An itinerary between nature and history, to discover a territory where the works of human ingenuity have helped to shape a landscape of rare beauty. The "Bonifiche Path" was created by La Chianina ASD, founding association of the Chianina Ciclostorica, an annual event that reveals the scenic, architectural, cultural and gastronomic beauties of the Valdichiana to historical cycling enthusiasts.
Our journey begins in Marciano della Chiana, a town whose location in the center of the valley makes it strategic for embarking on a route through the Valdichiana Aretina. The tower and the walls of the village tell us of a very long history, attested by numerous finds from the archaic Etruscan age.
Pedaling along the Provincial Road of the Pozzo, we meet Pozzo della Chiana, a town that was the scene of the famous Battle of Scannagallo in 1554, represented by Vasari in a painting preserved in the Salone dei Cinquecento at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
We therefore approach Foiano della Chiana, a town guardian of works of immense artistic value. In the Church of SS. Trinità there is a painting by Pomarancio, while in the fifteenth-century Church of Santa Maria della Fraternità there is a glazed terracotta attributed to Luca and Andrea della Robbia. Inside the Collegiate Church of San Martino, built in the 16th-18th centuries, there is a Coronation of the Virgin and Saints, a late work by Luca Signorelli.
Continuing on the Provincial Road of the Chianacce, the landscape offers us both the natural beauties of the countryside and the proof of the ingenuity of the inhabitants of this territory; in fact we meet the Botte allo Strozzo, an ingenious hydraulic work built in 1910 to make the Allacciante delle Chianacce pass over the Canale Maestro della Chiana.
We therefore pass numerous leopoldine and cultivated fields in the direction of Farneta, a very small village whose jewel is the ancient Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, perhaps of Lombard foundation, certainly documented starting from 1014.
We therefore begin to move from the territory of the municipality of Cortona to that of Castiglion Fiorentino, within which we skirt the Canale Maestro della Chiana for a long stretch.
After this evocative part of the route, which introduced us to the natural heritage of the Valdichiana, a land whose dedication to agriculture is certainly not accidental, we get closer to the beginning of our ideal ring. The provincial road of Misericordia takes us through Cesa first and then Badicorte, where we take the Strada del Pozzo again.
We now start to recognize the familiar walls of Marciano della Chiana and the profile of the Tower. Our ring closes, at the end of a path that in just over 46 km has shown us the beauty of the Valdichiana Aretina in all its facets.