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One could keep going past without noticing it's there,
but if you happen upon it, then in just a few minutes
you realize it had been awaiting you for ages

Enzo Fileno Carabba, Voragini
Scheto Valley

Scheto Valley

The Scheto Valley (Valle di Scheto) extends over roughly 4 kmē amid the hills of Barberino Val d'Elsa on the east, the hill of Semifonte-Petrognano on the west, the hill of Magliano in the north and the hill of Montigliane in the south.

It is of Pliocene formation, consisting of exceedingly alluvial and fertile soil with a good microclimate, being well exposed to sunlight and traversed by two branches of the Agliena Stream.

The valley has a rich history, partly due to ancient Etruscan and Roman settlements, and especially because during the Middle Ages, the inhabitants of the castle town Semifonte introduced a wide range of

farming practices: grains, fruit, olives, vineyards, zootechny, and spice production, notably of saffron and white pepper.

At the turn of the 13th century, the Guelph army of Florence penetrated the Scheto Valley in order to besiege Semifonte, which was under Ghibelline protetction and commanded by the legendary Scotus. After years of intense combat, Semifonte was conquered and totally destroyed. However, the valley's remarkable hydraulic system, which had been constructed on the Agliena Stream in the year 1000, was left intact.