Top list - Special places
Balenaia is the name of the Vincio river on its higher part, the one that flows from the ridge of Montalbano to the village of Vinci. The valley of the Balenaia gorge is characterized by the presence of multiples mills powered by millponds that use that stream and some of them date back to Leonardo's time. This area was surely well known by Leonardo: in fact, the Balenaia stream touches the elevations of Santa Lucia and Anchiano where there are many Da Vinci family's properties. The most evocative part of this area, where the factories are perfectly integrated into the water system that power them, is located just upstream of Anchiano. You can easily reach it by taking the road that from Leonardo's birthplace arrives at the Baldassini mill, one of the most beautiful mills, where there is a path immersed in the greenery of the Balenaia gorge, called 'the Via dei Mulini'. By choosing a second route, the 'Balenaia route', you can admire the mills powered by the waters of the Balenaia stream when it reaches further downstream, west of the castle of Vinci. Among these there is the Bonifazio mill (today Burra farm), which once belonged to the Florentine hospital of San Bonifacio.