With the first stretch of the Arno river pumping through it, the Casentino valley has a certain pull. Spiritual savants such as Saints Francis of Assisi and Romauld have long been linked to the territory. The former is said to have received the stigmata here, while the latter founded the Hermitage of Camaldoli, a Benedictine monastic community in the outskirts of Poppi. But the Casentino is also a land of paradox: even as it’s famous for such prominent proponents of self-denial, it boasts a region-wide buffet of traditional products and decadent dishes. Plan a palate-led trip here and you won’t be disappointed. Just be sure to leave any ascetic tendencies at home!