Explore the Val D'Arno Region of Italy on Harvest Italia

by Vicky - Spirit of Italy Tours on May 31st, 2010

Harvest Italia will be taking place in Tuscany in the region called Val d’Arno - or the Valley of the Arno River. The Arno is a major river in this region of Italy. Many know it because it crosses the city of Firenze (Florence), where it passes below the famous Ponte Vecchio (old bridge). It actually flows for 150 mi to the Ligurian Sea – an arm of the Mediterranean Sea between the Italian Riveria and Tuscany.

The Val d’Arno is steeped in history. The area was formed more than three million years ago by water pushing up from land masses which gave it its bowl shape. The area is bordered to the west by the Chianti Mountains and to Pratomagno Mountains to the east.
This area of Tuscany is simply breathtaking in the Fall. On the tour, guests will see traditional groves of olive trees up and down terraced hillsides along with vineyards and rows of dark green cypress trees. On our friend’s 10-acre olive grove – Casa Falcioni -- we’ll be there to help with the olive harvest (la raccolta) which has been going on for centuries, and chilling Italian style. And, we’ll go to an olive pressing facility to see our olives turned into oil -- a bottle of which you can take home with you!

We’ll travel narrow and snaking roads leading to outdoor markets and several world-famed attractions and destinations off the beaten path. Apparently, Leonardo da Vinci admired this region and some scholars believe that the painted countryside background in his Mona Lisa painting is of the Valdarno countryside.

What I’ve always found so exceptional is that these towns which are steeped in Renaissance and Baroque history also have the VERY best the 21st century can offer in the way of excellent restaurants, museums, shops and outlets of major fashion houses.

Anyone interested in an awesome travel experience? Just let me know.


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