San Godenzo is located between the mountains and dense woods of the upper Mugello area. Its name derives from San Gaudenzio, a 6th century hermit who lived in these mountains in prayer.
The Benedictine Abbey was built in his name towards the end of the 11th century, and it was then that the first houses flourished around it. San Godenzo is located along the road to the crossing point later called Muraglione.
The town’s beating heart is the Abbey of San Gaudenzio, one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany. The interior is vast and solemn, with its three naves with quadrangular pillars and an elevated presbytery, and its three apses.
There are many valuable works held inside, such as the wooden sculpture of San Sebastiano by Baccio da Montelupo, a polyptych by Bernardo Daddi from 1333 and the painting of the Virgin of the Annunciation by the school of Andrea del Sarto (16th century).
Nature dominates everywhere here, with landscapes that have been beloved by poets and painters alike. San Godenzo is also the perfect starting point for going to a fairytale-like place: let yourself be charmed by the rushing waters of the Acquacheta Waterfalls, reachable via an easy trail.
The mountains that surround the town and its hamlets all exceed 900 meters in altitude. The most important of these is Monte Falterona, which has been a sacred mountain since the Etruscans.
In the hamlet of Castagno di Sant’Andrea, you can find the Monte Falterona Visitors’ Centre, home to the Andrea del Castagno Virtual Museum, an exhibition leading visitors along the scenery that fascinated the painter during his lifetime.
The centre is also one of the 11 gateways to the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, home to majestic trees and trails that wind through the shade, where visitors can observe the animals that run free. Along with its natural beauty, the territory is also marked by the skilled workmanship which can be explored along the Civiltà del Castagno trail, introducing visitors to the traditions tied to the cultivation of chestnuts and rural life in the area.
Characteristic churches and parish churches are scattered across the hamlets, such as the church of Santa Maria all’Eremo.
The Ballottata takes place in October in Castagnod’Andrea, and is a celebration dedicated to chestnuts. During the event, you can try the bruciate, castagnaccio and other specialties – as well as buy the renowned IGP Mugello Chestnut – all along the town’s streets.
One of all of Mugello’s most important typical products is the IGP Chestnut. The harvest, as well as the subsequent selection of the product, is generally done by hand. During the production phase, no pesticides, fertilizers or chemical treatments are used to preserve the product. It is completely natural, best enjoyed boiled, roasted or as an ingredient in typical desserts such as castagnaccio and marron glacè.