The Chiana Valley

Explore the Val di Chiana, a treasure of Tuscany, starting from Antiche Mura B&B in Arezzo. This guide takes you through a journey rich in history, art, and culture, including medieval villages such as Cortona and Castiglion Fiorentino, and breathtaking landscapes framing the Canale Maestro della Chiana. Discover unique food and wine traditions in Monte San Savino, immerse yourself in history in Civitella in Val di Chiana, and be captivated by Gargonza Castle. The Val di Chiana offers an unforgettable experience, a perfect blend of past and present, nature and culture, all within easy reach of Arezzo.

The beautiful Chiana Valley  spreads south of Arezzo, ringed by the mountains that encircle the Canal Maestro della Chiana, created in 1338 at the command of the Florentine Republic. This area of the Valdichiana boasts an extraordinary wealth of natural landscapes and characteristic charming villages.

The Val di Chiana is very close to the city of Arezzo precisely, where our beloved B&B “Antiche Mura” is located. From here, therefore, you can conveniently discover the beauty that the Val di Chiana holds. In these lines we will provide you with suggestions on what you can admire in Valdichiana and the unique experiences that await you in this land of enchanted atmosphere.

Cortona and the Etruscan origins of the area

Once Cortona was known as “Curtun,” and dominated the territory surrounding it as one of the Etruscan cities of the famous Dodecapolis. Today Cortona is a small town, which becomes gigantic when we consider the immense value of its historical, artistic and cultural heritage. In this small Tuscan town, in fact, you can discover as many as 18 archaeological sites. Among them we must mention the very ancient Etruscan tombs and the striking Rocca di Pierle.

Visiting Cortona definitely means making a stop at the beautiful and famous Museo Diocesano. The Diocesan Museum houses priceless works by authors such as Pietro Lorenzetti, Beato Angelico,Bartolomeo della Gatta, Sassetta and Luca Signorelli.

Cortona is not reduced “only” to museums and ancient artifacts: even a quiet tour of its Historic Center knows how to capture the soul of the visitor. A town that is definitely worth exploring!

Castiglion Fiorentino: a plunge into the Middle Ages in the Chiana Valley

Walking through Castiglion Fiorentino one feels the unchanged charm of medieval times. Access to the town is through the historic Porta Fiorentina, which introduces the first gem of the place: the Church of San Francesco. This Romanesque sacred building sports Gothic details and dates back to the 12th century. Inside the church, frescoes catch the eye, and a panel depicting the Crucifixion, signed by Francesco Morandini, known as “il Poppi,” stands out.

Continuing the visit, the Loggiato Vasariano graces the Piazza del Municipio. From beneath this structure, the eye is lost in the wonderful view of the region. It is worth noting the historic coats of arms that decorate the interior of the loggia.

Finally, one cannot overlook the Piazzale del Cassero, the centerpiece of a 12th-century stronghold. Next to the Torre del Cassero, built in the 14th century, stand the Palazzo Pretorio and the Church of Sant’Angelo.

Monte San Savino: pork tradition of the Chiana Valley

News for food lovers: Monte San Savino boasts Italy’s Tastest Porchetta in 2022. But that’s not all, its Porchetta earned a place in the famous Guinness World Records in 2010 . Imagine a roasted pig that exceeds 44 meters in length, truly amazing! Monte San Savino, as you may have guessed, prides itself on a centuries-old tradition in the art of norcina. This would already be an excellent reason to discover this fascinating village. We suggest enjoying a sandwich with this specialty in front of the Hanging Gardens of the Town Hall, also known as Palazzo del Monte. A true dive into Tuscan tradition!

Civitella in Val di Chiana: village of history and traditions

Civitella in Val di Chiana, situated on a hillock overlooking the valley, is an enchanting village to say the least. Its location offers a panoramic view of the valley below that looks like something out of a late medieval painting. As you walk through its quaint alleys you will find yourself in front of the Ancient Fortress of Civitella, now sadly in ruins, and have the opportunity to visit the Memorial Museum. This museum traces significant events, particularly those related to World War II and the crucial moments experienced in Tuscany during that period.

But Civitella also has a joking and playful side, a distinctive trait of Tuscan living. It was precisely this goliardic vein that gave rise to the “Sarapino,” a tradition that has animated the village since the 1950s. The event, celebrated every June, is a parody homage to Arezzo’s more famousJoust of the Saracen. Unlike Arezzo, however, here they do not ride horses, but the legendary Piaggio Bees, on which a two-person team must divide the tasks. One drives the motorized vehicle, and the other, on the Ape’s uncovered trunk, must strike the Sarapian version of the King of the Indies with his spear. During the event, the four districts of Civitella (Torre, Porta Senese, Porta Aretina and San Francesco) compete for victory, just as they do in Arezzo in the Disfida di Buratto.

Castle of Gargonza: medieval jewel of the Valdichiana

Concluding our brief overview of Valdichiana, we cannot fail to mention the wonderfulCastle of Gargonza. This village-fortress represents a masterpiece of medieval Tuscan architecture. Inside you will find a high-quality restaurant in an enchanting setting. In Val di Chiana, you may have guessed, delighting the palate is an unbreakable tradition!

Lake Trasimeno: a pearl on the edge of the Chiana Valley

To close our brief trip to the Val di Chiana, we cannot forget Lake Trasimeno, located on the border of Umbria and the province of Perugia. The shores of this lake have been inhabited since ancient times, and offer us breathtaking views that make every visit unforgettable.

Outside the Ancient Walls of Arezzo, the Chiana Valley awaits you!

The Valdichiana is truly a stone’s throw from Arezzo. In Val di Chiana, for those who stay at Antiche Mura and want to indulge in a tour of the surrounding area , there is everything you could want. Tuscan traditions are alive and well in Val di Chiana, and if you want to find out more, we invite you to continue reading the articles in our little guidebook! Antiche Mura and the Val di Chiana are waiting for you!

Comfort Contemporaneo, avvolto nel fascino della storia

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