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Barberino Val d'Elsa

Val d'Elsa

Where land and art meet

The strategic importance of the Val d’Elsa lies in its location. It owes its development to the Francigena road and its prosperity to the harmonious production of wine, olive oil, crystal, paper, electronics, ceramics and furniture. Like the river, Val d’Elsa has truly played a role in shaping the terrain, as its inhabitants created villages in the area, deeply influencing its character. Over the last hundred years, Val d’Elsa has continued to be a secluded area because it has always been off the beaten track of Tuscany’s usual itineraries. Nonetheless, it truly represents all the distinctive features which belong to Tuscan art, wine and cuisine. Machiavelli once lived in this area and its landscape and houses continue to exude its own traditional character.

Getting there:
Parallel to the Florence-Siena motorway, you’ll find the Cassia road, which begins in Monteriggioni, and will take you to the Caldane—ancient Etruscan baths. If you want to reach Casole, head toward Radicandoli and continue along the Via Volterra near the Montemiccioli Tower, which once served as the boundary mark between Volterra and Val d’Elsa. Road 68 is the panoramic route that runs west to east. Leave Volterra and once you’ve arrived at Castel San Gimignano, you can decide whether to go directly to Colle Val d’Elsa or take a detour to the left and pass through San Gimignano. If you opt for that route, you’ll pass alongside Castelvecchio—a stunning archaeological site. Once you reach the ‘Town of the beautiful Towers’ continue for seven or eight km until you reach Poggibonsi. After eight more km, you will arrive at Colle Val d’Elsa.