Alpe di Poti

The mount called Poti is a mountain complex that dominates Arezzo from east and acts as a watershed between the hydrographic basins of the Tiber and Arno rivers and, together with Lignano, is a popular place for the people of Arezzo.

The main mountain is part of a long range that originates in the Mandrioli, a ridge pass of the Apennines of Tuscany and Romagna, and continues until Ginezzo, in the municipality of Cortona, almost on the borders with Umbria.

The easiest street that reaches the top, around 974 m, is the panoramic road opened during the 1950s that starts from the SR73 Siena-Arezzo, in the direction of Cerfone valley. Poti is also reachable from the eastern part of the city, going up towards the Scopetone pass.

Other roads go from San Polo, whose final part is dedicated to the famous cyclist Marco Pantani, and some roads (that now have become almost paths) that go through Pomaio and Peneto.

The project of reforestation of the mount started in the 1930s but was continued during the 1950s, after the war, turning Poti into a major destination for day trips or for small vacations for the inhabitants of Arezzo.

In 1954, Umberto Perrotta developed a holiday resort, mainly consisting of the grand hotel “Alpe di Poti ” and some chalets but nowadays this site is totally abandoned.

A bit further up, near the top of the mountain, the “Villaggio Sacro Cuore” was opened in 1968 to host summer camps for children. This complex is still active, operated by the Congregation “Piccole Ancelle del Sacro Cuore” who hosts people, religious or not, that need to rest, pray or meditate. The church of the Sacred Heart has inside some works made by Quinto Martini, one of the most important Tuscan artists of the 1900s. Over the main altar is the “Via Crucis“ with stucco slabs that reproduce the 14 stations of the Cross.

The Poti alp is a place where, during the year, people go for day trips, hikings, motorbike and bike tours. It has 190 ha of forests, mainly conifers (black spruce, white spruce, cypress, cedar, maritime and scots pine, holly oak, ash, durmast).

Hikers can visit the panoramic place of San Severo, with the church of the same name along the panoramic road built in the 11th century. The church was restored in the 12th century with a Romanesque style, visible to this day; it has a simple stone façade, with the gate and a single-arched window. In front of the church, there is a monument that remembers the victims of the Nazi raid of the 14th of July 1944.

The near church of st. Lorenzo in Pomaio is reachable going up from via delle Conserve, on the southern part of Arezzo; this is another Romanesque church, built in the 12th century, with a square façade and its semi-circular apsis has particular traits. In Pomaio there is the Fraternita San Lorenzo, a community that restored the hamlet and it is open today for everyone that wants to spend some hours or day in prayer, silence, working or with friends or simply admiring the beauty of the place, marvelous in every season.