It’s possible to visit the Arboreta of Vallombrosa according to three thematic routes highlighted on the map with different colors, which show different structural and botanical aspects.
It crosses part of the Arboreta Pavari and Tozzi. Among the specimens deserving attention for their majesty (the “giants”), there are Calocedrus decurrens (circumference 7.5 m), with very thick and characteristically rough bark, and Thuja plicata (circumference 6.1 m). You can also see very old specimens of Castanea sativa, Fagus sylvatica ‘Asplenifolia’ and ‘Purpurea’, Tilia europaea, Tilia cordata and Tilia platyphyllos.
In the Tozzi Arboretum there are two remarkably big specimens of Pseudotsuga menziesii (circumference 4.7 and 5.2 m), an extravagant shaped individual of Abies alba ‘Pendula’ (the so-called monster) and the picturesque hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) alley. Following the loop path, other impotant specimens can be seen in sequence: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’, cultivar of spherical shape (the globe) and in the final stretch, two big individuals of Sequoia sempervirens (circumference 4.1 m) and Sequoiadendron giganteum (circumference 7.2 m), interesting for their monumentality and the ancient evolutionary origin of the genera, which arises between Cretaceous and the following Tertiary periods.
The first part of this route coincides with the orange one. In succession, it goes on into the Perona Arboretum, where you can see remarkable individuals of Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’, Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana and Fagus sylvatica subsp. orientalis. Forward on the right there is a specimen of Pinus ponderosa of remarkably large size (circumference 3.2 m). Then the route connects with the “lime trees alley”, where you can admire the monumental stem of Pinus lambertiana (circumference 5.8 meters and a height exceeding 40 meters) which produces cones reaching 50 cm in length. Moreover, notable species are Acer platanoides, A. pseudoplatanus, A. saccharum and a fine specimen of Sorbus lanata.
Continuing the route, you can look on the right at the Arboretum Pavari, with experimental plantations of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Thuja plicata, Picea orientalis and Pseudotsuga menziesii.
Inside the Tozzi Arboretum you can see a plant of Pseudotsuga menziesii of remarkable size and another one of Betula ermanii with characteristic bark breaking up into horizontal plaques.
This route coincides largely with those described above, but unlike the latter it reaches the new part of the Arboretum (Allegri section). After crossing the experimental section of the Pavari Arboretum, the route is more compelling for the increase in gradient of the path. The peculiarity of this part of the arboretum is made by the higher number of host species than other sections. Among those, the most relevant are Cephalotaxus harringtonii and several species of Mediterranean fir-trees such as Abies cephalonica, A. bornmulleriana, A. equi-trojani, A. nordmanniana and A. cilicica. At the top of the path, there is one of the most interesting species in the arboretum, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, to be considered a true living fossil as discovered in China in 1941 and subsequently attributed to this genus, described in the same year by a paleobotanist for a fossil species dating back to Pliocene.