Val di Chiana Aretina
Hotels Val di Chiana Aretina
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Val di Chiana Aretina is the most extensive of all the valleys in the Apennine chain - over 500 sq kilometres of well organized, cultivated farm land. A garden when viewed from Cortona, the ancient city which dominates the entire area from its 600m in altitude. As early as the 3rd century B.C., the valley must have been considered the granary of Etruria as Hannibal, after plundering and ransacking the area, was still able to stock his entire army before making his legendary crossing alluring the Roman legions to Trasimeno where they were ambushed and defeated.
In addition to historical documentation there is also archeological evidence and cultural tradition to support the theory that the Val di Chiana belonged to an ancient civilization. The underground tombs of Camucia and Sodo, the finds from Farneta, Foiano, Cignano and the Cortona Museum all testify to the effect that the Etruscans inhabited and cultivated this valley draining it of the waters which for thousands of years had reduced it to marshland.
When Leonardo Da Vinci, more than fifteen centuries later, drew up the "Atlantic Code", the Valdichiana once again appeared as a lake. It so happened that after the fall of the Western Roman empire, the ensuing barbarian invasions and bloody Gothic Wars (which continued throughout almost the entire 6th century) brought about the systematic depopulation of the countryside. No longer tended with loving care, the Valdichiana surrendered yet again to the waters inundating its territory.
Nevertheless, bordering the swamps, in the walled villages, castles, abbeys and parish churches where the valley inhabitants had taken refuge, the ancient spirit and inherent taste for community living was preserved. This later gave rise to the spontaneous birth of a new culture, documented in the "laude" - songs of praise - and "bruscelli" - oper air performances - which represent the
first expressions of Italian music, poetry and theatre still intact in their primitive form today having been transmitted from generation to generation, from threshing floor to threshing floor and from piazza to piazza.
Land reclamation planned and carried out by the Aretine engineer, Vittorio Fossombroni, during the Lorraine rule at the beginning of the 19th century, restored to the Valdichiana its former productive capacity. The valley was soon scattered with villages and architecturally superb farm-complexes which were higly efficent for the times.
At Val di Chiana Aretina, 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.
Farm Holidays Camucia
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Camucia
Bed and Breakfast - Room rentals Cortona
Farm Holidays Cortona
Residences - Flats - Holiday Houses Cortona