The Sovara valley stretches along the stream of the same name which, after coming down the south-westerly side of the Alpe di Catenaia, runs alongside the group of hills known as Monti Rognosi.
The Sovara valley stretches along the stream of the same name which, after coming down the south-westerly side of the Alpe di Catenaia, runs alongside the group of hills known as Monti Rognosi cutting itself a space through the ophite rocks, in the middle of the Nature Reserve. This steep, narrow part of the valley gives us the closest contact with the natural environment: you go through the beech woods on the highest slopes, coming to the sweet chestnut woods above Ponte alla Piera and the reforestation of black pines and Mediterranean pines of the Monti Rognosi.
The tecture of the area are characterised by an austere, fortified style: the Conventino, the Castello di Montauto which dominates the entire Tiber basin, the ruins of Castello di Fatalbecco su Poggio di Castiglione, the entire village of Ponte alla Piera which grew up along a stretch of the Via Ariminensis (which connected the cities of Arezzo and Rimini) and which crosses the Cerfone river at this spot, leaving traces of itself with the ancient Roman bridge.
From Tavernelle the course of the river widens out, becoming less tortuous and the surrounding countryside takes on a softer appearance: the valley opens out with the Anghiari hill on the left hand side while those on the right stretch down to the Alpe di Poti.
This area is characterised by an untouched, still virtually intact and rare style, from the medieval settlements centred on the "castra" and "ville aperte" on the tops of the first rows of foothills (Vaglialle, Pianettole, Toppole, Scoiano, Catigliano) and in the hamlets of small holders farms on the highest slopes under the peaks of the Alpe di Poti (Colignola, Montemercole, il Poggiolo, Upacchi, Verazzano). Along side these buildings that have a character of the ordinary people, there are also obvious signs of both feudal and lordly individualism: the Castle and domain of Montauto, Castello di Sorci, Castello di Galbino and the fortified villa of La Barbolana.
These important architectural and landscape aspects are why we recommend adding to the previously described itineraries based on individual architectural themes (churches, houses, castles) a specific tour dedicated to the Sovara Valley as a whole, that is as an environmental unit of exceptional completeness and coherence, to be explored not for its individual parts but for its entirety, a symbolic territorial cross section of the history and values of Anghiari.