In Leonardo’s footsteps: starting from Ponte Buriano, for many scholars the bridge portrayed in the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, silently navigate along the densely wooded banks, passing under striking rock walls to discover hidden ravines and waterfalls.
The Reserve stretches for about 7 kilometers along the course of the Arno River, from the Romanesque bridge of Ponte Buriano to the power plant located downstream of the ENEL dam of Penna. It includes the artificial reservoir of the dam and the surrounding terrestrial areas. The landscape is mainly characterized by the gentle hills surrounding the reservoir, composed of fluvio-lacustrine sediments of different ages, with sporadic presence of cliffs and vertical walls.
From the paper mill of Ponte a Buriano to Rondine, the Arno River flows through rocky gorges, while from Rondine to Penna, the river widens to form the Penna reservoir. The vegetation consists of holm oak forests, mainly located on slopes directly exposed to the reservoir, a small riparian woodland strip, shrublands, agricultural crops (mostly along the left bank of the Arno), and a vast marshy area in the eastern portion of the Reserve.