Val d'Elsa

Val d’Elsa

The Val d’Elsa, along the Via Francigena between hamlets and castles

The Val d’Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, between the provinces of Florence and Siena, and develops along the course of the Elsa river which originates in the hilly area between Siena and Radicondoli and flows north up to the Arno. It is a very beautiful area made up of low hills on which several medieval villages and castles have developed which are among the best known in all of Tuscany.

Inhabited since the time of the Etruscans, the Val d’Elsa has experienced a strong economic and political development with the creation of the Via Francigena, a road of primary importance that connected Rome with northern Europe and every year was crossed by numerous merchants and pilgrims. In recent years, the Via Francigena has become one of the main attractions of the area, becoming the symbol of a different way of doing tourism, a “slower” tourism, aimed at being reconciled with oneself and with nature, rediscovering ancient traditions and a more “human” way of life.

Along the Val d’Elsa there are some of the most beautiful hamlets in the whole region. In the northern part there are the beautiful San Miniato, with its truffles, Castelfiorentino and Certaldo, where Boccaccio’s birthplace is located. Going down to the Sienese side you reach the famous San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Colle di Val d’Elsa, the city of crystal and Casole d’Elsa. Among the castles in the area, one that you should definitely visit is Monteriggioni with its walls and numerous towers and if you look for a little relaxation, probably Gambassi Terme is the right place for you.

Historic villages, traditions, spas and itineraries for trekking lovers: in Val d’Elsa there are really many things to see and do to which is added the Parco Fluviale, the ideal place to take a bath immersed in nature.