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Ponte di Pogi in the Valdarno

Towers, bridges and churches: discovering the age-old Valdarno

Little hidden gems in villages or in the countryside show the passage of time, diving into the past

by  Valdarno

The age-old history that has occurred in the Valdarno left traces of the past. Towers, fortresses, bridges, churches and monasteries provide timeless destinations, often surrounded by nature worth exploring.

Staying in the Valdarno means you simply have to visit these places.

  • 1.
    Sighting towers and places of worship
  • 2.
    Bridges and crossings

Sighting towers and places of worship

The old sighting towers still stand guard over the surrounding countryside, providing unparalleled views. Make sure you visit Torre di Galatrona, near Bucine, whose five floors and panoramic terrace make you feel like a king for a day. Not far away and nestled in nature is the church of the same name: the Pieve di San Giovanni Battista is famous for its Della Robbia terracotta statue. Probably dating to early Christian times, the site might even date back to Etruscan times.

Also in Bucine we find the Abbazia di Badia a Ruoti, whose earliest documentation dates back to the year 1000, although the building is thought to be even older. A little isolated, a monumental tree stands outside, a silent guardian that continues to observe the centuries.

Also worth a visit are the very old Pieve di Gropina as well as the tower and fortress of Laterina Pergine Valdarno. In addition, see the Pieve di Santa Maria in Scò and the Abbazia di San Salvatore in Soffena, which together with the tower of the medieval gate make up the scenery in Castelfranco Piandiscò.

Bridges and crossings

Loro Ciuffenna
Loro Ciuffenna

Among the most iconic places in mysterious old Tuscany are the stone bridges whose arches cross rivers. Some of these can also be found in the Valdarno.

One of the best known is the Romanesque bridge that allows us to traverse the Loro Ciuffenna canyon. The small yet striking bridge marked the start of the village’s development and remains its symbol today. A short distance away, the view over the old watermill (the oldest in Tuscany) is a real gem.

Don’t miss seeing Ponte di Pogi, named after a hamlet in the Bucine area. The bridge crosses the River Ambra and maintains a timeless atmosphere.

Many other bridges can be found in the countryside, including the one in Castelfranco Piandiscò, which is where the Strada dei Setteponti road still passes over the river, named after the number of bridges along its way. Today, there are fewer than seven, but there were more in the past.

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