Rich in history and medieval military architecture Loro Ciuffenna, near Arezzo, counts about 5000 inhabitants. In town you can visit Palazzo Venturi, the museum dedicated to local artist Venturino Venturi, or go to the nearby charming church of San Pietro a Gropina.
Loro Ciuffenna is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, thanks to the unique and peaceful landscapes. Loro Ciuffenna lies between the River Arno (towards Arezzo) and the hills that form that prelude the mountain of Pratomagno. All around the "Balze" (crags), superb natural formations of clay and sand up to a hundred meters high, which also characterize the area near the town of Castelfranco. The stone houses built overlooking the gorge of the river Ciuffenna, cobblestone, dark and winding streets, the old bridge, warn that the Middle Ages have left deep scars in Loro Ciuffenna.
Crossing the bridge of Loro Ciuffena, you will be in front of the Clock Gate (Porta dell'Orologio), leading to the heart of the urban core. Here's a main road, stretched from east to west and culminating with a second gate, where it is concentrated in the vitality of the town and from which you can reach all parts of Loro Ciuffenna. Among the buildings that is worth admiring is the church of Santa Maria Assunta, mentioned for the first time in a document dated 1275, that preserves a valuable golden background polyptych, which represents a Madonna and Saints, made early in the fifteenth century by Bicci di Lorenzo. In the area there are many churches, all of Romanesque origin but enriched, inside, with works dating from various periods, ranging from Gothic to Baroque.
Do not miss the church of St Maria in Faeto and St Biagio al Borro, but also the sanctuary of the Madonna of Humility (1604), with many seventeenth-century works of art. Anyway the churches built along the ancient Via Clodia are the true queens of the zone, precious witnesses of pilgrimages and inexhaustible devotion: the beautiful church of St Giustino, and the special St Peter in the village of Gropina, one of the most incredible churches of all Tuscany.
The traditional culture of the area is the "zolfino" bean, so-named for the yellowish color reminiscent of sulfur, and chestnuts from the wooded mountains, then ground in the old local mill. The chestnuts are the basis of the most popular local recipes: chestnuts and sausage, fried polenta and chestnuts are tasty and indispensable, the latter especially when served with fresh ricotta cheese or, perhaps accompanied by roasted cod.
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