Colle Val d'Elsa

Discover the Natural Beauty of Colle Val d’Elsa: A Guide to Exploring the River Park

Colle di Val d’Elsa is a historic town located in Tuscany, wedged between the cities of Siena and Florence. The upper part of the town is located on a hilltop and is the original part of the town, where one can see the Porta Nova, one of the gates that allowed entry to the medieval village.

The historic center of Colle di Val d’Elsa offers several places of interest to visitors: the Palazzo Pretorio, which houses the Archaeological Museum, the Palazzo dei Priori, which contains the Civic and Diocesan Museum, the tower-house of Arnolfo di Cambio, an Italian sculptor and architect, and Palazzo Campana, a historic building with an archway leading to Via del Castello.

The Elsa River flows at the foot of the Rocca, and along its banks is a 4-kilometer long Parco Fluviale (river park) with tree-lined paths, waterfalls, swimming and picnicking areas, bridges and natural crossings of the Elsa River. This park is an ideal spot for observing the local fauna and vegetation.

The Parco Fluviale can be accessed from the location of Ponte di S. Marziale, where you can admire a piece of hydraulic engineering that once powered mills, paper mills, and factories. The park features a 15-meter-high waterfall called “Diborrato” with a small lake that is 10 meters deep at its base. Visitors can continue to the “Ponte di Spugna”, which marks the start of the lower Colle settlement.

The Elsa River Park is a perfect place for hiking but also for a break. Many people every year take advantage of the place to stop for a picnic, sunbathe or spend beautiful days with friends. In addition, it is also possible to use the waters of the river to have a swim. There are many spots where the water is easily accessible and not very deep, also for children.