Casentino, and Dante
An trip through the poet's Divine Comedy references
The Casentino valley, is home to numerous Dante references. The first that comes to mind is the Battle of Campaldino, fought on June 11, 1289 between the Florentine Guelphs and the Arezzo Ghibellines and ended with the destruction of the latter.
Dante fought in the battle and cites various episodes from the fight in his Divine Comedy. The Campaldino battlefield is still there today, green in spring and summer and a bit less so in fall and winter. It is surrounded by hills and mountains (the Pratomagno, Appennines and the Verna). A commemorative column placed at the site in 1921 is the only evidence of the battle, though in certain moments one can hear the clink of armor and the sound of horses and men fighting to the end. On the top of a hill in the distance we find the Poppi castle which stands guard over the land.
We also find traces of Dante in Poppi as it is said that he spent time here, as guests of the Guidi family, while in exile. Vasari tells us that the Poppi castle was designed by Lapo, the father of Arnolfo di Cambio, who used the castle as a model for Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.
The Romena castle, surrounded by three sets of walls, was the theatre for the famous scene in the Comedy where we find Mastro Adamo paying for his sins as a counterfeiter. We can also still see the Fonte Branda cited by the poet, though it has long since been dry.
(Source: Apt Arezzo)