Tourist itinerary in Tuscany: hills and lowlands of Valdichiana Valley

Route map: daily touristic round trip of 90kms.

Departure and arrival: “Podere La Villetta” Tuscan farm house with playground for children

Using “Podere La Villetta” as departure and arrival point, we recommend a classic Tuscan touristic tour: Hills and lowlands of the Valdchiana Valley. “Chiana” is a pre-etruscan term that means “swamp”. With its name, the big valley that gathers the Tevere and the Arno bassins relate to the antique geography of these places where once the hills were reflected in the water of a very big lake. The Etruscan and then the Romanian tried to claim it. Today, The diversification of the landscapes is the product of definitive intervention made in the 7th and 8th centuries, that strated cultivating the earth on the flat landed side leaving us with the peculiar farm houses. Around the flat valley, where runs the highway and the trains lines, the landscapes change quickly: woods and upstream castles, grapevine and olives in the soft hilly undulations where lie down the medieval villages. The Valdichiana Valley has a soft profil with extensive and happy scenery. 

Monte San Savino marked by a long tradition of ceramic art is all documented at the popular communal museum of ceramic. 

Gargonza, small castellan village isolated by the forest and enclosed by walls built in the 200th century. 
The name Arezzo is bound to the Antiquity market that takes places the first weekend of every month in the city center, between the “Piazza Grande” and “Piazza San Francesco”. Capital of the gold jewelers and known to have hosted some of the most important person whom changed the course of the Italian art history like Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli and Gorgio Vasari. 
In “Piazza Grande” takes place once a year, one of the most striking and ancient show of all Tuscany: The Saracino Joust started in the 13th century. The cortege, with its 300 participants dressed in medieval outfits, parade on the streets of the historical center where they then receive the benediction of the bishop. That’s where they enter the big square, where start the joust: The knights on the horses run with their spear to strike the shield of the wooden lay-figure, the Saracino mark, then trying to escape the terrible blow that could return to them when it turns on itself. 

The San Francisco Church encloses a precious treasure: The legend of the Vera Croce, the extraordinary cycle of frescoes executed by Piero della Francesca. 

You can also calmly visit the splendid Romanian church of Santa Maria built after the year 1140 with its façade where holds loggias and the bell tower of the 13th century. There is also the palace of the loggias designed by Vasari in 1573 and the mansion of Giorgio Vasari that gathers texts and art objects of his time. 

A graceful square near the “Duomo” a water well sung by the Boccaccio, a simple and antique house: Here is born Francesco Petrarca and now, rooms devoted to the life and to the work of the writter can be visited in the museum. Before leaving the city, you must visit the Fortress and the Duomo with its imposing flight of stairs from the 5th century, and its beautiful glass windows. 

On the road back, going south, following the visit of Castiglion Fiorentino and the Castle of Montecchio Vesponi, we highly recommend a stop to the Lignano’s park. 

Cortona hangs on the green valleys where dominate infinite the knolls and fields. Do not miss, between August and September, the international market of Antique furniture, one of the most prestigious in all Italy. The precious Tuscan meat are celebrated in Cortona in August at the famous Steak festival: On an immense wire rack of 14 square meter, nourished by burning carbon, are cooked thousands of steaks cooked rigorously rare. 
At the feet of the hill, rises the “Madonna del Calcinaio”. On the road from Cortona to Foiano Della Chiana, you can find the Abbey of Farneta. Foiano della Chiana is also famous for its carnival and its parade of allegoric wagons. A few minutes from the village, are announced the Golf Club Valdichiana, for the people fond of this sport, and the Outlet Village for the shopping lovers. 

After visiting all the most interesting and meaningful places of the Valdichiana Valley, we recommend you to come back to Lucignano at the “Podere La Valletta” farm house. Ideal place for a family vacation, where the owners created strengths from their familiar business and their simplicity of management, it allows the guests to enjoy a typical Tuscan hospitality. 
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