Valdarno is the valley which connects Arezzo with Florence, its hills covered with vineyards and olive groves and the towering Pratomagno mountain alternates with ancient Tuscan dwellings with typical dovecots, today often transformed into welcoming places where you can enjoy excellent wines and oil from locally crushed olives.
Following the ancient Cassia Vetus road (now called Setteponti) that connected Arezzo and Fiesole in Roman times, you can see the characteristic Balze, also depicted in Leonardo's Mona Lisa, medieval villages such as Castelfranco and Loro Ciuffenna, beautiful and ancient churches such as Gropina and S.Maria a Piandiscò.
The Valdarno in the Middle Age was fought between the Guelphs of Florence and the Ghibellines of Arezzo and this has left numerous forts, castles and towers. The "new lands" of San Giovanni, Terranuova and Castelfranco were built in the XIII century by the Florentine Republic, with the contribution of Arnolfo di Cambio, to oust the bishopric of Arezzo's Guido Tarlati.
Masaccio was born in San Giovanni, and here he left a triptych in the Pieve a Cascia church in Reggello. In the Basilica Museum in San Giovanni is an Annunciation by Beato Angelico, and in museums and churches in the area there are many terracotta works by Della Robbia.
Immediately behind Loro Ciuffenna rises the Pratomagno mountain, a paradise for hikers. Well-marked trails lead through shady oak and chestnut forests. In the higher places there are beech woods and vast meadows. Romantic mountain villages, picnic areas in the forests... that is a land where to linger and enjoy the peace of the mountain side. The Pratomagno panoramic road over the Croce di Pratomagno (1592 m) connects the Valdarno with the adjacent Casentino valley.
"viaggio in valdarno" video:
VALDARNO INFORMATION WEBSITES
TOURISTIC INFORMATION OFFICES
Valdarno touristic info point (near Valdarno exit of A1 motorway)
Terranuova Bracciolini municipal tourist office
www.comune.terranuova-bracciolini.ar.it - 055 9194705
Figline Valdarno tourist information
www.prolocofigline.info - 055 951569
Incisa Valdarno tourist information
San Giovanni Valdarno tourist office - 055 9121123