The path between the crags of the Valdarno

Hotel Villa Ducci is a Hotel in San Gimignano from which it is possible to visit and admire the splendid Tuscany. Paths and villages, hills and food and wine experiences: today we present the route of the path between the Balze del Valdarno, only 1 hour from Villa Ducci, for lovers of walking.

The Balze of the Valdarno

In the province of Arezzo, in Castelfranco di Sopra, there is a circular path from which it is possible to see the Balze del Valdarno. These are stratified debris reliefs composed of sand, clay, pebbles and gravel. They were formed by erosion following the drying up of a lake that covered the area 2 million years ago and then were shaped by atmospheric agents.
Their particularity was first witnessed by Leonardo da Vinci, as indicated in his manuscripts and painted in many of his works.
However, the Balze became Protected Areas of Tuscany only in 1988.

The Path

The route is about 6 km long. It begins just outside the walls of the village, near the post office. Here, in fact, there is a small wooden tabernacle on which the entire itinerary to be covered is described.
We then venture along a small road that goes towards the Borro delle Fossate; the ford can be done without difficulty for 3 and a half points. The thick vegetation will accompany you on your journey, also discovering the yellowish spiers.
You then arrive in a road on the sides of which there are numerous cultivated plots of land and green meadows. Then, the crossroads: you can choose whether to return to the provincial road of Botriolo or continue. Continuing the so-called path of the zolfina water opens up where the Tuscan countryside shows itself in all its colors.
The path then becomes uphill and runs along the jagged ravine of the acquua zolfina, easily recognizable by the smell and the opaque color tending to white.
The last stretch is the most uphill one, which takes you back to the Setteponti road in the direction of Badia a Soffena, an abbey.
Throughout the route you can always admire the spectacle of the Balze, immersed in the Tuscan nature.

Castelfranco di Sopra

Castelfranco di Sopra is worth a visit, in fact, it was certified in 2014 as one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy".
At the entrance to the town there is a tower dating back to 1300, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio together with the walls and architecture of the city.
In the seventeenth century the village underwent a profound renewal of its economic and social life, which allowed a sustained demographic increase, proof of which are the construction of noble palaces such as Palazzo Renzi, and structures of community and religious life such as the Oratory of San Filippo and the Augustinian Convent.

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