Short geographic outlines.
Valdambra valley, set in the large green hilly space where last
Chianti Mountains lick the Upper Valley of Arno River, is crossed by
Ambra River and takes its name from it.
Peter Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, defined Valdambra valley as a
narrow valley but full of homes and very finely worked.
The rustic buildings, forever linked to the farmland so frequently
cut out from the wood in the hills, have been and still are a
precious part of Valdambra’s landscape.
Agriculture and colonization of the land have developed since
ancient times privileging the fertile plain near Ambra and Scerfio
rivers, but also in the hills a few small lots of land have been
tilled to be worked as vineyards and olive-groves.
Valdambra valley is placed on the natural confine with Southern
Chianti Mountains, right in the centre of the triangle formed by the
cities of Arezzo, Florence and Siena. It is a micro-district apart
from the historical, geographic and cultural points of view.
Valdambra valley is rich in woods, forests of chestnut-trees,
pastures and hills covered by vineyards and olive-groves: there You
will discover little hamlets still presenting visible traces of
ancient wall boundaries, forts, little castles placed as on a chess-
board on picturesque hills, farmhouses and rustic holdings still
keeping the country flavour of Tuscan countryside.
The majority of Valdambra’s territory is formed by the Municipality
of Bucine Bucine and by its surrounding hamlets (Levane, Pogi,
Capannole, Badia Agnano, San Pancrazio, Ambra, Pietraviva, Badia a
Ruoti, Sogna, Rapale, Cennina, Montebenichi, Mercatale valdarno,
Galatrona, San Leolino). The Municipality of Civitella in Val di
Chiana, even though its chief town is placed on the hillside turning
toward the Valdichiana valley, maintains a big part of its territory
in Valdambra valley.
The Municipalities of Montevarchi with Levane hamlet and of Pergine
Valdarno with Pieve a Presciano partly come forward on this valley
Connections - Roads
As already mentioned, Valdambra valley has been always an
interesting and often contented territory for its connections with
different valleys. It represents, still today, an area covered by a
large number of easy roads.
Valdambra valley is wholly crossed by the easy road n.540,
connecting it from one side with the road n. °69 of Upper Valdarno
Valley (Florence Arezzo) and from the other one with the motorway
The road going up to Civitella in Val di Chiana starts from the road
n°69, thus representing a direct connection to that valley.
The road going down to Valdichiana valley (Monte S.Savino), too,
starts near Capannole and goes up to S.Pancrazio (Monte S. Savino).
A road connecting Valdambra valley to Palazzuolo, where it flows
into the road Arezzo-Siena, starts from Ambra.
On the opposite side of the hill, toward Chianti Hills, there are
the road going from Bucine up to Mercatale Valdarno and the road
going from Ambra up to Cennina.
Short Tourist itineraries
In Valdambra valley there are many interesting tourist itineraries,
easily practicable walking, cycle-riding or horse-riding tours. Here
1 - S. Pancrazio - La Villa - Badia Agnano - Capannole (Km.6,5
2 - Cennina - Duddova - S.Martino d’Ambra - Podere Poggialto -
Podere Monte di Rota - Cennina (Km.13 approx.): this tour being a
circular one , it allows to reach Cennina by car and use it for
going back home.
3 - Mercatale - Galatrona - S.Leolino - Cennina (Km.8,5 approx.)
4 - Cennina - Solata - Montebenichi (Km.10 approx.)
5 - Bucine - Pogi - Castiglione Alberta - Capannole (Km.8 approx.)
6 - Sogna - Badia a Ruoti - Podere Molino del Santo - Podere
Calcinaia -Poggio all’Olmo - Podere Oppiarono - Sogna (Km.15
approx.): this too is a circular itinerary.
7 - Rapale - Sogna - Badia a Ruoti - Ambra (Km.9 approx.)
Relevant ancient populations, such as Etruscans and Romans, peopled
this area: numerous remains of ancient roads, bridges, tools etc.
are still here to prove it.
Valdambra valley was a busy transit way; in Roman age it was crossed
by the Road Cassia Adrianea, an obliged transit road traced by the
Romans during the Empire as an alternative to the older Cassia
Vetus, running along what is now called the Setteponti Road. The
Cassia Adrianea Road allowed the transit between Florence, Arezzo,
Siena and Chiusi with Valdichiana valley. During the Middle Age
Valdambra valley was theatre of important fights because of its
position as a border territory between Florence, Arezzo and Siena.
For this reason a great number of castles and forts was built in the
valley: Bucine, Galatrona, Caposelvi, Torre S.Reparata, Pogi and
Rendola, placed since XIIIth century under the rule of Counts Guidi
of Modigliana, who in 1255, to face the administration of the
territory, established Valdambra as a Viscounty with residence in
Bucine or Pogi under the Vicar”podestà” Orlando of the Albergotti
and under the protection of the Municipality of Arezzo.
The jurisdiction on the territory was carried out also by the abbeys
(Abbey of St.Mary in Agnano and Abbey of St. Mary in Ruoti) and by
other religious institutions such as the parish of S.Pietro in
Petrolo, S.Quirico in Capannole and S.Maria in Montebenichi.
The family of the Ubertini of Chitignano possessed large estates in
the high Valdambra valley (Ambra, Badia a Ruoti, Sogna and
Pietraviva); afterwards, the family of the Tarlati with Pier Saccone
of Pietramala in 1325 after a fight with the Guidi family took
possession of the castle of Bucine.
Always during the Middle Age Valdambra valley was theatre of the
fights between Guelphic and Ghibelline cities. The Guelphic city of
Florence took advantage of that to start its expansion on the zone:
in 1230 it conquered and destroyed the castle of Caposelvi. The
Florentine Republic went on the following century conquering the
territories of Bucine, Cennina, Galatrona, Torre S.Reparata and
Rendola, established with the Treaty of Sarzana in 1353 as a
Podesteria of Florentine Valdambra under the Vicariate of S.Giovanni
During the following centuries, after hard fights against Siena and
Arezzo with raids and sacks, Florence gradually took possession of
the High Valdambra valley too.
The entire valley suffered it and its castles were almost destroyed.
Such an impoverishment of the territory remained long time after,
also because of the lack of interest for Valdambra under the Medici
family’s government, who by that time had extended its dominion on
the majority of Tuscany mostly to the damage of Siena. Valdambra was
now safe from invasions and destructions but destitute of importance
as a strategic and transit junction.
In 1646 Grand Duke Ferdinand established Valdambra as Marquisate of
Bucine and handed it over to Giulio Vitelli.
In 1774 Grand Duke Peter Leopold joined it to the Municipality of
Bucine and together they remained until the passage under the
administration of the actual Municipality.
The house is very cmfortable and quiet without being secluded, but
having a car is a must.