Le Balze del Valdarno

The spectacle of the crags in the water path Zolfina

A Castelfranco di Sopra  (Ar) is a loop trail ,  already  marked by the CAI and called ” water Zolfina ” where you can see up close one of the most beautiful views of the Cliff of Valdarno and the beautiful Tuscan countryside where they are. The route  is about 5 km long in a succession of unique locations. The starting point is just outside the walls of the village, near the post office where a small wooden tabernacle is described in detail the entire route.


cartello sentiero acqua zolfina

He sets out on a road that descends rapidly towards the Borro Fossate of where the signs are planning to back them ford without difficulty in well 3 points in the midst of thick vegetation, which sometimes reveals the yellowish needles .


balze cartello1

I continue on a dirt road that I introduced in plots of land well cultivated and large green lawns modulated by gentle slopes, where the path comes to a junction where you can return to the road of Botriolo or continue in the second part of the track, I of course I opt for the latter solution.

I walk in the path of the water Zolfina in a valley very impressive showing all its glory of a colorful countryside from its infinite shades expressed in ground crops, fruit trees and vineyards, where the crags are always the main protagonists and as I approach I have the impression of not being in Tuscany but in a Grand Canyon of America as seen in certain films, how surreal make any landscape.

Arrived in the vicinity of the farm-Osteria “Le Balze” there is the possibility to make a detour on the path CAI 51 and go up to the village of  Piantravigne  from where the view of the cliffs is truly incomparable.



balze viste da piantravigne
I continue instead in the loop trail and after little valley narrows, trail becomes uphill and along the jagged gully water Zolfina , immediately recognizable scent. Among the various patches of vegetation sprout still small spiers of Balze as I observe the river that has a matte color tending towards white reflecting the presence of sulfur .

The last stretch of the walk is to more uphill, but not too challenging, and brings me back on the road of  Setteponti towards the ancient Badia a soffena and then back to the starting point.


balze panorama

One of the most beautiful places where you can see the wonder of the Balze of Valdarno, in addition to the water trail Zolfina, is the so-called Buca delle Fateor Cava delle Fatewhich is a short distance from the small village of Montemarciano (Ar) .
The name a bit of legend, attributed by local farmers, are the special shades that can be seen in the evening around this fantastic natural amphitheater.
Coming from the land of the Pen (Terranuova Bracciolini) just before the junction for Montemarciano there is a path on the right closed to traffic by a barrier but walking, leading to Buca delle Fate after about a kilometer.






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