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Romito Bridge

Exploring the "open-air museums" in Valdarno

An artistic itinerary from Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Montegonzi's scultpures

by  Valdarno

Valdarno, a land of extraordinary artistic beauty like all of Tuscany, has always inspired numerous artists over the centuries. Even Leonardo Da Vinci, fascinated by this territory, chose it as the backdrop for the Mona Lisa masterpiece. 

Art in Valdarno is not just a memory of the past: even today, this land is an authentic open-air museum, ready to enchant its visitors.

  • 1.
    Discovering the Mona Lisa's Landscape
  • 2.
    The Sculptures of the Bellosguardo Circuit in Cavriglia
  • 3.
    Montegonzi and the OffiCINO

Discovering the Mona Lisa's Landscape

Romito Bridge
Romito Bridge - Credit: Photo © Studiowiki | Ph Davide Busetto | Archivio fotografico Ambito turistico Valdarno

Legend has it that Leonardo Da Vinci stopped in Laterina, one of the charming medieval villages in the valley, during one of his travels. From Laterina's prime location, the artist is said to have drawn inspiration for his masterpieces by observing the surrounding landscape. Recent studies suggest that the famous Romito Bridge, located near Laterina, may be the bridge depicted in the background of the Mona Lisa. The remains of this bridge, with a single arch still intact, can be visited after a walk through the streets of the village, following the course of the Arno River. Looking closely at the Master's painting, you can also recognize the Balze, the characteristic landscape of Valdarno, with their striking shapes and ochre color that makes them unique.

The Sculptures of the Bellosguardo Circuit in Cavriglia

Bellosguardo Circuit
Bellosguardo Circuit in Cavriglia - Credit: Archivio Valdarno Aretino - Davide Busetto - Studiowiki

In Cavriglia, there is a wonderful art park that offers a unique experience among sculptures of great artistic value. Surrounded by greenery just outside the town center, the Bellosguardo Circuit houses memorial sculptures dedicated to the victims of the Coronavirus. Here, where art and nature come together in a combination of emotion and reflection, you can walk or bike.

Montegonzi and the OffiCINO

Officino - Credit: @ Elisa Lerda

Also in the municipality of Cavriglia, in the charming hamlet of Montegonzi, you can follow a fascinating itinerary through the narrow streets of the village to discover the metal works by Carlo Minatti, known as "Cino". A small museum displaying some of his works has been set up at the entrance to the hamlet, but the real spectacle is to be found strolling through the streets of the village, where you can admire his sculptures that blend perfectly with the atmosphere of the place. It is an open-air exhibition that further enriches the beauty of this charming village.

These are just a few examples of the artistic treasures that can be discovered in Valdarno. In every corner of its villages, works of art and architecture are hidden, making this land a true jewel to explore.

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