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l'aia country holidays - excursions points of interest attractions in siena



Excursions, points of interest and attractions close to SIENA Monteriggioni Radda in Chianti Poggibonsi


  Area Monteriggioni, Radda in Chianti, Poggibonsi
  Brochure PDF
The Palio of Siena is the soul , the essence of the spirit of belonging to the city. It comes from a very old tradition : the first embryo of the event dates back to the Battle of Montaperti in 1260, when the tournament final for the ceremonies of the Assumption of Independence became the symbol of Siena under the protection of the Virgin. Since that time, the custom is renewed every year in the traditional Palio , which takes place July 2 (Day of the Madonna of Provenzano ) and August 16 (the day of the Assumption ) . Even today, the Palio refers to the regulation of 1656 , which marks the official birth of the Palio of the Piazza del Campo and as the location of the Palio. The protagonists of the Palio, the 17 city districts : Caterpillar, Eagle, Owl , Snail , Dragon , Giraffe , Porcupine, Unicorn , Lupa , the Shell , Goose, Wave, Pantera, Selva, Tortoise, Tower and Ram . Every year , however, are only the 10 districts that can participate in the race: the 7 districts excluding the previous year and 3 randomly ed . The crucial moment of the Palio is without a doubt the move when the starter rope lowers to start the race . It is the moment in which the whole town holds its breath . It is , in fact, the only race in the world where everything is allowed at the start : low blows , barriers to competitors , changes its position. Each share of the jockeys during the move is planned and willed it is the most decisive moment of the competition and determines the outcome of the entire race . The move may last from a few minutes to over an hour , only the starter has to decide the right time to lower the couches and start the race. the race of the Palio di Siena The mossiere , a key figure of the Palio, is appointed by the Town Council on a proposal from the Captains . To win you have to make three laps of the field , winning the historical risk curves of the House and St. Martin . The jockeys ride bareback , that is, without a saddle and also apply victories on horseback shaken (with a fallen knight ) . For tourists it is an amazing sight , but it is even more so for the Sienese . It's a party in which citizens take very long and memorable , which give their time , conviction and evidence. So, if you happen to visit the city during the Palio , do not forget to bring respect to the event, full breathing that surreal atmosphere of tension and joy that reigns in the city!


  Area San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Certaldo
  Brochure PDF
Not all the wine produced in the Chianti zone is Chianti Classico. To have the right to a denomination is not sufficient. In fact, the provenance refers to a given territory but also all the rules stipulated in the production regulations must be respected. Those rules determine the conditions and the requisites that permit a wine to be decked out with the name Chianti Classico DOCG. Chianti Classico wine In addition, other fundamentals and other requisites concern the ampelographical base&or the types of grapes that can be used in the preparation of the wine. The rules provide for a minimum ratio of 80% for Sangiovese, the typical red variety of the zone. Along with the Sangiovese, other red grapes of the area can be used in a maximum percentage of 20%. These grapes include natives like Canaiolo and Colorino as well as 'international' varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all recommended and/or authorized for the production zone. Among the principal sensory characteristics indicated by the production rules, there is the ruby red color that can become at times intense and profound, depending upon the wine's origin. The odor offers floral notes of violets and irises combined with a typical character of red fruit. The flavor is harmonious, dry and sapid with a good level of tannin that fines in time, becoming soft and velvety. Other requisites requested include a minimum alcohol level of 12 degrees for young wines and 12.5 degrees for the Riserva. Minimum net dry extract amounts to 24 g/l, while total minimum acidity is registered at 4.5 g/l. In addition, the production rules require important factors. For example, it is stipulated that the yield of grapes per hectare cannot exceed 75 quintals four years after the vines are planted and that the yield of wine from grapes cannot exceed 70% or 52.5 hectoliters per hectare. In addition, the regulations note that the processes of vinification, preservation and bottling must occur exclusively in the production zone. And the wine may not be released for consumption before October 1. Minimum required maturation for the Riserva is 24 months including three months of bottle fining. As far as the label is concerned, the regulations contain some terms that are added to those already stipulated by the specific rules in effect in the sector. In the first place, the label must contain the indication 'Chianti Classico' with the more specific identification, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita and display the year when the grapes were produced (vintage). The name of the wine can be identified in connection with that of the estate or with a brand name or it can be a fantasy name or indication of the name of the vineyard of provenance. In any case, terms like extra, fine, , ed, superiore, old and similar may not be used. Sangiovese, the soul of Chianti Classico The minimum permitted ratio of Sangiovese grapes used in the production of the wine is 80%, a percentage that can rise to 100%. Sangiovese is the real soul of Chianti Classico. The Sangiovese grape is extremely sensitive to external factors, especially terrain and climate, and it is truly difficult to identify another variety that is so well able to interpret the characteristics of the soil and modify its aromas in accordance with the terrain in which the vine grows. Flowery bouquets are derived from sandy soils, while scents of wild berries are suggested by limestone and the aromas of tobacco are fresh with hints of tufa. But always, whatever may be its zone of origin, there is that scent of violets that the production regulations identify as the characterizing and specific element of Chianti Classico. Young and Riserva Chianti Classico In the first years of its life, Chianti Classico is odorous, fruity and rounded and the wine features a brilliant ruby red color. But Sangiovese is a grape of medium-long aging capacity and it is used in extremely high percentages or alone as is foreseen for Chianti Classico. This can result in products with big bodies and substantial complexity that can withstand many years of aging. Naturally, various factors concur in the establishment of the final quality of the product. Seasonal conditions are of great importance. In the best vintages those conditions assure perfect and uniform ripening of the grapes. But work in the vineyard whether during cultivation or during the harvest is also vital.


Loc. SIENA, ITALY - TOSCANA  Navigatore
  Area Monteriggioni, Radda in Chianti, Buonconvento
Siena is one of six provincial capitals of the region of Tuscany and is located in the hilly region between the Arbia and Elsa, on three hills covered with vineyards and olive groves typical of the Chianti countryside. And ''one of the most beautiful cities of Italy and the world thanks to its artistic and cultural heritage which is also guaranteed by events such as the famous Palio. Historically, Siena was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman military colony by the name of Senio. In the fourteenth century under Guelph government, the city was enriched its monuments and at the end of the century was marked hard by a severe famine followed by the Black Plague. In the middle of the sixteenth century Siena was defeated by fiornetini and was assigned to the Medici. Later it was under the rule of Lorraine through which Siena was a period of economic recovery and having joined the Risorgimento, was the first city in Tuscany to vote for the Unification of Italy.


  Area Gambassi Terme, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi
For lovers of history offers a repertoire of memories, which dig into the past up to the Etruscans ; lovers of literature gave Boccaccio , the great fourteenth-century prose writer ; music lovers al'insegna gives a fantastic festival of shows and concerts . The generosity and hospitality are among the most well-known advantages of Certaldo , a small Tuscan village of about 16 thousand inhabitants in the province of Florence , nestled in the lush heart of the Val d'Elsa . Lapped by the river Elsa and Agliena , the center of Certaldo is a puzzle in several pieces, in which there are two distinct groups corresponding to different periods: on the one hand the medieval part , called Certaldo Alto, with the Praetorian Palace clinging to the the top of a hill , accessible by car from the residents or by funicular rail that starts in Piazza Boccaccio ; on the other hand, in the plain, lies the modern Certaldo , which experienced its most prosperous period in the second half of the eighteenth century . The perfect conservation of the medieval atmosphere , the narrow, winding little streets and picturesque piazzete , make Certaldo Alto the most fascinating part of the village : here time seems to stand still , and except for the restructuring of the Praetorian Palace , which took place in the seventeenth century , no has had a hand in the original town , tramandandocela exactly as they saw the inhabitants of the Middle Ages . Typical of the early medieval period is the absence of a central square , replaced by a long road that served as a meeting point and market place , the current Via Boccaccio. The squares , however, no lack of those who walk to the city center you will find for example the Piazza della SS . Annunziata , built in the nineteenth century paving a cultivated area , and the Piazza dei Santi Jacopo e Filippo , used originally in the cemetery of the convent . On it stands the beautiful church of Saints Philip and James , built in the thirteenth century in austere Romanesque style , containing the remains of the Blessed Giulia Rena and the famous Boccaccio. Outside, on the square, there is also access to the Museum of Sacred Art of the Rectory of Certaldo , full of interesting art . As in any self-respecting medieval village , the churches of the country do not end here: to see the Church of St. Thomas , which opened in 1885 but had already begun in 1840, enriched by a rich crucifix in the fourteenth century. Not to be outdone the former church of Santi Tommaso e Prospero , the oldest of the old town , probably built in the thirteenth century, but partially lost due to landslides in the hilly terrain. The nave has beautiful frescoes , unfortunately damaged but restored recently , and in the middle you see the Tabernacle of the uted , an artwork of Benozzo Gozzoli.


  Area Certaldo, Poggibonsi, Gambassi Terme

San Gimignano rises on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its towers. Once the seat of a small Etruscan village of the Hellenistic period (200-300 BC) it began its life as a town in the 10th century taking its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano, who is said to have saved the village from the barbarian hordes. The town increased in wealth and developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the Via Francigena the trading and pilgrim's route that crossed it. Such prosperity lead to the flourishing of works of art to adorn the churches and monasteries.In 1199 it became a free municipality and fought against the Bishops of Volterra and the surrounding municipalities. Due to internal power struggles it eventually divided into two factions one headed by the Ardinghelli family (Guelphs) and the other by the Salvucci family (Ghibellines). On the 8th May 1300 Dante Alighieri came to San Gimignano as the Ambassador of the Guelph League in Tuscany.


  Area Montalcino, Bagno Vignoni, Pienza
No coincidence that the name derives from the Latin bonus conventus , that happy place , community lucky. And if you add that recently has been included in the Club of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy, the temptation is almost irresistible : the urge to go to Tuscany to stay in the province of Siena, in the heart of the Valley dell'Ombrone to discover buonconvento . Located at the confluence of the Arbia river Ombrone population of about 3000 inhabitants and ed into the Environment of the Crete Senesi along with four other municipalities Buonconvento is a charming medieval center that is based mainly on agriculture , notably the cultivation of lives, but also in an increasingly strong trade and tourism. To attract tourists, as well as the idyllic green landscape and embracing the village , there are many sights of great historical , architectural and artistic , from the massive fourteenth-century walls that testifies to the taste of the ancient buildings of Siena, and once enclosed inside all the houses of the village. There were no openings in the fort , with the exception of two doors with wooden frames and sturdy iron fittings: Porta Senese was the entrance on the north side , towards Siena, while Porta Romana looked to the south, but was destroyed by the retreating Germans in 1944 . The village has maintained for many centuries its original appearance , but during the nineteenth century has seen a remarkable evolution through the construction of new buildings behind the walls , including the beautiful theater of the Resurrected . Within the walls of the heart Buonconvento is cut into two parts by way Soncini , main street named after an ancient family of the place, which is overlooked by the palaces of power . As the Palace Podestarile , with the fourteenth-century tower with a rectangular plan and Gothic arches that agghindano the facade , enhanced by as many as 25 coats of stone corresponding to the same mayor. Not far away is the Town Hall, with its elegant brick facade , and even the Palazzo Taja , also made of brick in the second half of the eighteenth century by a noble family in town . Completing the exhibition Palazzo Borghesi , of the fourteenth century , all dolled up in arms , and the Palace of Glorione , once belonged to the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, now the Museum of the Brotherhood of Mercy.


  Area Reggello, Radda in Chianti, Montefioralle
Located on the slopes of Pratomagno Valdarno, between the river Resco north-west and south-east Ciuffenna river, on a surface belonging to four different municipalities, the protected area is intended to protect an important geomorphological emergency. The geological nature of the area - fluvial-lacustrine deposits varies in size and polygenic conglomerates - in fact over the centuries has allowed the formation of particular forms of erosion areas such as ravines, cliffs and pillars of erosion, so as to constitute a characteristic morphology of great scenic and environmental. The part of the territory, which is referred to as Upper Valdarno, between the Arno river and hill formations that form the prelude to Pratomagno, is characterized by geological structures of particular interest and beauty, consisting of sands, clays and gravels stratified as high as a hundred meters and succession of different forms, interspersed with deep canyons. These structures, called Ruffles are the result, at present, the dismantling of ancient sediments caused by atmospheric agents, but also marked by the presence, in time, man.


  Area Piantravigne, Impruneta, Firenze
The main building is a construction eclectic Moorish style and was built in 1605 at the behest of Ximenes D'Aragona. Subsequently passed in inheritance to Ferdinand Panciatichi Ximenes who redesigned it between 1853 and 1889. In the course of 1878 also hosted the King of Italy Umberto I. After the war it was used as a luxury hotel, while at present, despite the sale to 'auction of 1999 and some urgent restoration work, has been abandoned. In April 2012, however, has been the Committee FPXA 1813-2013 (FPXA stands for Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes of Aragon) which has among its aims to promote and enhance the castle Sammezzano. The park, one of the largest of Tuscany, was built in the mid-nineteenth century by Ferdinand Panciatichi, exploiting agricultural land around his property and a grove of oaks (a ragnaia). We had planted a large amount of exotic tree species, like redwoods and other resinous American, while the furniture was made of architectural elements in the Moorish style as a bridge, an artificial cave (with a statue of Venus), pools, fountains and other creations decorative tiles. Only a small part of the nineteenth century plants is known to us: already in 1890 of 134 botanical species planted several decades ago, it had survived only 37. Only recently has begun to put in some of the dwelling species lost in a project restoration that enhances the original botanical wealth: there are now examples of araucaria, sequoia, thuja, yew, cypress, pine, fir, palm, yucca, oak, maple, cedar, cedar of Lebanon, hackberry, ash, juniper, acacia, lime and many plants of interest floriculturale. The park is the largest group of giant sequoias in Italy, with as many as 57 adult specimens, all over 35 meters.


  Area Monteriggioni, Poggibonsi, Radda in Chianti
Orange Flag and most beautiful Italian village in the extreme south of the province of Siena, San Casciano dei Bagni is an open-air theater that does not deny the popular tradition and gastronomy . Celle sul Rigo , a hamlet of the village (and for some years the home of the poet Carducci) , is the cradle of one of the emblems of Tuscan cuisine, pici , a delicious type of pasta , similar to spaghetti but with a diameter much larger , rigorously handmade and topped with meat sauce, crumbs and all ' aglione ( garlic and tomato sauce ) . Even San Casciano dei Bagni is a Oil City , a City of Wine and a Town of Chianina . Great is the fame of this small town on the slopes of Mount Cetona , thanks to the spa Fonteverde , considered among the most beautiful and elegant in the world , which can boast some 42 springs . But it is simplistic to stop here. San Casciano dei Bagni is very active on the cultural front , often chosen by artists and intellectuals as a back to its essential representations : here was set , for example, Do not Move Sergio Castellitto. The history of San Casciano dei Bagni is intimately tied to its hot springs, probably appreciated by the Etruscans to the Romans, although it must be their most intense exploitation . It seems that the emperor Octavian Augustus came to be cured at this location. The area has a population of less than 42 thermal springs that flow at 42 C temperature. And ' the volume of water that impresses the visitors since the total flow of the springs reaches 5.5 million cubic meters of water , a value that makes San Casciano dei Bagni the third location in Europe for flow medicinal thermal baths . The success PSSO alternation between periods and golden decadence , but recently the interest in the therapeutic properties of these historic waters is returning to its former glory after the creation of the famous Thermal Spa Fonteverde . The Spa Centre Fonteverde was obtained from an elegant portico Medici , which had been built early in the 17th century by the Grand Duke Ferdinand. Now the site is one of the 5 star spa resorts in the most important in the world. The waters contain a source of healthy minerals such as magnesium, calcium, fluorine and sulfur-containing , to assimilate all of the complex in the various basins or along the unique path Bioaquam . The other springs of San Casciano dei Bagni Bath Ficoncella is considered one of the most important historical sources . It ' adorned with a beautiful portico built by Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdeninando I. The bathroom was also called Big Eddy for the great force with which the water comes out hot from this source , the most abundant of all. Not far away is the famous Bath Cartridge for the healing properties of the water on the burn injury. Finally, it is important to remember the Shower Head has always been one of the most famous springs by the locals who considered it one of the most famous in the area.


  Area Poggibonsi, Siena, Radda in Chianti
The Castle of Monteriggioni to see it from a distance, with its exciting remains witnesses of bygone days , gives the impression that time has stood still inside and outside the circle of its walls . The people and their realities have changed, but still those who chose to live in the castle , has kept the pace slow and full of life on a human scale and nature , with the values of the rural culture and in continuous contact with the history. L ' image of the castle for travelers was and is very impressive, given that it appears on top of the hill ... how arrogant and dominant sentry defending the ancient Republic of Siena. Even more impressive and awe-inspiring had to appear to Dante Alighieri, who saw him in full battle during one of his trips . The castle in its full splendor , in a few decades from its founding to its circular shape and its towers that rise like a crown on the walls , had to look really great and instill a sense of majesty cyclopean if Dante if it was true for the appearance of Nimrod , Ephialtes , Antaeus the monstrous giants fixtures into the chasm of the Malebolge (Dante Alighieri's Inferno Canto XXXI) Monteriggioni for its beauty and for its location has a natural tourist destination, being visited each year by 70,000 tourists, we can say that the first tourist illustrious Dante Alighieri himself was among those passed recently we remember Tony Blair , Ted kennedy and many others. Many times it's been chosen as the setting for shooting films and commercials . L ' image of Monteriggioni is world famous for another reason: The castle is the crown on the head effigy of Italy by virtue of its emblematic impregnability . Monteriggioni in fact due to the nature of the walls was an impregnable fortress (see reconstruction) ensure that the date of its foundation in 1213 , and for three hundred years, the freedom of the Sienese Republic resisting all sieges. Fell in 1554 to treason because the captain of the garrison, secretly agreed with the Florentines , surrendered the fortress Florentine army without fighting , in exchange for the honor of a soldier and the safety for his family . Legends speak of underground tunnels and secret passageways that connected the underground places of the castle with fortifications nearby ... there is even talk of an underground road that came to Siena .


  Area Monteriggioni, Radda in Chianti, Poggibonsi
Pici (or terriers) are the first course of Sienese gastronomy: thick noodles made with wheat flour, instead of the durum wheat semolina. It was a typical dish of the poor peasants, because the ingredients are limited to flour and water. They can be handmade, coarse and irregular, or car, with a constant diameter of 3-4 mm. They are produced by many of the 20 pasta factories in the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, where you can buy fresh pici directly in bulk, but some provide the packaging and distribution of food stores in the area. The farmers were content to toss with a little olive oil and chopped onion, but you can taste better with cheese and pepper ragout dwarf (is the name Tuscan duck), with sausage gravy and mushrooms or sausage, potatoes and beans, or with condiments packages to the bread crumbs and garlic sauce, made with tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and much, much garlic. Here are a few of the ingredients that make pici one of the most typical dishes of Tuscany and Siena: water, flour and salt, mixed by hand to form rough twines and then cooked in salted water for 5 minutes. To prepare handmade Pici, knead vigorously for 10 minutes wheat flour type 0 (1 kg), warm water (half a liter) and a pinch of salt. Most important is the quality of the flour, which must be one suitable for fresh pasta, or with low elasticity (we must not make bread) and especially low ash content (which cause a rapid browning of the dough). There are those who add an egg for every pound of flour, in order to give some color and get un'impasto less hard. There are also those who use wheat flour (flour milled), in the proportion of 1 part of wheat flour and 3 parts of wheat. You could also add the extra virgin olive oil. After allowing the mixture to stand for half an hour, it lies in a kind of dough an inch high, which are derived from the small strips that are processed in the hands spinning the Picio more thin and uniform as possible. The paste thus formed Pici is spread on a cloth and dusted with durum wheat flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking. Pici is a dish seasoned with various types of dressing: the classic with cheese and pepper, or with tomato and garlic (garlic Pici) with bread crumbs (Pici crumbs), but also with duck sauce or gravy sausage, potatoes and beans. Pici pasta with cheese and pepper: merge 2 knobs of butter in a pan, adding black pepper. Once cooked pici put them in a pan with a tablespoon of the cooking water. Stir over a low heat and add the grated Pecorino Toscano at large scales. Use other pecorino cheese for garnish. Nothing to do with certain restaurants that use dressings made of cheese. Preparation time: 5 minutes. Pici all'Aglione: 4 crushed cloves of garlic and fry in olive oil over low heat. When the garlic is gilded, add red pepper and chopped 4 tomatoes, cut into cubes, taking care to remove as much as possible the seeds, salt and cook until the sauce is well flavored and dense. Just pici are cooked, drain and pour into the pan with the garlic sauce and toss lightly. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Pici crumbs: chopped 100g breadcrumbs undressed and shake it with the mixer. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and fry over a very sweet 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a little pepper, then raised a little 'heat and add the breadcrumbs to fry until lightly colored. Preparation time: 5 minutes.


  Area Radda in Chianti, Impruneta, Poggibonsi
It seems that the original name , Monteficalle , he was referring to the many fig trees that lined the slopes of the hill dominated by the castle , but that has subsequently opted for a more elegant and aristocratic variant : the result was Montefioralle name of a charming Tuscan village , today a suburb of Greve in Chianti , in the lush province of Florence. Member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy , Montefioralle is a jewel nestled in a casket of jewels: the town of Greve in Chianti is one of the largest in Italy , in strategic position between the historic status Florence and Siena , dotted small great wonders including Fioralle , with its little streets and its pretty houses , is the country's best preserved thanks to the placement a bit ' isolated from the surrounding villages . Perched on top of a hill , from where you can admire the valley of Greve and the majestic hills of Chianti , the country is dominated by the castle , crossed by a road that connects the valley to the so-called road of Poggi , scenic route ranging from Val d'Elsa to the towers of San Gimignano, down to the basin in which it lies Florence and the hill that houses Fiesole. Vineyards, forests that appear to be painted , peasant farms and houses complete the idyll of a land that leaves you speechless . Montefioralle was originated from the deck, around which are arranged as concentric rings later , the houses and streets of the town , not to mention the ever-present church . To embrace the town 's fortifications elliptical- preserved and partially restored fairly recently. Conquered the country is savored the pleasure of discovering little by little glimpses , until you reach the real heart, dominated by the church of Santo


  Area Bagno Vignoni, Montefollonico, Montepulciano
  Brochure PDF
This particular sheep's cheese takes its name from the ancient cities of Pienza, just a few kilometers from Montepulciano and is the most precious among the sheep of the Crete Senesi. This particular sheep's cheese takes its name from the ancient cities of Pienza, just a few kilometers from Montepulciano and is the most precious among the sheep of the Crete Senesi. The sheep farm in Tuscany, documented since Roman times Pliny the Elder, dates back even before the time in the Etruscan period. Pecorino di Pienza, a particular favorite of Lorenzo the Magnificent, is a cooked cheese made from raw whole milk of ewes of Sardinia (with some specimens of the breed and the Apennine Sopravvissana) reared in semi-wild forage exclusively with the territory. And it is the rare flora in the area of grassland clay of the Crete Senesi (wormwood, salsify, juniper, birdsfoot trefoil, burnet, ...) to give it a special flavor. The milk is processed immediately after milking. Coagulation occurs with the addition of rennet or oppression Of stamens of wild artichoke, marinated in vinegar and salt and left to dry and then placed in an infusion of warm water. The maturation of form occurs in cool cellars and very humid and periodically their surface, flavored with walnut leaves, is anointed before with Tuscan olive oil, then oil and tomato, then with sludge and ash. The shapes are round, with a diameter varying between 14 and 22 cm and a weight of 800 grams to two pounds. After 40-60 days or so is ready to be eaten fresh as a table cheese, with a sweet and mellow but slightly spicy. Left to mature for five to twelve or even eighteen months (great for grating), reaches 40% fat, with full flavor and lingering, not spicy, tannic taste and crumbly texture and mellow in the mouth. Perfect in conjunction with chestnut honey from Montalcino and wines of the region, Chianti and Montepulciano.


Loc. PIENZA - TOSCANA  Navigatore
  Area Bagno Vignoni, Montefollonico, Montepulciano
The village that was the birthplace of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who had to go and would not abbena sort Pienza, called Corsignano and was a stronghold of Siena. Some documents around the Mille us bear witness to its history of war events in major cities nearby . In 1251 the country was involved in the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines in 1269 and are some serious issues with a rich landowner named Berthold who had cut off food supplies to the inhabitants of the village. A document of 1393 gives us as the excise to be paid in Siena was changed from wax in order to make money a Palio . Corsignano few traces remain on the walls and in the street Gozzante and a Romanesque church with three kilometers from Pienza . Pienza is the only town in the vicinity of which can be clearly contemplate birth : it has been built on the plan, by Pope Pius II - Enea Silvio Piccolomini - not just ascended the papal throne in 1558 . Haute on the Orcia Valley , look to the east is the mountain which rises Cortona and the three lakes ( Trasimeno , Chiusi and Montepulciano) , and south of Mount Amiata and the Orcia valley surrounded dominates Torrita , Asciano , San Giovanni d'Asso and the hills Chianti . Pienza was built in just over three years, and was named by Pope Pius II. The Pope wished to give rise to the elegant town because it was a resting place for himself and his court : he was pleased with the work of the architect and she did not regret that he had presented a first estimate untrue and indeed, pleased writing to Rossellino , said: you have to lie to your Bernardo , if these noble palaces .... this church that the whole world admires ... - continued the Pope - could have fulfillment . Pius II also wanted to convey the waters of the Vivo, and download nell'Orcia to form a large artificial lake - as Campano biographer tells us the writer of this pontiff and his Court to create a fish hatchery and a defense against enemies. Just below Bagno Vignoni , where the Pope wanted to divert the waters , it seems that the Etruscans had already made some very wise and drainage works oppurtune . The lake that Pius II wanted to create , never saw the light. Pienza therefore welcomed the Court of prelates humanists and lovers of beauty and preserves the reflection of the Renaissance life that is lived in Rome . Because of its location , the town had a very important role in the wars that saw cross in Tuscany and Siena weapons Medici and the imperial with the French joined to the Republic of Siena in Montalcino ( 1550-60 ) and was sacked fifteen times. Passed under the Medici and followed the fate of the other cities in Tuscany . Also remember looting the treasures of Pienza suffered under the rule of Napoleon. Enea Silvio Piccolomini , who came to the papal dignity under the name of Pius II commissioned Bernardo Rossellini , architect and sculptor of Florence , a pupil of Leon Battista Alberti, to renew the urban poor and the ancient village of Corsignano in the Renaissance town of Pienza ; which , created between 1459 and 1562 , centered around the main square , the Serbian signs of the rapid and hasty bloom.


  Area Gambassi Terme, Certaldo, Castelfalfi
Gambassi Terme begins a stage of 13.4 km that complement each other in about 3 hours. A brief, interesting for the beauty of the ridges of the Val d'Elsa, dotted with castles and abbeys, arising from the passage of the Via Francigena. You can visit the shrine of Pancole, before rising towards the village of Collemucioli, with a stretch of cobbled medieval, and from there to the church of Cellole. Finally you climb up the hill to soar the 15 towers of San Gimignano, one of the most popular destinations of Tuscany, its profile takes on a different flavor when it is reached by walking. Total Length (km): 13.4 Access: On foot, by mountain bike Time Walk (h: min): 3.00 Difference in height (m): 344 Downhill (m): 329 Maximum Altitude (m): 388 Difficulty: Easy Paved roads: 40% Dirt roads and driveways: 54% Mountain track: 6% Cycling: 97% How to get to the starting point: SITA (055483651) from Certaldo, Castelfiorentino, Empoli, Florence, Volterra. WHAT TO SEE Gambassi Terme - was in ancient times a passage to the Etruscans, being the director and of Volterra, for the Romans, in relation to the Via Clodia, between Siena and Lucca, and, in the Middle Ages, for travelers especially for pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena (Sigerico as the Archbishop of Canterbury, in whose route through Italy you remember, before the 994, the Parish of Chianni). And a hospital is mentioned in the thirteenth century. A Gambassi Terme you can visit the permanent exhibition of glass. San Gimignano In the city known for its numerous towers and Vernaccia, the walls of the council chamber of the City Hall were painted between 1289 and 1299, with figures of chivalry and cor thesis that celebrated Charles II of Anjou, the monarch who , crowned May 29, 1289, one had bothered to strengthen alliances with Tuscan cities of Guelph faith, including San Gimignano. Depicted on the back wall of the room, the sovereign is at the heart of the paintings, seated on a throne and surrounded by cor partisans and hawkers, apparently to attend a party called in his honor, that did it happen in tournaments of knights (the upper register of the walls more ), on hunting trips (the lower register of the same) and in the action of a lively dance, rhythmic sound of a tambourine and a vihuela (register below Charles II).


  Area San Gimignano, Gambassi Terme, Castelfalfi
We are in the presence of an almost entirely wooded territory that extends in the Val di Cecina in the communes of Volterra and, in part, Pomarance, regional agro-forestry on state property. The area is of great importance landscape and natural, for the excellent state of preservation, the high naturalness, the remarkable biodiversity of the area. The area is crossed by two major rivers, streams and Sellate Fosci, while the Cecina river marks the southern border.


  Area Montefioralle, Monteriggioni, Poggibonsi
Few other areas of our country are able to give the visitor a deeper sense of contentment of the soul, deep peace of mind , as they can provide the magical hills of Chianti that follow each other with their sweet corrugated profiles in an alternating warm colors of iron oxide -rich soils and varied shades of green crops and stretches of vines that cover the sunny slopes between Siena and San Giovanni Valdarno . In this poem of landscape Radda in Chianti , a historic town of the Chianti region awaits you with its 530 m above sea level , a kind of natural balcony on the theory of valleys and hills, beautiful scenery where you can taste some excellent wines, among the best of all Tuscany . To get in Radda in Chianti , you can use the Autostrada del Sole A1 exit Valdarno . After the toll booth turn right onto the SP11 Poggialupi and right again on the SP 59, cross the Arno river and the roundabout in Montevarchi follow the SS408 ( Via Chiantigiana ) that climbs the mountains of Chianti in the direction of Cavriglia, Montegrossi , for then follow the SR429 leading up to Radda in Chianti. Alternatively, you can follow the Firenze Siena and exit San Donato follow the signs to Castellina in Chianti and then for Radda in Chianti. Radda in Chianti has a classic Tuscan climate , with hot summers and sunny , mitigated by the altitude factor and allows you to spend pleasant summer evenings in the countryside around , including songs of crickets and cicadas and the landscape becomes fantastic and mysterious moon nights full. The wettest period is autumn, while the most intense storms affecting the area during the spring. In general, however, the weather is sunny and is testimony to the excellence of the wine production area of Chianti.


  Area Certaldo, Castelfalfi, San Gimignano
  Brochure PDF
Physical and spiritual wellness in Val d'Elsa Since 1977 , Gambassi has d its name and tends to renew its appearance in the name of the Baths , after thousands of years of agricultural and artisan traditions . He was sure , in the past, passage to the Etruscans , being the director and of Volterra, for the Romans , in relation to the Via Clodia , between Siena and Lucca , and , in the Middle Ages , for travelers especially for pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena ( Sigerico as the Archbishop of Canterbury, in whose route through Italy you remember , before the 994 , the Parish of Chianni) . And a hospital is mentioned in the thirteenth century. The territory of Gambassi been inhabited at least since Neolithic times , as attested by the splinters retouched red jasper found in some locations ( Gambassi , Camporbiano Boscotondo , Santa Cristina) , but the period of greatest population of the area is recorded from Etruscan and archaic period ( seventh century. . C. ) until late Roman times (third century . d. C. ) . In effect, in the archaeological site of Poggio all'Aglione were detected traces of both tombs that are attributable to this period . The archaeological investigations have counted many other sites in the region and in the capital , where between the Middle Ages and the modern era glassmakers practiced their craft. The existence of this important craft was already known through written sources , but now we also know the places, furnaces and products ( bottles and glasses ) . The archaeological remains are collected in the Town Hall and the headquarters of the Archaeological Group and partly exposed in a permanent exhibition . Do not forget the importance of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Chianni as a key step in the route of the ancient Via Francigena , and as a remarkable example of Romanesque architecture in the Val d'Elsa . It is also the venue for concerts of exception. Surrounded by the greenery of the city park , the spa was built in 1974 and restored a former school building , on the initiative of the Municipality , in consultation with the Regional Entities , in order to promote a social termalismo more easily accessible and also particularly sed at the medical scientific , in an extraordinary environment for ideal climatic conditions and values of history, art and nature.


  Area Pienza, Montalcino, Abbadia San Salvatore
It seems that the sky is upside down at the bottom, soft in the countryside of Tuscany, and the rustic houses of a village are gathered around it, curious to see this strip of blue down to earth . They are the homes of Bagno Vignoni , gathered around a pool of water that acts as a mirror to the sky , with its changing lights , let the clouds and constellations . We are one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany could be in a picture , but it's in the heart of Val d'Orcia , including in the town of San Quirico d' Orcia , in the province of Siena. For enhancing the beauty of the surrounding landscape is , that as a garland weaves lush rows of vines , rows of silvery olive groves , sunflower fields and pastures green fragrant. But the most precious treasure guarded by Bagno Vignoni are the baths , which give the town a very special aspect : the hot springs , known since Roman times , flowing from the volcanic soil and emerge in a large tub in the open. Around it, a mirror vain , gathered houses, inns and shops in the country. As a square, but made of water , the spa tub is the centerpiece of the town, and around the place the most important moments of village life. Because the thermal activity of the place became famous it was not until the Middle Ages , though the first evidence in this regard are the oldest . Gradually , over time , many historical figures have spent time in Bagno Vignoni , such as Catherine of Siena, Pope Pius II Piccolomini and Lorenzo the Maginifico . The authorities and institutions from time to time have dominated the territory they occupied the spa with care and love, and we can still benefit from cozy and comfortable facilities . Compared to the original spa , today it is not possible to swim directly into the Square of sources , but the modern facilities are just outside the center : Here you find the swimming pools fed by the same water, and you have the chance to make mud , inhalations and irrigations . The hyperthermal waters , with a temperature of 52 C, are sulfate - bicarbonate- alkaline-earthy . Although the baths of today constitute the main tourist attraction of the country, the most characteristic of Bagno Vignoni is the old town, with an old bathtub , the stone-built houses , and a fascinating maze of little streets cobbled streets. Next to the water , bright pearl in the center , stands the church of San Giovanni Battista , a beautiful sacred to nave, with a facade simple and straightforward. Inside you can admire some works of art , including a painting of the Sienese school of St. Catherine of Siena, Bagno Vignoni with the background , built in the eighteenth century. Outside, however, on the front porch , there is a small chapel dedicated to the same saint , built in 1660 and containing in origin, a fresco of the risen Christ , now moved to the church of San Giovanni Battista.


  Area Buonconvento, Bagno Vignoni, Pienza
  Brochure PDF
Montalcino is located in the heart of southern Tuscany . In the Middle Ages the territory of Montalcino was divided among four ecclesiastical districts : Arezzo, Chiusi , Grosseto and Siena. This subdivision was consistent with that of antiquity , in fact here we met the territories of the major important Etruscan cities of Arezzo , Chiusi , Roselle (Grosseto), and perhaps also of Volterra. Many of the findings of this era are still preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Montalcino. The medieval history of the area has many obscure points , as all documentation relating destroyed was preserved in the archives of the Abbey of St. Antimo , which depended on the castle itself . Also the fact that the Via Francigena passed to the east of the village, at today's weigh Torrenieri not helped us find historical antecedents to the second half of 1100. The news depart from the end of the twelfth century, with Montalcino already autonomous municipality of Siena ally during the war, lost against Florence in 1176. Montalcino soon found himself having to fight the expansionist ambitions of Siena and the alliance was broken, even in 1200 the castle was destroyed by the Sienese , momentarily truce with the Florentine , also pledged to eliminate the obstacle of similar Semifonte. The resumption of the war with Florence to Siena prevented him from completing the conquest of Montalcino. The castle , however, remained under the protection of the Church and the City of Siena . After a failed attempt to win back their independence, in 1232 , the castle was reoccupied and forced into a new alliance with Siena. After yet another revolt , the castle was again conquered by the Sienese in 1252 but lost soon after thanks to the intervention of Florence and Grosseto. A Montaperti the Montalcino had sided with Florence against Siena and the victory of the latter did nothing but take them to a new loss of autonomy. In 1269 he was again defeated Siena , Colle , Montalcino and free again. Only after the mid-fourteenth century Montalcino came under the control of Siena. From this period the construction of the fortress with a view to control the city center . Siena and Montalcino was now in the fifteenth century it became one of the most important centers of the territory of the Republic. In the following century the city and the castle withstood the siege Imperial Army and the Medici in 1553 during the war that led to the final capitulation of Siena in 1555. After the surrender reached Montalcino where many citizens of Siena , led by Piero Strozzi , revived in exile of the Republic. The city became the capital of the territories conquered by the Florentines and not yet resisted until 1559 when, now isolated from the fall of Telamon and Castiglione , was offered the yield and sworn allegiance to Cosimo de ' Medici. The castle is still virtually intact. As said its construction began in 1361 on the southern summit of preesitenti city walls in 1200, incorporating the tower of St. Martin , St. John the tower .


Altitude: 327 mt. a.s.l.  Area Certaldo, Poggibonsi, Gambassi Terme
  Brochure PDF
The Saffron of San Gimignano is an Italian product with protected designation of origin, extracted from the plant of the Crocus sativus, whose production is permitted only in the territory of the town of San Gimignano. The Crocus sativus is planted at the end of August, and the plant blooms in a relatively short time, as early as the end of September, the flowers can be collected. The collection, as well as the other parts of the manufacturing process of the product, is to be carried out by hand, as a method of mechanical type might irreparably damaging the pistils. After the collection of flowers, is the separation of the same from the pistils, which are then dried in; there are different ways in which this process can take place: from the classic and natural sun exposure to the positioning in the oven, through the use of flames or braziers. Once ready, the pistils are crushed to manually and stored before the trade, which usually occurs in very small portions. In 1202 for example, by pledging to Semifonte two pounds of saffron we procured cash more easily than by offering servants or land. In 1228 the City of San Gimignano, to meet the costs of the siege of the castle of the Black is forced to take out mortgages with the bankers of Colle and upon return in addition to money, part of the loan was paid in the equivalent value given saffron. Also you could pay the gangs and as a tribute to the ambassadors, Vicari and Vicere. In 1228 the Podesta' of San Gimignano, Gregorio, was reimbursed for the expenses of the food consumed during a short trip .in one capon et a hen et in quattuor fercolis carnium Porks and in ovis et Pipere et crocus. Great was the esteem in which he was placed saffron of San Gimignano so that in the statutes of Volterra in 1252 is found to be made to pay a tax of two pence for every pound quod Emerit illi de Sancto Geminianus. Just because a product was considered valuable laws were enacted, both to ensure the weight, both to protect their quality as the invitation of the mayor of San Gimignano Bernardino White of Malevolent of December 31, 1261 everyone buys or sells fruits or heads (bulbs) of saffron bushel (15.2 liters) of corn bushel full and nobody takes off with which they used to measure these fruits. Saffron was used almost exclusively for dyeing but also in medicine and naturally in the kitchen.


  Area Gambassi Terme, Certaldo, Volterra
The Castelvecchio Nature Reserve is situated in the Val d'Elsa, a few miles west of San Gimignano, and includes the western slope of Poggio del Comune (624 m), prolonged then south to understand, to 379 m of altitude, the spur rocky seat of the picturesque ruins of Castelvecchio, an important medieval stronghold defense course and collected by the deep valley gorges of Castelvecchio and Botro Botro of Libaia, subtributaries two streams of the river Elsa. The particular morphology and the calcareous nature of almost the entire surface of the Reserve have strongly influenced the vegetation, making it very heterogeneous. Next to the mixed oak to oak and oak that covers most of the Reserve in the slope more gentle, appears a beautiful Mediterranean vegetation on the most rugged limestone ridges, characterized by the presence of heather multiflora, a plant typical of coastal limestone soils but very rare in . In the narrow valley gorges of the Libaia Botro Botro Castelvecchio and the lack of sunshine causes an interesting phenomenon of thermal inversion, which allows the existence in the valley of beech and sycamore trees, normally characteristic of higher elevations, and numerous examples of rate, a very rare tree, a remnant of the existing vegetation millions of years ago. The rocky outcrops, especially numerous in the southern part of the Reserve, with sheer walls, introducing a strong element of environmental diversity, which is important for wildlife. The rocky walls on which stand the ruins of Castelvecchio in fact constitute a suitable environment for the rare peregrine falcon, who attends the reserve in winter. The presence of calcareous rocks is also crucial to Solatopupa juliana, a gastropod mollusk exclusive limestone outcrops of Tuscany, Liguria and east of Lazio. The flatter sections of the limestone hills once cultivated, as evidenced by the abandoned farms scattered in the area, are now covered with thick shrubs which together with grasslands and agricultural areas surrounding the reserve supply food to many birds, including the rare short-toed , you will find that the snakes which it feeds almost exclusively, the shrike, the Stonechat and the redstart three passerines in worrying decline as a result of changes in the landscape succeeded with intensive agriculture.


  Area Gambassi Terme, San Miniato, Certaldo
The charm of Tuscany shows itself in all its splendor in Castelfalfi , the small medieval village perched in the hills in the province of Florence in the middle of an innovative process of change. The area is characterized by a small crowd of residential buildings of various ages, but also a castle, a church and more than thirty houses scattered over an area of one thousand hectares , is poised to become a landmark for tourism to the entire region thanks to the enormous task of renewal promoted by the German giant TUI AG . Much of the project , for which they have been allocated approximately Euro 250 million has already been completed , although there are several components yet to be built and should be ready at the latest in 2016. Castelfalfi The story sinks its roots in the Middle Ages , when the Lombards led by Faolfi settled on these hills and founded the first settlement . However, the first documented mention of the village dates back a few decades later , in 754 , the year in which his name appeared among the papers relating to a donation to the Abbey of Monteverdi in Maremma. Substantial architectural changes were made in the late fifteenth century by Giovanni Francesco Gaetani and Constance de ' Medici, who rebuilt the castle and built a villa next door . From the middle of the sixteenth century , after the war between Florence and Siena, Castelfalfi began a slow decline , culminating with the almost total depopulation which occurred at the end of World War II , during which the castle was home to the headquarters of a division of the German army and for it was bombed by the Allies. Castelfalfi breakthrough year was 2006. During that year TUI AG, the German leader of the tourism sector , took over the whole estate , and 1,100 acres of land surrounding it with the intention of creating an innovative tourist attraction that at the end of the work will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 people. The design strategy is to enhance the existing heritage reducing the possible new construction (just 0.03% of the total) , in such a way as not to alter the charm of the village . Another key element is the sustainability of the project, based on principles designed to minimize power consumption using environmentally friendly materials sourced locally. To achieve this goal , not only TUI is working closely with the competent authorities of the municipality of Montaione , but it also involved the local community, with which it has been put started to collect signatures in favor of the project.


Loc. CHIUSDINO - TOSCANA  Navigatore
  Area Siena, Buonconvento, Monteriggioni
The circle of Montesiepi, a jewel of Romanesque art; an abbey church that has the floor for a grass roof and the sky. Monuments scattered in a strip of the Tuscan countryside, places of curious, of scholars, of devotees. The name of San Galgano is for many today, unfortunately, only a name and perhaps only in Chiusdino the figure of blond knight hermit and his peculiar spiritual life are known and familiar. In recent times, then, was given to attend an upheaval of his affair and, from time to time, some have tried to do Galgano a priest of pagan magic cults or perhaps that the Church would have hidden under the veils of holiness Catholic; or a protester, a Patarino at odds with the church hierarchy, if not a heretic, a Cathar! Yet the biographical information on Galgano, although separate us from him more than eight centuries, are very safe, because they are based precisely on the acts of the canonization process, even the oldest canonization process that has come down, held in Montesiepi from 4 to August 7, 1185, four years after the death of the holy man, and that was presided over by Cardinal-Bishop of Santa Sabina, Konrad von Wittelsbach, who, as papal legate, listened to the testimony of twenty witnesses, including the mother same Galgano and hermits who had known him. San Galgano was born in Chiusdino in 1148 by a local noble, Guido and Dionisia. In 1179, however, being in Siena in a shop of woolen cloth, Galgano, accidentally fell asleep and in sleep appeared to him the angel Michael and his mother. The woman asked the angel to enroll the child in the heavenly hosts, and having obtained the consent Galgano enraptured with him. Already this experience had produced a profound change in the character of the young Chiusdino, a desire to change his life, which he added to it another. Still a dream again appeared in the angel Michael Galgano who ordered him to follow him, through a meadow and a river, a mountain and there, in a round chapel, Jesus, Mary and the Apostles indirizzarono the young to the hermit life. Galgano is then placed under the spiritual guidance of the monks of Malavalle, in Maremma, who invited him to form the intention to withdraw into solitude and to persevere in it. Did not fail to Galgano opposition of the mother who tried to-stoglierlo from this intention, even fidanzandolo to a girl of Civitella, in Maremma, Polyxena, perhaps accounts dell'Ardenghesca. It was going to know the bride that Galgano, towards the beginning of December 1180, had a new mystical experience: the archangel Michael, not in a dream but in fact, barred the way and gently, took the reins of the horse, accompanied him on the hill of Montesiepi Chiusdino that young, novice Antonio, chose as its Thebaid. As a sign of surrender to perpetual war Galgano drove his sword knight in the land. This gesture was for the knights of the Middle Ages a high spiritual meaning: the sword inverted remembered the cross! To no avail to dissuade him from challenging this decision the prayers of his mother Dionisia and relatives, or the arguments of the companions of debauchery, or visit dell'avvenente girlfriend, Polyxena, he indeed convinced her to take the veil (the pious maiden founded with other noble virgins, the monastery of San Prospero, near Siena).


Loc. VOLTERRA - TOSCANA  Navigatore
  Area Castelfalfi, San Gimignano, Gambassi Terme
  Brochure PDF
Volterra is now a characteristic medieval town , where you can still enjoy the atmosphere of an ancient village, thanks to the relative isolation that has limited the industrial and commercial development , preventing the destruction building that often accompanies economic development. A Volterra history has left its mark with continuity from the Etruscan period until the nineteenth century , with artistic and monuments of great importance , which can be seen just by walking through the streets of the old town, but also visiting the city's museums : the Museum Etruscan, the Art Gallery , the Museum of Sacred Art, the Living Museum of alabaster. Besides these monuments you can find a pristine landscape, a still life quality of human dimension and an artistic craft unique in the world : alabaster. Volterra modern is almost completely enclosed within the circle of thirteenth-century walls , which are the culmination of a process of urban expansion that started around the year one thousand finds its conclusion in early 1300 with the construction of the defensive tems in the vicinity of main gates of the city. In fact , the city reduced form castrense in late antiquity ( sec.V ) and whose perimeter is today marked by the Plan of Castle Gate Arch , Via Roma, Via Buonparenti , via dei Sarti and so Below, you developed around the ancient church of Santa Maria (now the cathedral ) and the contiguous pratus episcopatus , now Piazza dei Priori , while outside the castrum or castellum , arise, after the year one thousand the village of Santa Maria , now Via Ricciarelli perpendicular to the walls of the castle and the village of Abbot , now Via dei Sarti , parallel to the same walls . At the edge of the grass stand the Cross constituted by powerful complexes and towers that make up the visible sign of urban development to the east , west and north : they are the crux of viarum Buomparenti of Sant'Agnolo and Baldinotti . During the two hundred pratus episcopatus is not only built the domus communis ( Palazzo dei Priori, 1208 ) adhering to the apse of the cathedral , but also define the terms of the same square and limit the height of the towers in varying degrees in the different zones urban minutely described . In line with the Palazzo dei Priori stands according to use urban typical Tuscan overlook the Piazza San Giovanni where all the buildings relevant to the action of the church: the cathedral, the baptistry , the Opera house , the hospital of Santa Maria , the cemetery ( now Via Turazza ) . Today's medieval walls enclosing the circuit , until a few years ago, almost the entire city that has not had a strong urban expansion over the centuries remained , therefore , almost equal to itself with its four medieval villages , connected to the city by roads uphill. They are the towns of St. Alexander , Saline watching the path of the Val di Cecina, S.Lazzaro on the way to Florence and Siena, of St. Stephen and St. Just , the farther away from the city, in the vicinity of the Crags and dominated by the imposing bulk of the church dedicated to the patron ; is by definition the village of Volterra so that, commonly , it is indicated with villages , the village of San Giusto .


  Area Poggibonsi, Siena, Radda in Chianti
  Brochure PDF
Monteriggioni Castle was built by the Sienese , by order of the mayor of Guelph Porcari , in a period between 1214 and 1219. The land was bought by the noble family from Staggia , it was the seat of an old farm Lombard ( the name of Montis Regis probably indicated a regal property fund or tax exemptions enjoyed by the crown) . The castle was built by the Republic of Siena was mainly for defensive purposes , because the village was built on Mount Ala in position of dominance and surveillance of the Francigena , to control the valleys and the Staggia towards Florence , the historic enemy of Siena. The building almost from scratch of a castle was new in the expansionist policy of Siena : Previously, in fact , the city had acquired castles that already exist , such as Quercegrossa . The circular alignment of the walls was obtained by simply following the natural contour of the hill. The Castle of Monteriggioni was also surrounded by so-called charcoal , or ditches filled with coal that was burned to repel assalti.Fino the mid-700 in the area between Siena and Monteriggioni , still known as Pian del Lago , was a lake - or perhaps I should call it the great swamp - called Verano , fully hardened and tempered for Grand Duke Peter Leopold ( still exists, and can be visited , the underground tunnel built to drain the waters of the lake) . The area , despite the disappearance of the lake , it has retained its charm , thanks to the lush and little populated and the many places of great charm and interest which arise. By setting the route there from north to south-west, you immediately stop at the ancient Abbey Island , whose name says it all about his past . Abbey is in fact for Abbey , a Cistercian foundation being the church , while island reminds us of the fact that it originally stood on the swampy Lake Verano . From here , take the road towards Monteriggioni and once passatolo , we head towards the tiny village of Santa Colomba , where there is a lovely medieval church , whose interior was frescoed in the Middle Ages , and the beautiful Villa Petrucci , perhaps designed by the famous architect Baldassarre Peruzzi in full 500. The last stop of this tour focuses on the fate of the most beautiful places on the banks or in the middle of this lake disappeared, is the Augustinian hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago, already interesting in its appearance, and of a fortified Gothic pure , and even more in its interior, whose apse is covered with frescoes by Lippo Vanni , Sienese painter of the second half of the fourteenth century.


Altitude: 207 mt. a.s.l.  Area Firenze, Montefioralle, Reggello
It was 1889 when the British colony in Florence founded the Florence Golf Club, the first golf association Italian, in the Cascine area, then moved Osmannoro after the First World War. Between the 20s and 30s took shape the idea of creating a new field; so, Ugolino was born in 1933 on the Via Chiantigiana designed by British architects Blandford and Gannon. A natural path, challenging for the gradients, obstacles, and the small greens and well defended. Considered one of the most beautiful natural areas in the world, was reckoned by the American writer Chris Santella among the 50 most beautiful courses in the world.


  Area Castelfalfi, Gambassi Terme, San Gimignano
The Piazza dei Priori is the center of the medieval city, whose testimony past glory are the buildings that surround it. The oldest is the Palazzo dei Priori, the current Town Hall, by Richard of Como, whose foundations were laid in 1208 and the construction of which was completed around the middle of the thirteenth century. The facade has undergone considerable alterations: in 1472, lost Volterra municipal freedom, were shot down the loggia and the Arringo and closed the two doors on the right that gave entrance to the building; Note the crockery and coats, put up in memory of the Commissioners who ruled the city, the lions, the symbol of the Florentine dominion, on the side pillars, and between the windows of the ground floor, carved into the tufa, the size of the old village, the Canna Volterrana. While the windows of the second and third floors retain the original Romanesque structure, those of the first have been retouched and have mullioned windows surmounted by trefoil arch slightly acute. The clock, which breaks the uniformity of the facade was added much later, as the battlements erected to consolidate the crowning of the building. The ancient tower battlements ended the first with a wooden castle to hold the bell but the poor stability of the castle led the Volterrani, after the earthquake of 1846, the construction of the overlying stone structure. The front door leads into the hallway from the vault, decorated with coats of arms and medallions in enamel. On the wall of the staircase that leads to the first floor, the fresco of the Crucifixion by Pier Francesco Fiorentino (sec. XV). On the shelf of the second ramp opens the beautiful Hall of the City Council whose ceiling, wooden beams at a time, assumed its present structure in 1516 when double-cross on the back wall stands the fresco by Jacopo di Cione Orcagna : the work, completed in 1383 and severely damaged over the centuries, has been transferred to canvas, giving birth to the sinopia exposed in the adjoining Saletta of the utive. At the center of the fresco is painted the Annunciation, the sides of four figures of Saints Cosma and Damiano left, right, Right and Octavian. On the right wall a painting depicting the Marriage at Cana, by Donato Mascagni, said Frate Arsenio (1579-1631). Passed in the Saletta of the Board, you can admire the Job, yet Mascagni, the Nativity of Mary by Gian Domenico Ferretti (XVIII cent.), The eighteenth-century Adoration of the Magi by Ignazio Hugford; to observe the St. Jerome, transported here from a wall of the staircase of the palace, which critics attributed to Luca Signorelli. Notable two sculptures by contemporary artists Volterra: the Calf by Raphael Consortini and the Woman Siciliana Mino Trafeli.


  Area Castelfalfi, San Gimignano, Gambassi Terme
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The suggestive actuality of the elongated form of the Ombra della Sera (Shadow of the evening), or the disturbing expression on the faces of the ageing couple figured on the Urna degli sposi (Urn of the married couple) are reason enough to visit the Guarnacci museum, one of the earliest public museums in Europe. The beautiful palace where the Etruscan and Roman collections from Volterra are displayed along with the period design of the interior of the museum and the criteria used for the presentation of the collection, make an historical statement of a certain way of making culture. Visitors to the museum today might have the impression of an institution with a double personality. In the oldest part of the museum the collection is exhibited in period furniture with objects often grouped together for the sole reason they are made of the same material. In the contemporary part of the museum a more modern conception is used to display a ion of the most significant works along with explanatory panels. The museum was founded in the mid-18th century in what was an epoch of intense research into Italian antiquity during which Volterra was an important cultural capital.



Tuscany is located in central Italy and stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its landscape, artistic heritage and important cities, first of all Florence, make Tuscany an unquestioned protagonist of world tourism. In this region, nature has many different facets, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, like the Versilia beach, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, a crystal-clear sea and rich seabeds, are peerless. You can admire sceneries of uncontaminated nature in the Apuane Alps and in several protected areas, like Orbetello lagoon, which houses many species of migrant birds, including pink egrets. However, the most typical sceneries of the region are those that merge the beauty of nature with the millenary work of man. The amazing Gulf of Baratti and the sites of Vetulonia, Vulci and Pitigliano guard necropolis and vestiges of the Etruscan civilization, while Roselle and Cosa evoke memories of the Roman Age. Medieval villages, historical towns, castles and defence tems, rural churches (the so-called 'pievi') and beautiful abbeys, like the one of Sant'Antimo, are scattered all over the territory and their profiles stand out in the landscapes of the Crete Senesi, Orcia Valley, Garfagnana, Chianti and the Maremma. Finally, Tuscany is full of spas: Montecatini, Saturnia, Montepulciano, Monsummano and Bagno Vignoni, which offer relaxing holidays thanks to their thermal waters and well-equipped facilities for all types of treatment. The provinces of the region are: Florence (regional capital), Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.