The Balze dell’Acqua Zolfina – The Grand Canyon of Tuscany


Between Arezzo and Florence, in the Castelfranco Pian di Scò area, there is something that you don’t expect to see in Tuscany. The area is called the Balze and its breathtaking beauty is visible during every season. It’s an unusual and lesser known part of Tuscany that resembles the Grand Canyon.

In the Grand Canyon of Tuscany – discovering the breathtaking and timeless beauty

Just how small can nature make you feel? How much can nature amaze you with its magnificence and simplicity? The landscape of the Balze area is all this and much more. It’s a magical place, unique in the world and perfect for the travelers looking to immerse themselves in nature, to slow down and to take time to wonder. 

“Wow!” will be the right way to describe this landscape that defies expectations in the Tuscan countryside. It’s a place right out of a dream and, for curious explorers, it stands ready to be captured on Instagram as “the perfect place.” 

The area of the Balze along the Sentiero dell’Acqua Zolfina trail contains gems of a thousand shades. This ring trail is 6 kilometers long and provides great views of the Valdarno area and the wonderful Tuscan countryside around it. The trailhead is just outside the walls of the village of Castelfranco di Sopra, near the post office. From there, the trail begins along a dirt road that leads the way towards the ancient yellow spires that seem to explode right out of the ground. 

Crossing the woods towards the Borro delle Fossate area, you can continue along the golden fields and vineyards until you come to the crossroads of the provincial road towards Botriolo or go further along to the second part of the route. If you continue, you’ll arrive at the “Le Balze Agriturismo-Osteria” and here you can turn onto the CAI 51 trail and go up to the village of Piantravigne. Up here the views of the bluffs are truly spectacular. 

As you continue along the ring trail of Acqua Zolfina, the trail narrows and becomes steep as it follows alongside the jagged spur of the sulfur water below. The water is immediately recognizable by its pungent smell. Among the various patches of grass and vegetation, there are more small spires of the Balze area and the water is opaque white as a result of the sulphurous substances within it. 

The last stretch of the walk goes uphill the most and leads to the Setteponti road towards the Badia a Soffena and then back towards the starting point. 

This part takes you back to the ordinary world but you bring with you memories of this unforgettable experience. The place has traces of prehistoric past that still stands intact today and, with all its beauty, is still capable of transporting you back to a timeless dimension. 

  • Comfortable clothings
  • Clothes that can get dirty
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • A polaroid for the perfect sunset shot
  • The explorer in you


  • For nature lovers
  • For history buffs
  • For those are curious
  • For those who like to walk
  • For MTB and hiking lovers
  • For those who love to discover new things
  • For those who love genuine experiences
  • For families with small children to experience things just at the right pace
  • For those who love woods
  • For those who can’t resist the charm of a prehistoric landscape
  •  For those who love unusual and exclusive places
  • For breathtaking lanscapes lovers
Castelfranco di sopra

Agriturismo Osteria le Balze


Badia di Soffena

Castelfranco di sopra

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