Stage 23

Palazzolo-San Giovanni Valdarno

Palazzolo, an ancient post office on the Via Cassia, is behind us and we penetrate more and more into the Valdarno, following the river; the route is easy and suitable for everyone. We will encounter some towns that fall into the ‘category’ of Terre Nuove dating back to the late Middle Ages, when Florence asserted its supremacy in the area having defeated the Aretines. In order to consolidate their power, the Medici built several towns ex novo in places where there had previously only been villages, and brought back to the forefront the ancient Roman road system, which was given the title of ‘via Maestra’ (main road), to signify in words the importance they wanted to give to this route, compared to others in the area. Ancient monuments and modern works of art are encountered along this varied route: not far from each other, two churches built in different periods show the devotional architectural evolution: the Pieve di San Vito and Santa Maria Theotokos, in Loppiano, near Incisa. From a naturalistic point of view, we suggest a short diversion to observe the ‘Balze’ (crags), the geological element that uniquely characterizes the Valdarno landscape, an erosive phenomenon that has given rise to steep clayey slopes with a distinctive yellowish color.

  • Distance : 20,8 Km

  • Time : 5,5 hours

  • Terrain: trails, country roads

  • Height difference + : 260 m

  • Height difference – : 304 m

  • Max altitude : 271 m

  • Min altitude : 119 m

Download file: viarg23.gpx
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