With rocky peaks, pinnacles that can reach 100 meters in height, and deep gorges, in the upper Valdarno (in particular in the municipality of Reggello) the clayey rock formations known as Balze give life to unusual and fascinating views that you would expect to see on a journey to discover the Grand Canyon in American parks.
Also called "smotte", the crags represent a natural spectacle that amazes anyone who witnesses them: even the greatest genius of all time, Leonardo da Vinci, was so enthralled that he took the unique aspects of this landscape and used them as the background for his most famous work, the Mona Lisa.
The Balze are not only a spectacular landscape background, but also a habitat with unique naturalistic value protected by the Natural Protected Area of Local Interest. Explore them at a leisurely pace to appreciate a territory with unique geological characteristics and enjoy a beautiful day of trekking and nature.
The path of the Zolfina stream is one of the hiking trails that allows you to better admire the spectacle of the Balze. It's an easy ring-route that starts and ends in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Castelfranco di Sopra, and takes its name from a spring of Zolfine water touched on by the itinerary. The valley has the typical tones of the Tuscan countryside, with orchards and vineyards. Towards the mid-point of the route, you will find a road that leads to the small and delightful perched village of Piantravigne.