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Chianti, Valdelsa, Valdarno Guide Italy

A view of Chianti
Bacco by Caravaggio
A view of Valdarno
A view of Chianti Bacco by Caravaggio
A view of Valdarno
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Chianti, Valdelsa, Valdarno Guide
Many places in this area are known because famous people were born or lived there: Giotto and Beato Angelico were born in Vicchio in Mugello, Boccaccio was born in Certaldo, in Vinci we can find the house where Leonardo da Vinci was born and the museum dedicated to him, the paternal home of Petrarca is in Incisa Valdarno, the humanist and philosopher Marsilio Ficino was born in Figline and Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" at Albergaccio of St.Andrea in Percussina. Many places have preserved their lovely age-old craftsman's traditions: ceramics and glass in Montelupo, "Cotto" brick in Impruneta and wrought iron in Scarperia. On the cultual and artistic side, apart from the various Etruscan and Roman remains, it can be noted that works by Beato Angelico, Della Robbia, Botticelli, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippo Lippi, Donatello, Rossellino, Mino da Fiesole etc. may be come acros at every step in the churches and small museums of towns and villages of this area, and examples of great architecture by Michelozzo, Giuliano da San Gallo and Leon Battista Alberti are also frequently encountered.
The prestigious Chianti Area is another reference that is inextricably linked to Tuscany, to Florence and its territory. The Chianti, with its characteristic hilly landscape, where the geometric pattern of the vineyards, with the aligned rows of vines stretching out in different directions, creates changing effects of light and colour. It stretches between the cities of Florence and Siena, west of the Valdarno, and includes a number of minicipalities. Its Florentine part contains large numbers of farms where one of the most famous wines in the world made. The vineyards alternate with olive groves and, here and there, with rows of cypresses, castles, cottages, ancient parishes, villas and gardens. Each year, the most noble product of this land, Chianti Classico, is honoured in various high level events. Referring to the natural landscape and environment of the whole Florentine territory, we cannot overlook the mountain areas: Vallombrosa, surrounded by century-old woods of fir trees, is set at 958 m, and Consuma is located at about 1,000 m on the Casentinese main road n. 70.
Villas, castles and farmhouses are scattered throughtout every hill and valley, as if they had been built to watch over an area known the world over for its artistic heritage, history and beauty: Greve with Chiesa di Santa Croce; Chiesa di San Cristoforo and Castello Magnana; Tavernelle Val di Pesa's territory which boasts a famous Abbey, an interesting Town Hall; Montespertoli with its Pieve and the Castello degli Acciaioli.
In the Lower Valdarno visitors can admire the municipality of Empoli which is rich in churches and it has a little but interesting museum: the Museo della Collegiata. Up to the valley there is the municipal territory of Montelupo Fiorentino, whose historical main town has an ancient borough with a fortified castle which rises up from the top of a hill. In its area is located Villa dell'Ambrogiana a Medici's Villa. On the opposite bank of the Arno, facing Montelupo, is the municipality called Capraia and Limite with nice churches and archeological sites containing 7th century B.C. Etruscan ruins. In the hills to the north west of Vinci there is the town of Cerreto Guidi, circular in shape, which was built around a Medici Villa. Fucecchio, which in 1330 became part of the Florentine dominion, rises up from the western-most spurs of Mount Albano. Towards Florence to the left of the River Arno lies the municipality of Lastra a Signa. In Upper Valdarno are located the towns of Reggello; Figline Valdarno; Incisa in Val d'Arno and Rignano sull'Arno.
In the area of Valdelsa are located several marvellous towns: Barberino Val d'Elsa, the main town of what is quite a large municipality; Certaldo whose streets and houses are entirely built of brick; Castelfiorentino which lies further down the valley; Montaione and Gambassi Terme which stretches as far as the borders of the province of Siena.
(Part of the Contents and Photos are kindly given by APT Firenze)

Our lodging suggestion: Hotel San Niccolò, located in an enchanting medieval village in the heart of gorgeous Siena countryside.

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