The Monte Fumaiolo area is in the southernmost part of Romagna, in the municipality of Verghereto, on the border with Tuscany and the Marche region.
Just 9 Km from the exit for Monte Fumaiolo on the E45 dual carriageway, after having climbed past the typical "Marnes", we come to Balze which takes its name from the majestic peak which towers above it.
With its altitude of 1407 m, Fumaiolo is one of the highest mountains in the Forlì-Cesena Apennine area. Apart from being a spot of uncontaminated nature, it is ideal for several sports such as trekking, mountain biking, free climbing, horseback riding and winter sports in the snow.
Those who choose Balze for a winter holiday are fascinated by the majesty of its snow-capped peaks and the beauty of a walk in silence. A walk through the golden autumn colours of the woods, perhaps in search of mushrooms and truffles, is also enchanting.
The place is fantastic for children, the paths are for everyone, there are many activities for them, the small size of the village guarantees the necessary safety even for them to move around on their own.
Monte Fumaiolo is one of the most fascinating peaks in the Forlì-Cesena Apennines because of its typical scenery. The whole area is environmentally protected: a tourist destination in summer and winter.
It has lifts that are currently being maintained and overhauled, with downhill and cross-country skiing trails.
The cross-country track, called the "Fumaiolo ring", is about 5 km long and touches on the sources of the Tiber. It has a regulation width, is entirely levelled and groomed, with tracks for both directions and a central part for skating. The track does not present any particular difficulties, dangers or obstacles. It is also suitable for experienced cross-country skiers.
Near its summit, at 1268 m above sea level, is the source of the Tiber, the "sacred river to the destinies of Rome" which, after passing through the village of Balze di Verghereto, enters Tuscany. The river Savio also rises from its slopes.
Flanked by Mount Aquilone and Mount Comero, Fumaiolo is famous for its imposing beech forests, the so-called "Faggete", which can be explored thanks to a network of convenient paths that can be travelled on foot or by mountain bike.
From the peak of mount Fumaiolo, and from Pratone della Briglia nearby, there is a breathtaking panoramic view, from the Romagna seaside to the Tuscan hills, as far as Monte Amiata, from the Apennine peaks in Marche to the hills of the Umbria region.
During the summer, numerous events are promoted by the seven local pro loco associations. Not to be missed in Balze, on the first weekend in August, is the "1091 Beer Festival" with the best Italian craft beers, accompanied by good food, and the Palio della Bigoncia, a traditional costume competition held annually on 15 August, in which the five districts battle it out with theatrical performances and spear fights to overturn the Bigoncia, a basin filled with water, on the enemy's head.
The competition held on the occasion of the feast of the Madonna dell'Apparizione (17 July) is also suggestive, with children as the protagonists of this "singolar tenzone".
Finally, on 29 August, the feast of Sant'Alberico is celebrated, a feast that has always been much loved by the community, which gathers around the Hermitage of Sant'Alberico, situated halfway between the village of Balze and the Celle monastery in a deep gorge at the foot of Mounts Aquilone, Celle and Ocri. Access to the Hermitage is only possible on foot, but for this event there are shuttle buses to the Hermitage.