La Setteponti

La Setteponti

The path we propose is a journey backwards on the traces of a past and a present that still remain in the art, culture, traditions of these villages built along the ancient road that connected Arezzo to Fiesole, the Cassia Vetus.
Leonardo da Vinci, in the 16th century, undertook this journey, along the Pratomagno, to study the course of the Arno and the Balze appeared to the artist as "deep sawdust of the rivers".

From Arezzo take the SP 1 called the " Setteponti " up to Ponte Buriano , Romanesque bridge over the Arno (XIII century).
A little further you arrive at Castiglion Fibocchi , a village built as a castle guarding the road that led from the Pratomagno in Casentino. Outside the village, along the road on the left there is a stop to admire, inside the church of S. Maria a Pezzano, today a cemetery chapel, a fresco of the Arezzo school depicting the Annunciation (XIV century). Continue towards Loro Ciuffenna, with a stop at the Romanesque Parish Church of San Pietro a Gropina (12th century), one of the oldest religious buildings in the Arezzo diocese.

Of particular suggestion is the interior, divided into three naves with columns and capitals, evidence of the great art of knowing how to sculpt the stone by creating works of art that are handed down over time. An ambo engraved with bas-reliefs with human and animal depictions (a lion, an eagle and a deacon), supported by two knotted columns and two pillars, is the sculptural masterpiece of the church.

From Gropina, continue towards Loro Ciuffenna , a medieval village already an Etruscan settlement. To visit, in the historical center, the church of S. Maria Assunta with a triptych by Lorenzo di Bicci (XV century), and the "Venturino Venturi" Museum, a tribute to the artist who was born here in 1918. For whom from Loro Ciuffenna wanted to follow an alternative route, among the woods and the hills of Pratomagno we suggest a visit to Poggio di Loro and Rocca Ricciarda, villages completely restored from where you will have a suggestive view over the whole Valdarno.
Continuing on the Setteponti, from Loro Ciuffenna we follow the indication for Castelfranco di Sopra , one of the "new lands" founded in 1299 by the Florentines. Of great interest is the urban design of the village, traditionally attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, with regular checkerboard layout, once surrounded by walls, towers and doors of which only two remain. To visit the Oratory of San Filippo Neri (eighteenth century) who was born here in 1515.

Leaving Castelfranco di Sopra, the itinerary continues towards Pian di Scò, with a stop at the Badia di San Salvatore a Soffena, a religious building built in the fourteenth century on a pre-existing castle, evidence of the presence of the Vallombrosian community in the Upper Valdarno. Inside there are precious frescoes by Liberato da Rieti, Bicci di Lorenzo and Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, known as Lo Scheggia (XV century), the younger brother of Masaccio. Next to the Abbey stands the monastery, the subject of recent archaeological investigations that have brought to light medieval and renaissance tombs.

The journey ends in Pian di Scò , the last town in the province of Arezzo, which developed along the Resco river (the toponym seems to have originated from the name of this). In the historic center stands the Romanesque church of S. Maria, already mentioned in a document of 1008. Blind arches and two single windows decorate the façade. The interior, with three naves, is marked by columns with figured capitals. On the left wall there is a fresco depicting a Madonna enthroned with a Child dated around 1400, by Paolo Schiavo.

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