CHANNEL MASTER OF CHIANA. Cycling in Tuscany of nature and man

CHANNEL MASTER OF CHIANA. Cycling in Tuscany of nature and man


CHANNEL MASTER OF CHIANA. Cycling in Tuscany of nature and man

The ride along the Canale Maestro della Chiana is a journey through time and the elements: you ride in the heart of the Etruscan civilization and the sign of the waters in an area designed by the forces of nature and human hands. The historic reclamation work began in the sixteenth century has transformed the Val di Chiana in an important agricultural center, the local economy is still strongly rooted to the products of the land where you ride on the roads of cheese and fruit, oil, wine and Chianina. Between Arezzo and Chiusi many possibilities to get in tune with the heart of a land to live, in the name of art and history along the historic waterway, leaving groped by the excellence of a territory that, beyond the labels, smells of authenticity. The pedestrian and cycle path of the Canale Maestro della Chiana Arezzo to Chiusi is joining a distance of approximately 62 km equipped and protected for those traveling slowly, by bike or on foot. The old road used for maintenance of the canal and lock constitutes a natural track without any unevenness is particularly suited to a family sporting tourism.

Travelling slowly along the Canale Maestro della Chiana in the Siena and Arezzo means of discovering the nature of a land that human ingenuity has removed from the water. And not only that. In the great valley rooted magic of Etruscan civilization. The Val di Chiana is a land movement and the work of secular consolidation is the symbol of a continuous transformation. The work of land reclamation has involved engineers, mathematicians, plumbers, cartographers, agronomists and architects: Leonardo da Vinci Aretino Vittorio Fossombroni, technical enlightened who has worked for over 50 years until his death in 1844. The Canale Maestro della Chiana is a work of hydraulic engineering history that still plays an important role in the area. Formerly the “Clanis” river flowed through the Paglia river, the Tiber flowing towards the south. Around the eleventh century, the valley began to swamp to the slow rise of the land in the area closed to tectonic movement and storage of materials erosion. The river “Clanis” could not flow regularly to the Tiber flooding the valley for five centuries. Early intervention of the Medici and later Habsburg – Lorraine became the Grand Dukes of Tuscany began the process of transformation of the valley. With the work of reclamation and the construction of the Channel Master, through filled, bridges canals, tunnels, culverts and closed the course of the water has changed direction and head north to merge the hive. The result, after centuries of swamp, is one of the most fertile valleys of the peninsula: 185 of which 80 are removed from the water and defended by 630 km of embankments. You ride on a track noble designed by man and Mother Nature in perfect harmony. Time is the key to understanding this road for cyclists, in the sense of rediscovery of slowness and in the sense of traveling to a distant past and in the sign of the mysterious Etruscan civilization. It travels in a present waiting to be discovered on the trail of a fascinating past along a path that starts at Chiusi in the maze of Porsena, the Etruscan king who dared to challenge Rome beating it until the Chimera of Arezzo, famous bronze drain IV BC (Preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Florence). The journey passes through Etruscan, legends and mysteries, ancient walls and cemeteries such as those of Cortona and Castiglion Fiorentino, places where it’s easy to sink into the intriguing questions that accompany the knowledge of a people who already many centuries before Christ was expressed in the sign of modernity , beyond time. Tracks “lives” of the ancient Etruscan Curtun are visible in the Tabula Cortonensis, dating from the III-II century BC. C., the Tabula is one of the most important documents of Etruscan civilization: it is a contract that certifies the sale of land between families of Cortona area to witness the intense agricultural and commercial activity of the time. Towering sandstone blocks are still visible in the walls of Cortona, Etruscan capital and other important stage of this journey. History then, but also nature in this Tuscany border where bodies of water of the lakes of Chiusi and Montepulciano, rich in flora and fauna, surveyed by CNR as important biotopes represent oases of great interest to birdwatchers cyclists.



Distance: 62 km around

Difference in altitude: about 20 m

Type of road: dirt

Level of difficulty: easy

From the decks of Arezzo to the lock of the Monks

The Val di Chiana: agriculture and cities

The Val di Chiana: by Chiari Chiusi and Montepulciano in Foiano della Chiana

From Chiusi to Montepulciano Lake

Path of the Etruscans Principes



Start here Arezzo stretch of the Path of Reclamation. And here begins the journey into the agricultural Val di Chiana that smells of orchards. The Tuscany wine, extra virgin olive oil and wheat in this part of the valley is enriched with precious productions of pears, apples and plums. Cortona, which is visible on the hills to the east and fundamental step in the journey “Etruscan”, is affected in its territory from the Path of Reclamation and is accessible by a detour of about 12 km with a challenging final climb. Foiano della Chiana, touched by the path, is the site of the oldest carnival in Italy, documented from 1539. At 40 km from Foiano and Marciano della Chiana, at the point where the path intersects orthogonally the paved road, you can make a short detour to the right (east) to observe reclaiming Brolio. The filled are important hydraulic works that realize the remediation through flood: the raising of the ground it takes for deposits of murky waters of hilly origin “withheld” with special stone fences. Reclaiming Brolio is easily identifiable and is located near the bike path. On the left is visible Fattoria del Pozzo belonged to the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano and scorporandola established in 1802 from the estate of Fonta Ronco too large to be handled with due care. At this point the path develops between the centers of Marciano della Chiana and Castiglion Fiorentino, Etruscan and medieval town rich in events such as the May Castiglionese and the Palio dei Rioni. There are several pleasant possibility of expulsion from the main path. In fact, from Marciano and Foiano you can go to discover the beautiful Chianti region, surrounded by vineyards, farms and cypress trees on the hills of Lucignano, famous for her original urban plan elliptical, and Monte San Savino, historic and artistic center of great value from renaissance soul which today boasts a production of artistic ceramics unique in their kind. Near km 49 on pedestrian trail passes near alcasello hydraulic Frassineto before orthogonally intersect the main road that connects the monumental farms Fonta Ronco (not open) and Frassineto. In this section of the trail is easy to perceive the grandeur of the drainage that had the grand-ducal farms, elegant architectural forms, the reference of all agricultural activities.


1) The pedestrian and cycle path is a path of reclamation is only intended to slow mobility. Not being frequented by motorized traffic also ensures serenity for little travelers. However, it is essential to observe a few safety rules to keep in mind along the way.

2) Always wear a helmet, protection necessary at any time.

3) From time to time the cycle path crosses provincial roads. The signage is adequate but special care is advised, and close to the crossroads, it is recommended that adults always precede the children.

4) The path does not pass through towns and during the trip you may want to pay attention to the map, to easily identify possible deviations from the main track which play a vital role as “escape routes” to sheltered areas in the event of adverse weather conditions.

5) The pedestrian trail is developed largely in the open air with a few strokes shaded. In hot weather it is important to remember sunscreen, sunglasses, caps for use under the helmet or during stops.

6) Never forget: Two bottles of water with salt supplements, energy snacks, fresh fruit. Eating and drinking at regular intervals preventing the pangs of hunger and thirst. Dehydration and hunger crisis cause “black out” energy that can mean the beginning of an ordeal and the end of the trip.

7) The Path is not feasible in the case of full and at night.

8) The gravel has stabilized but requires a guide without abrupt directional changes. In case of intersections with other cyclists or pedestrians keep to the right. Slow down and use caution in approaching and passing other hikers, making sure to notice your presence in advance.

9) Stay on the paths already traced as not to cause damage to vegetation and limit soil erosion avoiding cutting for soft ground.

10) Do not leave litter. Bring along your own and, if possible, collect those abandoned by others. Bring a small backpack with a spare t-shirt, jacket, puncture kit and first aid kit with disinfectant, gauze and bandages and useful telephone numbers.

11) Before leaving for each stage it is advisable to inform the owner or manager of their accommodation on the daily schedule.

12) Adhere to the philosophy of cicloescursionismo aimed at minimal impact to nature. Merely taking photographs and fingerprints read only taking away good memories.


Province of Arezzo

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