Le "balze" of Valdarno

During the pliocene and pleistocene age Millions of years ago, the Valdarno was a great lake. Over the millennia, the water retreated and the remaining sediments were altered by weathering. The long work of erosion leaves us the Balze del Valdarno as we know them now. From the end of the last century they were declared a Protected Area. This geological formation comprising of clay, sand and gravel, can be over 100 metres high. Looking at the Balze is like reading a treaty on natural history: nature’s continuous and unstoppable effort to transform the landscape, seeking the perfect equilibrium. This natural process continues before your very eyes: rain flows along the walls of the Balze and engraves their basis generating slow and constant erosion. This land is like a sand castle of a particular color ocra yellow with so many variations in the sunlight, from sunrise to sunset. Some of the layers of clay are a particular blue. The great Leonardo Da Vinci was fascinated and used the Balze as a background in several paintings.