© Valleriana.it 2019

Things to discover…

…that you won’t find an any guide book!

Mineral and mining museum in Vellano Publio Biagini, curator of the mineral and mining museum, is an ex alpinist with a passion for all things mountainous including the history of quarrying the type of sandstone particular to this valley called ‘pietra serena’, as well as minerals from around the world. Entry to the museum is free, so why not make a visit! Nardini stone quarry Today, just one of the many dozens of quarries that used to mine the sought-after pietra serena stone in the valley remains open. Just above Vellano on the road you won’t miss the Cava Nardini. The stone is prized for its colour and workability, and as such the Nardini family maintain their quarry producing not only building materials but also bespoke and refined pieces made to order. Each year in summer they hold a sculpting contest for masons and artists from around the world. The contest takes place over a two-week period and is open (and free) for visitors to go and watch the artisans at work. Paper museum in Pietrabuona The paper museum, which is currently housed in the ‘ufficio montagna’ in Pietrabuona while it waits for its new home (an old paper mill being renovated in the village), contains working machinery from some of the many old paper mills in the valley. The museum is dedicated to recording the histroy of the paper production industry which was initiated in this area by the famous Medici family of Florence back in the 1500s, and which still plays an important part in the local economy today. It’s an industry that brought a lot of wealth and prosperity to the area - indeed, until the 1980s, one of the mills in the valley was the sole producer of the paper used for bank notes both in Italy and worldwide. Sorana beans of Sorana Yes, the valley even has its own IGP protected produce! Around the village of Sorana you will see lots of fields set aside for the cultivation of a white bean that is grown only in this area and is protected in the same way as Parmesan cheese or Parma ham (to be called a Sorana bean it must have been grown within the designated area of just a few KM around the village of Sorana). The bean is grown through the summer and left to dry on the plant until it turns straw yellow. At this point they are collected and threshed to remove the beans before bagging them up for sale by the local bean cooperative. Sorana beans are highly prized for their delicious flavour and their delicate, easily digestible skins. They can be sampled at either of the two restaurants in that locality, Da Carla or Da Sandrino. Oratorio of Castelvecchio The tiny Oratorio del SS. Rosario is situated in the centre of the village of Castelvecchio centre and is decorated floor to ceiling with frescoes depicting stories of the virgin and Christ, painted around the 16th century. As in a lot ot Italy these rarley used religous buildings have a nearby keyholder whom you need to contact to visit. In this case: Signor Lario Rosellini on +39 0572 400 115
Valleriana
Other hidden gems  that are easy to miss but well worth finding.
contact them on Facebook &  PLEASE tell them we sent you
© Valleriana.it 2019

Things to see…

…that you won’t find an any

guide book!

Mineral and mining museum in Vellano Publio Biagini, curator of the mineral and mining museum, is an ex alpinist with a passion for all things mountainous including the history of quarrying the type of sandstone particular to this valley called ‘pietra serena’, as well as minerals from around the world. Entry to the museum is free, so why not make a visit! Nardini stone quarry Today, just one of the many dozens of quarries that used to mine the sought-after pietra serena stone in the valley remains open. Just above Vellano on the road you won’t miss the Cava Nardini. The stone is prized for its colour and workability, and as such the Nardini family maintain their quarry producing not only building materials but also bespoke and refined pieces made to order. Each year in summer they hold a sculpting contest for masons and artists from around the world. The contest takes place over a two-week period and is open (and free) for visitors to go and watch the artisans at work. Paper museum in Pietrabuona The paper museum, which is currently housed in the ‘ufficio montagna’ in Pietrabuona while it waits for its new home (an old paper mill being renovated in the village), contains working machinery from some of the many old paper mills in the valley. The museum is dedicated to recording the histroy of the paper production industry which was initiated in this area by the famous Medici family of Florence back in the 1500s, and which still plays an important part in the local economy today. It’s an industry that brought a lot of wealth and prosperity to the area - indeed, until the 1980s, one of the mills in the valley was the sole producer of the paper used for bank notes both in Italy and worldwide. Sorana beans of Sorana Yes, the valley even has its own IGP protected produce! Around the village of Sorana you will see lots of fields set aside for the cultivation of a white bean that is grown only in this area and is protected in the same way as Parmesan cheese or Parma ham (to be called a Sorana bean it must have been grown within the designated area of just a few KM around the village of Sorana). The bean is grown through the summer and left to dry on the plant until it turns straw yellow. At this point they are collected and threshed to remove the beans before bagging them up for sale by the local bean cooperative. Sorana beans are highly prized for their delicious flavour and their delicate, easily digestible skins. They can be sampled at either of the two restaurants in that locality, Da Carla or Da Sandrino. Oratorio of Castelvecchio The tiny Oratorio del SS. Rosario is situated in the centre of the village of Castelvecchio centre and is decorated floor to ceiling with frescoes depicting stories of the virgin and Christ, painted around the 16th century. As in a lot ot Italy these rarley used religous buildings have a nearby keyholder whom you need to contact to visit. In this case: Signor Lario Rosellini on +39 0572 400 115
Valleriana
contact them on Facebook &  PLEASE tell them we sent you
Other hidden gems  that are easy to miss but well worth finding.