Walking around the Sentierelsa river park

By 13 September 2018Blog

The route of this itinerary, called Sentierelsa, begins in Gracciano, south of the town of Colle di Val d’Elsa, from the bridge of San Marziale and runs alongside the river bed for 2 km until you get to the town of San Giorgio. The entrance is on the left, away from Colle di Val d’Elsa, of the San Marziale bridge.

Here you will find immediately, also visible from the pedestrian walkway of the bridge itself, the Steccaia and the Callone Reale, two important works of hydraulic engineering, of great importance for the city as they were used in the Middle Ages to channel part of the water from the Elsa river. The water could thus be used for irrigation, as a driving force first for the mills, then for the paper mills and the ironworks and for different industrial uses.

In particular, La Steccaia is used to retain and divert the water of the Elsa river, thanks to a system of mobile planks to be inserted in blocks of stone to form a barrier to the free flow of water, while the Callone Reale is a gate that regulates the amount of water flowing into the canal that flows towards the city and is called gora.

After 200 meters we find the Diborrato waterfall, in the past a bathing place for the colligiani. For the residents this place is known as the Tonfo del Carrarmato: the river makes a jump of about 15 meters. At its feet, in the Second World War, legend has it that a tank has fallen and that, due to the depth of the river at that point, it has never been possible to recover it. Right here the young colligiani of the ’30s and ’40s of the last century used to demonstrate their courage by diving from above into the blue water below.

Going down the path, located under the waterfall, we find the Bear Caves, so called because they have a vague resemblance to the figure of a bear.

The path leaves the river for a distance of 100 meters, then rejoins with this in the area where there is a huge flat boulder. Then we arrive at the Gore Rotte, where there is another entrance to the park, with some small bridges and walkways in Tibetan style.

The route continues for about 1 km to reach the town of San Giorgio where a crossing of the river was built. Below this area are the Conchina, the Masso Bianco, the Nicchia and the Spianata dei Falchi, called in other words as “sea of ​​Colle”.

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