Grand Tour discovering the White Giant
It is imposing, docile and as white as porcelain, which is why the Chianina breed calf is called the “white giant”. From Valdichiana – where it originates and from which it takes its name – its reputation as a prized bovine echoes around the world, not least because the well-known Florentine steak comes from its meat.
This 270-km “Grand Tour” is an exciting bike tour in its honour, discovering the area where this ancient breed is bred.
It starts from Sinalunga and continues along the Reclamation Trail, in a distinctive route through natural and urban landscapes. Stage after stage, it will be possible to admire the views of nature reserves, the Chiusi and Montepulciano lakes, streams, archaeological and medieval sites, brushing the vegetation and going through the farm roads that cross the countryside. The provincial roads – such as those of the Val d’Orcia and the Lauretana – will take cyclists into the heart of Valdichiana’s nature and history.
Transit and refreshment points include: Trequanda, Castelmuzio, Monticchiello, San Casciano Bagni, Cetona and Valiano in the Siena area and Cortona and Castiglion Fiorentino in the Arezzo area, as well as some of their hamlets, up to the most awaited turning point: Arezzo, where visitors can breathe art, architecture, fashion and Tuscan folklore on their bikes.
But that’s not all. From the city centre the tour continues in the direction of Monte San Savino and Sinalunga, to end the Grand Tour still enjoying the beautiful scenery in which the Chianina breed is bred.
A valley that was formed by the stratification of man’s passages, its history, its art, and itss ingenuity.
Legible traces left since prehistoric times, then by the Etruscans who have long dominated these lands and left exceptional testimonies not only in the necropolis, but also in towns and in extraordinary works like Porsenna’s labyrinth. Then medieval castles and fortresses softened by the flourishing of the arts in the Renaissance period: squares, streets and buildings which are easy to imagine lively and busy, a scenario of erudite discussions among humanists, merchants’ exchange, street artists, actors and poets. A countryside changed through time which is now famous for its excellent produce, such as fine wines and meats from a native breed of cattle over 2,000 years old and still rigorously and lovingly bred for the preservation of a real symbol of this land, the white giant.
The other characterizing element of Val di Chiana, once again inextricably linked to the origin of man and his history, is the water. Clear waters, lakes, mirrors in the sky for the Etruscans, residues in the marsh that characterized the valley and today are precious nature reserves. It is precisely in reclaiming the marsh that man’s ingenuity was expressed to the maximum level, by transforming an inhospitable and unhealthy place into a very fertile valley, changing the territorial economy, the life and history of its inhabitants. The engineering and hydraulic interventions, the architectural decisions in the buildings in the era of land reclamation have also changed the landscape, characterizing it, making it somewhat unique.
From the Etruscan heritage of Cortona to the medieval scenery of Castiglion Fiorentino, from the Castle of Civitella in Valdichiana to the traditions of Monte San Savino: this enchanting portion of the Arezzo area is rich in places and experiences to live. Its millenary history reaches up to the present day, narrated by archaeological, historical and artistic testimonies set in a green natural context.
Land of well-known artists and architects, but above all of good wine and good food, to the point of conquering the Guinness Book of Records with the longest porchetta in the world on the occasion of the festival in Monte San Savino.