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Ponte Buriano


Ponte Buriano

(5 Km - 8 min) I suggest to visit Ponte Buriano.... just to take a romantic photo.... because according to the latest studies it seems that the bridge inspired Leonardo da Vinci in the painting "La Gioconda".

For many people Ponte Buriano is a place to take photos or a set, the Monna Lisa's bridge or Buriano Bridge.

Ponte Buriano, the bridge of the Mona Lisa and the natural beauty of the area

Once it was the Cassia Vetus that join in Rome, closed to Florence was to climb over the waters of 'Arno Ponte Buriano. Today is the road that Setteponti from Arezzo to Florence is to meet him.

Necessary to stop to admire it: you do not notice its beauty to one pass!

A beautiful Romanesque bridge plows with its seven arches over the most important Tuscan river. The "Annales Arretinorum Maiores" show in 1277 the year of building the bridge Buriano and then fights with the periods of lean and full of the Arno, a river in the Apennine torrential regime. It seems that the building was founded on the pillars of an earlier Roman work which, although devoid of the original arches, for long periods would allow the transit between the two sides, thanks to an overhanging wooden structure.


In addition to the normal wear and tear, due to the slow but steady flow of the Arno, there have been many challenges to overcome. Among these the most important and dangerous are those related to the cyclical nature of the floods that, insensitive, pour on the bridge the arrogance of water and debris that fall down hill from Casentino.

To natural causes must be added those related to human activity and among these we like to remember those related to transport timber from the forests casentinesi, activities on which the reader will allow us a brief digression.

Since 1317 the friars Camaldolese, custodians of the forests of Casentino, took to use the port of Pratovecchio (active until 1863) to send, through the Arno, the timber to Florence, Pisa and Livorno.

For the exceptional quality of the product trade flourished. We talk, in fact, logs, over 30 meters long, highly sought after by shipyards. Overtime woods were so in demand from the arsenals of the Grand Duke, and even those of His Britannic Majesty, for the masts of fleets.

After the killing and the downstream transport, trunks, once dragged into the water, were tied together to form large rafts called "sliders". Those convoys improvised were led down to the Arno from "foderatori" which, as they were disabled, could not avoid impacts against the piers of the bridge, which often served as a support to facilitate the natural curve to the right that the river takes continuing towards Florence.

More recently, during the Second World War, the bridge was in danger of being blown up. Completely undermined and ready to explode, was providentially saved by a raid of the allied army that was able to avoid the trigger fatal.

In November of 1966 the Aretines curious looked out from his shoulders to observe the great and tragic flood that was the cause of the flood in Florence. Today it is still alive noise rushing water threatening and trunks dragged by the current were to clash on the pylons.

Here the river widens due to the artificial Pen: one of the two dams of Valdarno who were indicted for the dramatic days in Florence. Today it is a nature reserve and on its banks you can admire herons and other birds ... And 'in this area that receives the waters of the Arno Canal of the Chiana whose course was reversed to eliminate the swamping of the Valley Chiana. Before tributary of the Tiber, Arno today.


Leonardo da Vinci! The genius knew that place, witness his map of the area preserved in Windsor, in the Royal Library (It is a real cartographic document created by the artist between the summer of 1502 and spring of 1503, probably on commission Duke Valentino. Leonardo performs a precise relief map orographic and hydrographic). This area Arezzo area, with the Buriano Bridge, is the landscape of the Mona Lisa, the enigmatic Mona Lisa. Behind her smiling face you can see the bridge humpback identified by some scholars with Romanesque bridge and even more in the distance there appeared the badlands of the Valdarno, pinnacles of clay eroded that today one can clearly see the train along with the new railway line Florence - Rome. Many centuries have sought the mysterious landscape that is the backdrop to the Mona Lisa and Leonardo, with the technique a bird, portrayed ideally from above. Behind the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, c 'and' not invented a background. The landscape is a few kilometers from Arezzo: the bridge with seven arches, behind the left shoulder of the Mona Lisa and 'Ponte Buriano. The researchers were able to identify this famous landscape through drawing by Leonardo in the Val di Chiana.

The reconstruction in digital aerial perspective of the volume of the bridge and the height of the surrounding hills allowed to define the observation point was located in the castle of Quarata (a village a few kilometers from Arezzo and close to Ponte Buriano).

In the map of Leonardo the open sea of ​​the Val di Chiana, that is the great marsh that occupied the basin between Arezzo and Chiusi, has a configuration elongated elliptical while, become channel, takes on the characteristic shape of meander in the throat of Pratantico, where degrades rapidly in the direction of the Arno, flowing just below the bridge Buriano.

The surrounding area in Ponte Buriano is now a nature reserve.

This magnificent nature reserve is one of the first protected areas established in the Province of Arezzo, created specifically to safeguard the proliferation of birds that nest in this part of the Arno. The reserve covers the stretch of the Arno from the Ponte Buriano to the dam ENEL of Penna. Continuing along the Arno, you can see and wanting to visit the ancient fortified villages of Pen, Rondine and Monte Above Rondine, from which you can admire a beautiful view of the river and the surrounding area.

All around the reserve is an area contiguous with specific regulations, which acts as a "buffer" between the delicate area of ​​the river and the agricultural areas and urban areas. The landscape constituting the reserve is characterized by an alternation of cultivated fields and woods of oaks, poplars and elms. There are also forests of oak and oak woods with an undergrowth typical of the Mediterranean.

Tourists have the opportunity to admire a large number of extremely rare birds like the purple heron, herons, buzzards, owls, owl, tawny owl and many others. Long nature walks in this beautiful natural paradise, it is not uncommon to come across mammals unique and fun, like the porcupine and skunks.


In PonteBuriano there is a documentation center of Leonardo during the entire period in which he lived in the province of Arezzo.

To  arrange a visit to the museum with the guide please call 0039 3334328317.


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