Excursions out of Florence : La Grotta Braschi (The Braschi Cave)
Do you have a day off? Take a ride to --- LA GROTTA BRASCHI. Twenty minutes walking from the main square of Fiesole along via Giuseppe Verdi, after a while you enter the wood and reach the Grotta Braschi, the most spectacular stone quarry in the Parco della Pietra of Monte Céceri, a beautiful protected natural area, equipped with paths, benches and signs. The name derives from the legume "cece" (chickpea), similar to the outgrowth on the beak of swans that apparently frequented the area, named for this "céceri" by the Florentines. The mountain, now thickly covered with pines, cypresses, oaks, lime trees and other vegetation, was in the past completely barren, used as a quarry of “pietra serena” (sandstone) for the construction of Florentine palaces, especially in the Renaissance. The quarries were of two types: the "latomie", real tunnels dug into the rock to follow the veins of pietra serena, usually a few meters thick, or the "tagliate", open-air quarries on emerging stone veins. The Braschi cave, named after the ancient owner, is a classic example of latomia, now visible (and photographable), but not accessible for safety reasons. Finally, the cave opens onto one of the most beautiful views of Florence, an unforgettable walk. Florence, from Piazza Mino da Fiesole along via Giuseppe Verdi.