Candidate territory for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Montalbano landscape encompasses the character of an ancient and almost solemn beauty, full of history and memories, with that of a dynamic evolution over the centuries to the present day, which can be seen in both the tangible and intangible territorial artefacts of and also in the activities of its people.
The structural elements of this landscape are found in the morphology of the area, in its geological composition and in its territorial system (natural and wooded areas, water network and settlement system) which are all clear and recognizable. It is in these aspects that they are most distinguishable, these which have been handed down throughout the centuries and which must be understood as the distinctive trait, the genius loci of Montalbano.
This landscape is both sweet and rugged at the same time: sweet as the icon of the Tuscan landscape, but also as firm as the land on which man has been able to induce forms of economy and technology without dispelling any of its innate beauty. This landscape has been moulded by the clever wisdom of the peasant-craftsmen, but it has also been used for leisure and recreation as well as for hunting, which was practiced out of hunger and pleasure. Since the Renaissance to present day, it is regulated and limited to restricted areas and defined by local authorities. This tradition has continued over time. It is for this reason that the Barchi follow the fields and the villa gardens follow the countryside in a continuum that has the naturalness of a landscape built with love and labour over the centuries.
The Montalbano hill range is a fork of the Tusco-Emilian Apennines, spreading over approximately 16,000 hectares and which branches off from the Serravalle Pass, winding its way North West - South East and reaching as far as the Gonfolina Gorges, where it acts as a watershed between two large plains, the Pistoia-Florentine and the Val di Nievole.
The ridge is relatively low, without any major height variations and stands at an altitude of about 400 -600 m.