SERRAVALLE, a mountain village

in Casentino, a Tuscan valley with which you can get familiar in every detail through this site



Bibbiena and its municipal territory


The Monastery and Hermitage of Camaldoli


Nature trails in the National Park

Trekking routes in the National Park

The other castles of Casentino

Castles of Casentino

20 accurately described images of Serravalle. Click to enlarge

Serravalle, a castle in the National Park of the Casentino Forests

Serravalle, panoramaIn that part of the municipality of Bibbiena that enters the National Park of the Casentino Forests is Serravalle. Today a mountain health resort, in the Middle Ages was an important and disputed castle. The small village is located a short distance from the Monastery of Camaldoli (in the municipality of Poppi) and to reach it we use the same road network that leads to this place of monastic faith: from Soci we have to go towards Badia Prataglia, after a few kilometers after Partina, a junction on the left leads to both these places.
Serravalle is located at about 800 meters above sea level and descending the road of the Mandrioli we understand why it was very coveted place in the Middle Ages. In fact, we can see it at the top, on a sort of rocky spur. From up there we have a complete 360-degree view of the vast surrounding territory, especially towards the bottom of the valley, with a visual check on the valley of the Archiano stream until it flows into the Arno near Bibbiena. It was therefore an ideal point to build a fortified place to control a beautiful portion of the territory of Casentino.
Serravalle was already mentioned in the first half of the 11th century as an uninhabited territory that belonged to the lords of Caprese (now Caprese Michelangelo) and Montauto, a castle not far from the Libbia Pass. But the important and best-known history of Serravalle begins in 1188 when Bishop Amadeo of Arezzo, in agreement with Abbot William of Prataglia and the Lord Joseph of Marciano, founded a castle on the top of that rocky spur (Serravalle is the only castle in Casentino which is preserved the deed of foundation). It was probably a wooden fortification that enclosed a community that had a church dedicated to St. Nicholas. The Monks of Prataglia and the Lord of Marciano had a strong interest in guarding that territory because from there passed a road network that directly touched their possessions. Arezzo also wanted to keep under control the nearby monks of Camaldoli who gave signs of wanting to detach themselves from the bishopric of Arezzo. After 1289, the year of the Battle of Campaldino, the political situation in Casentino became more turbulent, with the people of Arezzo who had lost power after the defeat suffered by the Florentines. Serravalle was becoming more and more subordinate to the Abbey of Prataglia, so Ildebrandino, Bishop of Arezzo, in 1305 made the fortification of the place stronger, he had a keep and an imposing watchtower built there. With this move, he finally took the place out of the hands of the monks of Prataglia and made it a feud of the bishopric of Arezzo.Serravalle, the ancient tower The fourteenth century was however a stormy period for Serravalle that saw the alternation of various masters, in particular the Tarlati and Ubertini. The latter were definitively expelled in 1404 when the Florentine Republic, which had a strong interest in creating outposts towards Romagna, took over the place.
As evidence of this glorious and turbulent past, today Serravalle shows us its tower built at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Reduced to a height of about ten meters you can climb to the top through a narrow ladder inside. From up there you can enjoy the wide view of the mountains and valleys so coveted in the Middle Ages. Then you can see a good part of the village. A few meters from the steep staircase that allows you to climb to the top of the rock that serves as the base of the tower, there is still the small church, naturally rebuilt, of San Niccolò.
Then there is the modern part of Serravalle which is situated higher than the tower and arranged essentially along the road that crosses the entire country. This area of the village developed between the mid-nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century, certainly in function of the nearby Hermitage and Monastery of Camaldoli. This is the Serravalle known as a very pleasant mountain health resort. This enlargement of the town also led to a considerable increase in population. The pre-existing small church was no longer sufficient for the population present. Thus, in the 1920s, a new large church was built in the highest part of the village. This church is presented in a style out of its time: a sort of neo-Romanesque with evident inspiration from the famous Romanesque churches of the Casentino. Serravalle can be the starting point for trekking itineraries in the woods of the National Park. With a comfortable walk, suitable for everyone, you can reach the nearby Monastery of Camaldoli. is a realization of:
Alessandro Ferrini, 52010 Talla (AR) - P.Iva 01428280513
Tel. 339.4257840 -

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