San Giovanni Valdarno in the Arno Valley dates back to 1131 A.D and its medieval roots are still evident in the now bustling industrialized city. The city is named after 15th century Renaissance artist San Giovanni Valdarno. Its colorful environment and ample wildlife can be found in the Ponte Buriano and Penno nature reserves. Here you will find medieval architecture including Santa Maria della Grazie and San Giovanni Battista churches, Museo della Basilica and the Storia and Arte galleries. On weekends, the San Giovanni Carnival is held, as well as such religious festivals as Giugno San Giovanni. The Valdarno Cinema Fedic is a widely known annual film festival. Other festivals include the International Festival Europlà and S. Giovanni Summer Music Festival. For tourists, there are a number of San Giovanni Valdarno hotels, both luxurious and some cheaper discount hotels as well. For a hotel listing go to: http://www.EasyToBook.com.
Next to the Arno River in nearby Mamma, you will find the ancient Badiola di S. Maria church run by Nonantola Benedictines. There are a number of small towns nearby including Ambra, Pisa known for its leaning tower, Siena, Chianti and the renown City of Florence. Florence, which is 35 km to the south features many tourist attractions including a 13th century palace in Palazzo d’Arnolfo, Santa Maria delle Grazie basilica and a museum by the same name, as well as Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata baroque church.
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