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Medieval towns and villages near the Valdarno

Visiting the Valdarno you can discover amazing  medieval villages that still maintain the walls, the churches, the castles and the most representative buildings of their history. The careful and precise conservation of most of these buildings has allowed the villages to become witnesses of past ages, traditions and history. Staying at Villa Le Facezie in Terranuova Bracciolini you can visit the Valdarno and its villages.

San Giovanni Valdarno, in a central position of the valley, it preserves one of the most beautiful palaces in the area: Palazzo d’Arnolfo. Built in 13th century and enlarged in the 15th century, it has a profile similar to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, especially for the central tower with battlements, but stands out for the portico on the ground floor and the loggia on the first floor.

In Montevarchi you can walk in the central Piazza Varchi, dominated by the Collegiata di San Lorenzo, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Palazzo del Podestà, now the house of the City Hall.

The village of Figline Valdarno, founded shortly after the year 1000, still retains part of the perfectly preserved medieval walls. The village develops around Piazza Marsilio Ficino, which overlooks the Collegiata di Santa Marta. In Piazza Bianchi instead is the beautiful Palazzo Pretorio built during the 14th  century.

 

The village of Piantravigne is located in a panoramic point that offers a spectacular view of the Balze del Valdarno. The village is very small and is characterized by the ancient paved alleys and the Church of San Lorenzo which houses one of the oldest paintings in the Valdarno represenenting the Madonna.

The village of Loro Ciuffenna with the hamlets of Rocca Ricciarda and the Borro located on the Pratomagno mountain, overlooks the valley and preserves many historic buildings including Pieve di San Pietro a Gropina, one of the oldest in the area and a perfect example of Romanesque style architecture in Tuscany.

Finally, Cascia di Reggello a Romanesque church and the Masaccio museum with a triptych by San Giovenale.

Shopping in Tuscany

During your well deserved holiday in the beautiful Villa Le Facezie in Terranuova Bracciolini, you can spend a few days going for shopping. In fact, in the area there are not only nice villages and vineyards, but some of the most convenient and welcoming luxury outlets for a fantastic shopping experience in Tuscany.

The Mall is located in Leccio, in the province of Florence. Open from Monday to Sunday it is a great opportunity to buy the items of the most prestigious Italian and international fashion brands. Armani, Hogan, Tod’s, Nike, Moncler, Montblanc, Gucci, Ferragamo, Cavalli, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Versace, Givenchy, are just some of the stores you’ll find at The Mall.

In addition to clothing you will find footwear, accessories, jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics and many gift ideas. For lunch or dinner visit the Gucci Caffè, a refined restaurant with an Italian and international menu, an exclusive setting from which to admire the view of the Tuscan hills.

In Incisa Val d’Arno, in the province of Florence, is the D&G outlet. Divided into two floors, the store offers the best of D&G’s past collections at competitive prices, including clothing, footwear and accessories.

Just 5 km from Villa Le Facezie, in Montevarchi, in the province of Arezzo, is the Space Prada Outlet, where you will find shoes, clothes and accessories from the historic Made in Italy brand.
Reaching Foiano Della Chiana in the province of Arezzo, you can visit the Valdichiana Village outlet which houses many shops including Nike, Gap, Borbonese, Guess, K-Way, Adidas, Alcott, Geox, Diadora, Gattinoni and many other brands of clothing, underwear and accessories for adults and children. Bottega Verde, Kiko and Erbolario will offer you the best of herbal medicine and cosmetics. Also many shops dedicated to household items and furnishings such as Bassetti, Bialetti, Bormioli Rocco, Caleffi and many others. Valdichiana Village is also full of bars, cafes and restaurants. It is equipped with a playground area to entertain children during your shopping, there are also a pharmacy and a smoke shop

5 Routes for your holidays in Tuscany

Starting from Villa Le Facezie in Terranuova Bracciolini you can explore the whole area surrounding the Aretino and the Valdarno. Here are the 5 most beautiful routes in Tuscany.

 

1- Strada dei Setteponti. This road connects Donnini, a town in the south of Florence, with Arezzo. Terranuova Bracciolini is about halfway along the route, so you can take the road to Arezzo or to Florence. The whole itinerary extends for 60 km among charming medieval villages, churches and abbeys. Among the most beautiful points of interest is the Pieve di San Pietro a Cascia, next to the Masaccio Museum, the village of Loro Ciuffenna with   the oldest watermill in the region and Ponte a Buriano.

 

2- Via Chiantigiana. An itinerary that crosses the Chianti region connecting Florence to Siena for centuries, dotted with charming medieval villages surrounded by the green of the vineyards. Among the most interesting places you will find Impruneta of Etruscan origin; Radda in Chianti with Palazzo Pretorio built in 15th century; Gaiole in Chianti, where you can admire the castle of Brolio and the castle of Vertine; Castelnuovo Berardenga with Villa Chigi Saracini and the Landscape Museum.

 

 

3- Firenze. The cradle of the Renaissance is still today a young and vital city. In Florence you can eat in the best restaurants to taste the Tuscan specialties and sip excellent wine, go shopping in the streets of the center and visit several museums and monuments. Do not miss the Duomo with Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, that are just a few places that have made Florence famous over the centuries, now included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

 

 

4- Val d’Orcia. A natural park full of villages and historic buildings, Val d’Orcia is worth a special visit. Near Castiglione d’Orcia you can discover the precious natural thermal springs, admire the Rocca di Tentennano and the Eremo del Vivo. In Montalcino you can visit the imposing Fortress and the Abbey of Sant’Antimo. Arriving at San Quirico d’Orcia you will find the suggestive Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta. In Pienza you will find the Museo del Teatro Toscano and the Palazzo Piccolomini, while near Radicofani you will find Bosco Isabella and La Posta Medicea.

 

 

5- Le Balze del Valdarno. Unique landscape in the world, the Balze are made of sand and clay characterized by walls hundreds of meters high from the rocky and jagged appearance. The panoramic view in contrast to the gentle surrounding green landscape is impressive. To visit the area they organize walks and trekking routes of various difficulty levels to allow everyone to admire this wonder.

 

Traditional recipes in Valdarno and Chianti Aretino

During a holiday in Tuscany at Villa Le Facezie you can taste many delicious traditional recipes. There are many products known in Italy and worldwide, such as olive oil, hams and salamis, cantucci, ribollita, acquacotta, caciucco.
Moreover the Valdarno and the Chianti Aretino will amaze you with authentic flavors and recipes, perhaps less famous, but delicious as well!

bistecca toscana

Among all the dishes of Tuscany, the Chianina steak is certainly renowned for the genuineness of the meat produced in traditional farms. Known worldwide as bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak or Tbone steak), it provides interesting variations depending on the area. In the Valdarno you can taste the bistecca di Chianina con l’acciugata ( steak with anchovy). The anchovy sauce is typical of the area. It is made with anchovies and capers ground and mixed with extra virgin olive oil.

crostini fegatini toscani

Tuscan cuisine stands out for its rustic and peasant flavors including a wide use of entrails, such as pork livers in a pan, seasoned with wild herbs, salt and pepper. The chicken liver, on the other hand, is mixed  together with veal, anchovies, celery and carrots to prepare a delicious sauce to spread on the bread. These are the Crostini Neri, typical of Arezzo.

 

To taste something unique, try the Valdarno chicken in porchetta. This variety of chicken with black feathers, impossible to find elsewhere, has a delicious and light meat. With a long baking, a mince of wild fennel, garlic , white pepper and a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, you will get a dish of appetizing meat. Others unique tuscany dishs is arrosto girato o girarrosto, one skewer made with different types of meat, cooked on the grill, and pappa al pomodoro, a tomato soup made with poor ingredients: stale tuscan bread, tomato and basil.

 

When it comes to dessert try cantucci di Prato, still produced today since 1867 in the patisserie that have the ancient recipe. You have to try also schiacciata alla Fiorentina, ciambelline al Vinsanto and Panbriacone of the famous bakerdel Gabriele Bonci.

An irresistible delight!

Discovering Valdarno and Chianti Wines

vini del chianti

The Chianti wines, renowned all around the world, are the symbol of Tuscan excellence. However the territory dedicated to the vines is much larger and has ancient origins. In fact, wine is produced throughout Tuscany from the Etruscans age and the Valdarno area is an example. The entire province of Arezzo has always been dedicated to the cultivation of grapes and to the production of excellent wines that today are awarded with quality certificates.

Across the area they produce Chianti DOCG, Valdarno di Sopra DOC, Chianti dei Colli Aretini DOCG, Valdichiana DOC, and Vinsanto del Chianti DOC. The love for tradition is always alive as they try to keep the native vines thanks to traditional methods of cultivation, respecting the environment and in the name of the high quality. The Chianti Aretino and Valdarno wines are mainly based on Sangiovese, even if they can obtain interesting blends with the varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The tradition is combined with a continuous research and selection of the best grapes and territories, in fact in 2011 was born the Pietraviva DOC, a typical wine of the province of Arezzo and sub-area of ​​the Valdarno, obtained from different vines including Sangiovese, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malvasia.

 

If you love wine you should plan a visit to Tuscany, where you can taste the wines in their natural environment, visit the cellars and learn from the producers the path and history that are the basis of an excellent wine. In fact the first hard work in the vine is followed by careful processing in the cellar, with the passion and love that have always distinguished the work of Tuscan producers.

Starting from Villa Le Facezie, in Terranuova Bracciolini,  you can visit several vineyards and follow the special routes, such as the Terre di Arezzo Wine Road, which includes aperitifs in the cellar and tastings in combination with the best typical food of Tuscany.
At Villa Le Facezie you can taste a selection of wines from small local wineries, appreciated by the best guides in the sector.

Holidays villa rentals in Tuscany

Among the holidays villa rentals in Tuscany, you will find real corners of paradise. Villa Le Facezie, in Terranuova Bracciolini in the province of Arezzo, is an example of the beauty and elegance of this beloved region. It is a Tuscan liberty style villa, dating back to 900 and renovated in 2018. The 900 style has been carefully preserved and can also be seen in furniture with wooden furniture, finishes, fabrics, paper wallpapers and in the parquet.

In addition to the B&B service, the villa can be entirely rented with a solution that offers maximum privacy. The 4 rooms of the villa include a deluxe standard, two superiors and one suite, each of them with bathroom and can accommodate up to 12 people including children.

So you can spend a carefree holiday with your friends and relatives, or choose to enjoy the whole villa with your family or a couple for a romantic holiday. You will have wide space available where you can have fun and rest without interruption or the intrusion of other guests.

Whatever the number of people in your group, you will have the exclusive of the villa in which the daily cleaning service will be guaranteed, otherwise you can live and cook in complete autonomy. The villa in fact has a large kitchen equipped with all crockery and cutlery, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, oven and induction plate, coffee machine, kettle and juicer. You can have lunch or breakfast outside on the veranda and have at your disposal the whole garden, the Jacuzzi and the children’s area.

Villa Le Facezie is one of the best holidays villa rentals in Tuscany for its location that will allow you to visit Florence, Arezzo, Siena and the entire region of Chianti and Valdarno. You can discover interesting naturalistic, enogastronomic and cultural itineraries, or you can simply spend your days relaxing surrounded by the green Tuscan countryside.

 

Family holidays in Tuscany

If you are looking for family holidays in Tuscany, discover Villa Le Facezie in Terranuova Bracciolini, in the province of Arezzo. A refined and welcoming traditional Tuscan villa just renovated, is designed to accommodate couples or families with children in a quiet and peaceful environment. The liberty style villa offers to its guests spacious and well-appointed rooms, with luxurious and equipped bathrooms. Among the 4 rooms available in the villa there are beds and cots for children, high chairs, changing tables and bottle warmers to make the holiday comfortable for children of all ages and allow their parents to travel happy.

To pass joyful days, there are several board games and puzzles, books, DVDs and CDs for children.

Most important for a family holiday is the beautiful outdoor space: a walled and secure garden will welcome your family. Here children can play freely in the areas equipped for them, while you can enjoy the beautiful days outdoors surrounded by greenery, walking, reading or sunbathing.

For your family holidays in Tuscany you can rely on several points of interest.
Villa Le Facezie is located in the historic center of Terranuova Bracciolini and in a few minutes you can reach the public park Tiziano Terzani, a green oasis on the side of the river Ciuffenna, equipped with games for children, while older children can have fun in the tennis courts, volleyball, basketball and an ice rink.

For a trip out of town you can take the children to the nearby Montevarchi to visit the Paleontological Museum. The tusks of gigantic mammoths and the fossils of rhinos, primitive bears and other animal species typical of the upper Valdarno will conquer your children for a unique and fascinating educational experience. For an excursion in the greenery you can visit the Natural Area of ​​the Balze, a unique place in the world surrounded by lush nature and dotted with villages and towns.

5 things to do in Chianti region, Tuscany.

For a holiday in the Chianti region, Tuscany, you can choose the amazing  Villa Le Facezie B&B. The Villa is not in the common tourist destinations, so is perfect for a wonderful relaxing holiday in the green of Tuscany. Also, its strategic position halfway between Florence and Arezzo, in the town of Terranuova Bracciolini, allows you to visit these beautiful cities rich in history, museums and art, and explore the whole area with maximum comfort.

Here are 5things to do during a holiday in the Chianti region, Tuscany.

  • Try  the traditional Tuscan recipes. In the area you will find several restaurants, pastry shops and small shops where you can taste the delicious typical food: cinta senese salami, cantucci with almonds, extra virgin olive oil, Colonnata lard and Florentine t-bone steaks are just some of the delicacies that have made Tuscan cuisine one of the most appreciated in the world.
  • Wine tasting tour. The Chianti region, Tuscany, is famous all around the world for its wines. Do not miss the several tours of the cellars with tasting of the most renowned wines. From the Chianti Classic up to the wide production that extends the vineyards throughout the region including the Florentine hills, the Siena and Aretino hills where you can taste the Montalcino, San Gimignano, Montepulciano and Carmignano.
  • Bicycle itineraries. Besides the vineyards, in the area there is much more to see. In fact the nice natural hills of Tuscany, almost entirely covered by vineyards, offer an amazing panoramic view in a place free from traffic and noise. Visiting these unique landscapes is even better by bike, thanks to the several itineraries that you can undertake on your own or with expert guides.

  • Nature itineraries in the Natural Area of Balze.  A few minutes from Villa Le Facezie you can discover a surprising place. The Balze are a unique conformation in the Italian naturalistic heritage. These walls of golden yellow sand are surrounded by lush vegetation offer an unforgettable experience.
  • A shopping day. In Tuscany there are several tailor shops and leather artisan boutiques where you can buy high quality items and accessories from shoes to bags. In Florence you will still find many traditional shops, or just a few minutes from Villa Le Facezie, you can visit the fantastic The Mall outlet to buy the best of Italian fashion at affordable prices.

Charming bed and breakfast in Tuscany

For your holiday in Tuscany, choose a Charming Bed and Breakfast, elegant, refined and surrounded by nature. Villa Le Facezie is a beautiful liberty style villa recently restored and open to guests. At Terranuova Bracciolini, at the heart of Tuscany, between Florence and Arezzo and just a few minutes from the Chianti region, you will find an environment rich in nature paths and food and wine tours among hills, vineyards, churches and castles.

 

Villa Le Facezie is an authentic Tuscan villa with 4 bedrooms and a large garden. You can rent it entirely or choose one of the rooms. The largest room is the Rosso di Sera Suite, which stands out for its frescoed ceilings and a balcony overlooking the garden. It includes a double bed and a sofa bed  to accommodate up to 4 guests, suitable for a family or two couples of friends.

The Settimo Cielo superior room is suitable for a family, with a double bed plus a single bed for children. The room also includes a comfortable reading area and a luxurious bathroom with a Carrara marble tub.

The L’Erba Voglio superior room can accommodate 3 adults with a double bed plus a single bed. The windows overlook the villa’s garden.

The Nero su Bianco deluxe room is perfect for couples, includes a double bed and a romantic floral wallpaper on the walls.

At the Charming Bed and Breakfast Villa Le Facezie, all rooms have wooden floors made with Siam Teak and are furnished with antique pieces and Tuscan antiques. Breakfast is rich in fresh food produced by local companies. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful garden furnished with chairs and sunbeds, on request you can use the Jacuzzi. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the villa.