While the built part of this florentine "terra nova", which is at the origin of the walled town of Castelfranco, appears orderly, geometric, according to a checkerboard pattern of orthogonal axes, the natural part - a kind of Monument Valley in miniature - is bizarre, fantastic, unreal: as equally unreal are the backgrounds of the paintings and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci that, according to several scholars, seem been inspired to the balze area. The balze, created by a soil erosion, draw a yellowish landscape of strong suggestion that seems to project this corner of Tuscany in Arizona, were it not for the green patches of vegetation in the ravines. This natural area is called "landscape of fairies." Emotions continue on the old road of the Setteponti, dotted with Romanesque churches, farmhouses, tower houses, small villages, while in the town of Castelfranco to relive the lost beauty you have to go looking for two Madonnas: the one of the school of Andrea del Sarto and the one of the Master of Cassone Adimari (called "the splinter"). The latter is located in the church of the Abbey of San Salvatore in Soffena (1394), which is just outside of the village with the adjoining convent, from which you can admire the cloister. The designer of Castelfranco, according to Vasari, would have been the famous architect Arnolfo di Cambio. Certainly the Florentine footprint is completely visible, not only in the urban layout but also in some houses of the first section of Via Maestra, dating back to the founding of the "terra nuova" (1299) and unmistakeably similar to the terraced houses in the historic center of Florence.
NOTE: distances are set as the crow flies.