will be hard to resist to a dish of delicious tortelli): the Bahia café or the Bagno Maria. The highlight of the area is probably the lake protected area of Gabbianello, where different species of animals live. For those who love trekking and are well-trained we suggest they make the tour of the lake (about 9 miles!) panoramaand climb up to the church of San Giovanni in Petroio, from where they will enjoy a breathless view. If you want to have a look now at the lake, here is a live webcam. Last but not least, the lake is not far at all from:
– one of the most ancient castles of the Medicis family: the Cafaggiolo Castle;
– the temple of shopping, the Barberino outlet.
Have fun and do not forget your sun cream!

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