Overview of Valdichiana
The Val di Chiana, a fertile alluvial valley, is located in the south of Arezzo’province between Val D’Orcia and Val Tiberina.
It takes its name from the river Chiana and it is one of the most beautiful territories of Tuscany, full of charming landscapes and gorgeous medieval towns and villages.
Val di Chiana has been always inhabited as testified by an interrupted succession of ancient cultures coming back from the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic, going up to the Etruscan and Roman civilizations and the Medieval and Renaissance epochs.
The valley has changed its morphology quite a lot of times over the centuries. First a fertile area and afterwards transformed into a marshland to such extend that it made necessary the inversion of Chiana’s river.
Drainage works were started by the Romans, consequently to the malarial infestation which began in Etruscan times, becoming serious during the middle Ages and Renaissance.
New drainage modifications were suggested since the 14th century. In the 16th century, in order to resolve the problem even Leonardo da Vinci was appealed to give a solution.
He drew up a map of the area which showed that the valley was occupied by a large lake running north-south. Nowadays there are only two remnants of the original lake: Lago di Chiusi and a smaller one in Montepulciano.
About the ending of the 18th century the problem was definitively solved by the prestigious engineer Vittorio Fossombroni who also wrote notable documents on this valley, which has been a very important contribution to the further development of the geomorphology theories and the hydrometrical instrumentation.
Since then, Val di Chiana as a successful result of a rigorous marsh drainage works became the highly fertile land that it had been in ancient times.
The valley is in fact a rich granary plenty of vineyards, olive groves and fields of maize, wheat and tobacco. A considerable space of the area is also in reserve as pastureland.
Main Towns of Valdichiana
Arezzo, Cortona , Montepulciano,
Torrita di Siena,
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