Sights to note when driving to La Panca from Strada
To get to La Panca, we leave the A1 motorway at Firenze Sud, pass through Grassina and, after 10 km, pass through Strada in Chianti, and shortly afterwards abandon the famous SR222 (Chiantigiana highway) taking the left turn, signposted "La Panca" and marked by an important cinematic reference, the big cypress tree that was the meeting point for outings in the film "Amici Miei".
A winding asphalt road surrounded by woods continues for 7 km to La Panca. Before arriving there, we see the imposing and well-restored Castle Mugnana (dating from about 1000 and probably built on Roman foundations) and, nearby, the Pieve (Parish church) of Mugnana, small but lovely for its location and for its museum of sacred art.
A little further on stands the Sezzate Castle, situated control access to the Cintoia Valley that we are going to pass through. An old mill that has employed all the inhabitants of La Panca in the 1960 borders the old Cintoia mineral water spring and the 18 C Villa Vernaccia a Cintoia which is still in excellent condition. Ahead on the left, we can see the ruins of the old castle Cintoia with its stone paths from the Roman period. Still a few kilometers uphill and we should stop the car to admire the whole Valley Cintoia - on particularly bright days, you can even see Florence in the distance (12 km as the crow flies).
From La Panca, turning right onto an unpaved road, we reach a good water source called Acqua Bianca after which we arrive at the ruins of the Oratorio di San Giusto, a church that was very active in the 12 C but which was unfortunately severely damaged in 1944 in the course of a battle between German and British forces during the drive to liberate Florence.