Valdarno

Hotels Valdarno
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Due to its great wealth, Valdarno was the scene of many a bloody battle between two cities which, towards the end of the Middle Ages, vied for power in Tuscany: Guelph Florence and Ghibelline Arezzo.
At the close of the 13th century, in an effort to resist pressure exerted on them by warlike Aretine bishops who controlled powerful and well fortified castles in the Arno Valley - Cennina, Castiglione degli Uberti and Laterina - the Florentines built three "walled forts", ie. three fortified villages: San Giovanni, Terranuova and Castelfranco.
After the death of Bishop Guido Tarlati in 1327, the Republic of Arezzo experienced slow but inevitable decline until 1384 when it was annexed to the Florentine Republic.
With the struggles over, new administrative boundaries delineating Aretine control were drawn up in Valdarno and included the three walled cities built by the Florentines a century earlier.
The Valdarno was not however just a battlefield. Nor was it either just a fertile valley rich in agriculture. Indeed many men, native to the area, have made their mark on history with their contribution to the world of art and letters, namely the painter Masaccio, the philosopher Poggio Bracciolini and the sculptor Francesco Mochi.
Today, there is a heavy concentration of industry in the upper reaches of the Valdarno. Such activity has nonetheless been confined to a well defined zone, thus minimizing any possible negative effects to the natural environment and artistic heritage of the area.
Three roads from Arezzo lead to the Valdarno and pass through its entire length terminating in Florence: the Autostrada del Sole, State Highway no. 69 which follows the Arno River and the secondary road "Of the Seven Bridges" - dei Sette Ponti - already in existence in Etruscan times, which winds its way along the lower slopes of Pratomagno overlooking the valley from the likely shores of the former Pliocene lake.
Although preserving its agricultural tradition with the production of high quality wine and olive oil, the Arno Valley is however to be considered the oldest and most important industrial area in the whole Aretine economy.
With the decline in importance of the hat and felt industries over the last decades, the Valdarno has developed other activities: iron metallurgy and the working of glass in particular.
The adoption of modern tecniques in the utilization of local brown coal reserves, has led to the conversion from extraction activities to the production of electricity.


At Valdarno, there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.