Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Hike Along The Merse

If These Rocks Could Talk

It is very easy to spend all of ones time in Tuscany visiting the many historic hilltowns, enjoying fine food, terrific winery's, or shopping for local handicrafts.

We took one day to just explore "nowhere". This meant walking along the road just below Villa Donati; the one that leads to the little village of Brenna.

On this route it is a pretty safe bet we would not see other tourists. But how lovely is that!

First we came to one of the various watermill's along the River Merse. It was used until the 1950's to make cotton fabrics. While its wheels no longer spin, the water running to where the millrace used to be is still there and it filled with big rainbow trout.

One of the Mills Near Brenna Along the Merse

We then walked along the river itself. This led to a little bridge. We veered off and walked along the river. We found lots of local families having fun in the river. There were swift spring fed streams feeding the river at various points. Some places the river was pretty deep and the trees had rope swings attached.

Cascades of Cool Water From a Mountain Spring 
Feed the Merse at A Swimming Hole

We enjoyed the geology in and out of the river. In the river we turned rocks over to see what the fish were dining on. Along the trail we enjoyed the granite and sparkling quartz.

Wild Figs Growing Out of A Rock Wall

From here we climbed up an old trail that was pretty overgrown and required a little bushwhacking. Everywhere all I could think of was how I wish I could flash back and see this river a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, etc. There is no question this river valley has been witness to history dating back from the Etruscan's to the GI's in WWII.

One of the Endless Little Shrines 
Found Seemingly Everywhere In Tuscany

For now, however, it is peaceful, filled with families, and loaded with big, healthy, trout.

It was now time to make our way back to the villa admiring the rich farmlands along the way. Walking we came across various shrines and hills bright red with iron. We could also hear the wild boars' rooting around in the fields.

Rich Fields Along the RIver

It is not often I get to explore without agenda. This trip I had an amazing guide!

Roadboy's Travels © 2011

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