Experience the Reserve
Il Sentiero della Bonifica (The Reclamation Path)
This path winds along the banks of the Canale Maestro della Chiana for a distance of 62 km and with an elevation gain of just six metres; basically, it is a perfectly flat, stabilised dirt track that runs from Chiusi to Arezzo. The path runs along the edge of the Reserve and is directly accessible from the Visitors’ Centre. Being open exclusively to cyclists and pedestrians, with no access to cars, motorbikes or horses, it can be visited in complete safety by everyone, including families with children.
The banks of the canal are home to structures used centuries ago to manage the water flow, allowing the navigation of the canal, which was once full of barges which were able to sail as far as Arezzo and the arrival point at the Chiusa dei Monaci sluice. One of these structures, the Callone di Valiano, is just a few kilometres from the Visitors’ Centre, heading north, and it gives you an idea of the commitment and ingenuity that went into making this valley habitable. Moving ahead, there are other constructions, with detailed descriptions of each one on the panels erected, telling the stories of the reclamation of the Val di Chiana.
Other equally pleasant encounters will be with egrets and herons, which will often take flight a few metres away from the path, or with the occasional extremely timid coot, which will paddle off across the water to go and hide among the reeds. Travelling along the Sentiero della Bonifica is not only the perfect way to exercise surrounded by nature, it is also a chance to learn about the history and culture of these places, taking home beautiful emotions that will leave you with lasting memories of the Val di Chiana.