La Valdichiana

La Valdichiana

Storie dal Territorio della Valdichiana

Tag: Valdichiana tourism

Carovana Camper ha scelto Chiusi come tappa del suo tour

Nei giorni precedenti è arrivato a Chiusi un gruppo di camperisti che hanno scelto la cittadina etrusca come tappa del proprio tour. Il gruppo, composto da una ventina di equipaggi…

Nei giorni precedenti è arrivato a Chiusi un gruppo di camperisti che hanno scelto la cittadina etrusca come tappa del proprio tour.
Il gruppo, composto da una ventina di equipaggi in totale, con il coordinamento del Comune, dell’Ufficio Turistico Pro Loco, del Gruppo Guide turistico ambientali di Chiusi e del Camper Club Montepulciano, nonché della Bnl e della Nobil Camper, hanno sfruttato la sosta (trovando spazio ideale per i propri automezzi nel parcheggio adiacente alle scuole medie) per visitare le bellezze storico, culturali e archeologiche che la cittadina di Chiusi ha da offrire.
Alcuni dei luoghi visitati e descritti ai visitatori grazie al prezioso supporto delle guide chiusine, sono stati la cattedrale di San Secondiano (vedi foto) e la città sotterranea (vedi foto). Il gruppo ha poi fatto sosta per il raduno di Primavera al lago di Chiusi, dove ha pranzato, prima di proseguire il proprio percorso che, dal prossimo anno, potrebbe divenire un evento nazionale.

«Siamo soddisfatti – dichiara l’assessore al sistema Chiusi Promozione, Chiara Lanari – della giornata che hanno passato i nostri amici camperisti. Più persone ci hanno scritto per ringraziarci per l’accoglienza ricevuta e di questo non possiamo che ringraziare a nostra volta tutti coloro che hanno collaborato. La nostra città può aprirsi anche a questo tipo di turismo in special modo se, come abbiamo fatto in questa occasione, l’organizzazione è frutto di sinergia e collaborazione proficua e produttiva tra vari soggetti».

«Siamo rimasti molto soddisfatti – dichiarano Paolo Volpi, camperista, e Monia Daviddi, della Nobilcamper e dell’organizzazione del raduno insieme al Camper Club di Montepulciano – per l’ottima accoglienza che abbiamo ricevuto a Chiusi. Tutta la carovana, proveniente da Roma, ha ritenuto la visita della città e del lago, grazie alle tante bellezze che è possibile visitare e scoprire, affascinante e davvero ricca di mistero: sicuramente sarà un percorso da ripetere ogni anno e da inserire in un circuito nazionale. Spesso noi camperisti veniamo criticati perché si pensa, erroneamente, che non portiamo benefici economici ai territori che visitiamo ma non è così, basti pensare che ad esempio abbiamo pranzato nel ristorante al lago di Chiusi ed apprezziamo sia i ristoranti ma anche i bar ed i negozi dei territori che visitiamo. Spesso, inoltre, facciamo confronti e paragoni tra i piatti che assaggiamo e le ricchezze dei territori e, altro esempio, durante i percorsi a più tappe che facciamo abbiamo la possibilità di acquistare più souvenirs nelle varie città che visitiamo, che poi trasportiamo nei nostri camper più agevolmente che con le automobili: il camper non è una forma di risparmio ma una filosofia di vita che permette di fare vacanze in totale libertà. Un ringraziamento speciale va al sindaco Scaramelli e all’assessore Lanari nonché tutte le autorità del Comune di Chiusi per la cortesia e l’attenzione dimostrata».

Nessun commento su Carovana Camper ha scelto Chiusi come tappa del suo tour

The Lake Montepulciano

Our journey continues, in order to discover the most interesting places of Valdichiana, in the most hidden corners and among the internationally renowned excellence. We couldn’t miss an issue dedicated…

Our journey continues, in order to discover the most interesting places of Valdichiana, in the most hidden corners and among the internationally renowned excellence. We couldn’t miss an issue dedicated to the Lake Montepulciano, that is what was left of the great swamp that once characterized Valdichiana.

The Lake Montepulciano is a lake formed by the Canale Maestro of Chiana, the only affluent and the only effluent; it’s close to the Lake of Chiusi and Trasimeno Lake, and its southern shores mark the border between Tuscany and Umbria. The lake testifies to a millennial history: the swamp originated from the Pliocene Sea that invaded the depression of Valdichiana a half a million of years ago. The fossils found belonged to mammoth, hippos and deers which prove the size of the lake; when southern Tuscany was concerned by several liftings, caused by the volcanic activities of Monte Amiata, the valley became a river basin and originated the Clanis river. The diversion of its waters between the river Tiber and Arno rivers characterized the secular swampy waters which belonged to these lands and the Lake Montepulciano is a perfect witness of the recovery of the lands.

In addition to its historical importance, the Lake Montepulciano is also one of the most important wetlands of central Italy and it is a protected natural area since 1996, when it was invested with the title of Natural Reserve by Tuscany, together with some adjoining farmland and part of the Canale Maestro of Chiana. The Natural Reserve covers about 300 hectares in the southern part of the municipality of Montepulciano.

The protection of the natural area and the path of development started over twenty years ago. Already in 1989 the municipalities of Montepulciano and Siena entrusted the management of the area to LIPU, making it a natural oasis. With the birth of the real Natural Reserve there was then an attempt at reorganization and relaunch of the protected area, whose management was entrusted to the “Associazione Amici del Lago di Montepulciano”.

Birdwatchers know this Lake very well, because it is an important staging point for birds that migrate from Africa to Europe. Within the Reserve, there are several species of birds, which use it for overwintering and nesting. Not to forget fishing, because within the lake waters there are species such as the eel, the chub and the stickleback, and some species have been introduced, such as the pike, the carp and the tench. Entire generations of Valdichiana fished in these waters, while the share-croppers cultivated the surrounding land.

The Visitor Center “La Casetta”, belonging to the Natural Reserve of the Lake Montepulciano, is located close to the lake and the trails that surround it, and it is easy to reach from Acquaviva and Valiano. In the Centre you can find educational and informative material on the territory, as well as a museum, that collects objects and artifacts found in the surrounding settlements. There is also a seminar room that hosts exhibitions, seminars, workshops and an ongoing series of events throughout the year, as well as a food court and a large parking area even for campers.

At the visitor centre you can book guided tours on the trails and excursions by boat, to take full advantage of the natural area. The trail crosses the grove of reeds ends with a watch tower, in addition to bordering with the Trail of Recovery, a hiking trail also for bicycles, that runs through the entire Valdichiana from Chiusa dei Monaci of Arezzo, to Chiusi Scalo. Whether you are birdwatchers, or lovers of protected natural areas, or simply tourists looking for a quiet place where to enjoy the memory of the ancient swamp of Valdichiana, the Lake Montepulciano is definitely a must see.

Nessun commento su The Lake Montepulciano

The Thermal Baths of Chianciano

In our journey through Valdichiana, today we stop in Chianciano, which owes much of its fame to the thermal waters, still appreciated for their therapeutic properties by hundreds of visitors….

In our journey through Valdichiana, today we stop in Chianciano, which owes much of its fame to the thermal waters, still appreciated for their therapeutic properties by hundreds of visitors.

The history of the Thermal Baths of Chianciano has its roots during Etruscan times. The ancient inhabitants of Etruria and the King Porsenna had already occupied the area with residential areas around Chiusi and Monte Cetona. The Romans as well knew the beneficial properties of mineral waters, which led to the construction of shrines dedicated to the divinities of water, including the Temple of Fucoli. The thermal waters were considered magical, with powers of healing, and for this reason were protected by following civilizations in the area, up to the present. The Thermal Baths of Chianciano, originally called “Fontes Clusinae“, had their own station on the Via Cassia, between Arezzo and Chiusi, dating back to the Roman Empire.

The importance of the Thermal Baths of Chianciano does not decrease even during the Middle Age, when they were occupied by the Goths and Longobards. The name of Chianciano clearly appears in 1171 A.D., through a deed of donation, together with “Acqua Santa and Sellene”; while a document dated 1287 A.D. confirms the presence of citizens which deal with the maintenance of the Thermal Baths of Chianciano. In 1349 A.D. the town passes under the protection of Siena, after many years of struggles against Montepulciano and Orvieto, and even in the following centuries there are frequent references to the healing properties of its thermal waters. A legend says that even St. Agnese Segni did several miracles in the Thermal Baths of Chianciano, and the pagan name of Bagno Grande di Sellene is called “Acqua Santa” (Holy Water).

The real spas were built by a private company (led by Angelo Banti), that was allowed, by the town of Chianciano Terme, to use the Thermal Baths; the building process was started in the ‘20s, with neo-classical style establishments, and the opening of new sources and a plant for bottling. Some structures were torn down after a town plan in the ‘40s, which returned the thermal baths to the State property. The projects of the establishments in a fresher and more modern version, done by architects Loreti and Marchi, built thermak parks and a Hall, as well as the creation of the Institute of Biological and Chemical Research, to undertake research on the water and its therapeutic properties, and on the correct application of therapies.

As a result of these studies, the waters of the Thermal Baths of Chianciano were divided into five types, which have several beneficial effects on organisms:

Acqua Santa and Acqua Fucoli: they have to be drinked as they pour from the sources, good for the liver and the gastrointestinal tract;

Acqua Santissima: used for inhalations against diseases of the breathing apparatus;

Acqua Sillene: used for mud baths, thermal baths and cosmetic products;

Acqua Sant’Elena: a water with low mineral content, for the treatment of diseases of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract;

Thanks to the therapeutic properties of its thermal waters, throughout the 20th century, Chianciano has been a significant tourist attraction. The organization of the spa and a world-class healthcare management have led to an urban and structural continuity between the old town and the modern spa area, represented by the great Viale della Libertà, lined with hotels, pensions and villas.

Nessun commento su The Thermal Baths of Chianciano

Discovering the Castle of Valiano

Sometimes, not even those who live in the many villages scattered all around Valdichiana know anything about the true origins of what surrounds them. Still, the country and the very…

Sometimes, not even those who live in the many villages scattered all around Valdichiana know anything about the true origins of what surrounds them. Still, the country and the very stones of which those villages are made are soaked in historical events of great substance, worthy of being remembered and handed down.

Valiano is a perfect example: an hamlet of approximately 300 souls, fraction of the Montepulciano municipality.

Valiano was an ancient feudal castle, and also an essential military outpost during the 23rd century. Even though nowadays it’s just a tiny fraction of a bigger town, its past stands out as an extremely important piece of Valdichiana’s history.

The Castle of Valiano rises up on the top of a hill that dominates Valdichiana in both the territories of Siena and Arezzo. Its origins can be dated back up to the roman-etruscan age, due to the tombs which have been found near Palazzo Vecchio.

The first datas about the military usage of the castle hail from the 23rd century, when the City of Perugia was looking for new strategic outposts within the territory of Cortona.
The Castle of Valiano, which is sometimes referred to as “Valiana“, was initially  kept by Del Colle Marquises, before becoming a feud of the Del Pecora family from Montepulciano. The castle was an important outpost on the swampy lands of Valdichiana, being an obligated passage point for the military troops; furthermore, thanks to a system of communicating towers, it allowed the exchange of daytime warning signals, through reflecting mirrors, with the castles of Montalera and Montegualandro, across all the territories from Lake Trasimento to Mount Cetona and Mount Amiata.

valiano

Therefore, the importance of the Castle of Valiano was due to its strategic position among the towns of Tuscany and Umbria, the Papal State and the later Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Within the castle there was a post office, typical in valleys during the medieval age, to keep control over the freight traffic between the distant cities and to help the activities of the couriers, and also allowing the collection of customs.

The post office of Valiano had authority over the goods on transit through the Chiana’s small port, by the Lake of Montepulciano and the Chiaro of Chiusi.

The Castle of Valiano became a property of Florence in 1502, still maintaining its condition of free Commune, until Grand Duke Leopoldo of Tuscany decided to unite it to the municipality of Montepulciano in 1774.

Because of the swamp recovery works , local agricolture experienced a remarkable growth, and the consequential increase of population led to the arrangement of a great festival on august 10, 1782. The festival became more and more important, also because it featured oxen of Chianina breed. Today, the traditional San Lorenzo festival still takes place within Valiano, after over two centuries, as a proof of the great role it played in the forming process of the local identity.

Nowadays, what remains of the castle are the bridge house, the bell tower and one of the wall towers. The historical center has kept its medieval structure, with narrow alleys within the walls and the post on the Via Lauretana. There’s also the ancient Pieve of San Lorenzo, restored in 1804, with its 16th century crucifix, and the Del Pecora palace by the town square.

Valiano is proud of its past: from the bottom of the hill, you can still imagine the merchants coming on their way to the post.

Nessun commento su Discovering the Castle of Valiano

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search