Places to visit




The gothic city of Sienna reached its heyday between the second half of the XIII century and the beginning of the XIV century after its victory against Florence in the battle of Monteaperti in 1260 and before the outbreak of the plague of 1348. It was during this time that most of the city was rebuilt. Buildings dating from this period include the Palazzo Pubblico and its Torre della Mangia (which dominate the famous Piazza del Campo), the Cathedral and Baptistry and the Basilica of San Domenico. This delightful town is also known for the Palio, a festival during which the city’s districts compete for the painted silk banner, held yearly between 2 July and mid-August.



Arezzo, perched on the gentle slopes of a hill nestling amidst the green mountains of the Casentino and the plains of the valleys of the Tiber, Arno and Chiana, is one of the great Etruscan cities that was later, during the Romanesque period, to be of significant strategic importance. One of the city’s greatest attractions is the Piazza Grande where the famous Joust of the Saracen takes place. It is a city full of culture and churches, including the Cathedral that stands proudly in the highest part of the city.



The small city of Cortona was built on a hill, its skyline dominated by the 16th century Medici fortress. At the heart of the city is the picturesque Piazza della Repubblica, bordered by the Palazzo Comunale (1200) which houses the stunning Sala del Consiglio. The Palazzo Pretorio, home to the Academy and housing the Museum of the Accademia Etrusca, is also located in the piazza. Amongst its valuable exhibits is a famous Etruscan oil lamp dating from the V century. The Cathedral, built on the ruins of the very old Romanesque parish church and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo, is a few footsteps away. The Chiesa del Gesù, stands opposite the Cathedral and houses some beautiful Tuscan paintings



The small town of Asciano is of Etruscan and Roman origins and is situated on the high plain of the Valley of the Ombrone. It still retains its medieval character despite the urban development that took place after the second world war. The Collegiata di Sant’Agata, a Romanesque church dating from the XI century, is particularly noteworthy, as is the Museum of Sacred Art which houses several works of art of the Sienese school, and the Museum of Archaeology.


The Abbey of Mount Oliveto Maggiore

The Abbey of Mount Oliveto Maggiore was founded by the Congregation of Benedictine monks of Monte Oliveto in 1313. The main edifice houses a large cloister decorated with the world famous frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Benedict painted by Luca Signorelli and Sodoma. The interior of its 15th century single-naved church is baroque, as it underwent renovation in the early 1700s. The central cloisters lead to the library housing books decorated with illuminated addresses dating from the XIV and XV centuries.



The hilltop town of Montalcino is surrounded by olive groves and the world famous vineyards that produce Brunello and towers proudly over the valley of the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia rivers. The town’s ancient nucleus boasts the Piazza del Popolo, the Palazzo dei Priori and the great Loggia. A pentagonal fortress built by Nino Forese and Domenico di Feo in 1361 stands at the top of the town’s hill and is an important example of military architecture. The Cathedral, dedicated to San Salvadore, is a fine example of neoclassical architecture built between 1818 and 1832 by Agostino Fantacci over the site of the ancient parish church of San Salvatore.



A pearl of the renaissance, Pienza can lay claim to outstanding works of artistic and historical value and is famous the world over for its splendid central piazza dedicated to Pope Pius II. The architect Bernardo Rossellino was commissioned by Pope Pius II to build the city between 1452 and 1462. It has now been proven that Pienza was the first urban centre to be developed according to a precise town planning scheme and this gives a fascinating appearance not only to the central piazza but also to each and every one of the city’s alleyways and streets. Visitors are inspired with awe when gazing at the beauty of the Cathedral and magnificent architecture of the Palazzo Piccolomini which was inspired by the Palazzo Ruccellai of Florence.



This delightful tourist spot perched on top of a hill amidst the charming location of southern Tuscany and at an altitude of 605 metres is justly proud of the wealth of its artistic treasures. The many Etruscan artifacts, such as its stoneware and terracotta urns with Etruscan engravings found around the hills lying near Mount Totona testify to its origins. Moreover this small Tuscan town’s historical and cultural roots are intrinsically linked to the Vino Nobile.


Monte Amiata

The wood-clad volcanic cone of Monte Amiata rises high above the hills in the countryside surrounding Grosseto. Scattered amidst its slopes are a collection of very old, picturesque villages. Within easy reach of Grosseto are the ancient Castel del Piano and large estates of the small towns of Abbadia San Salvatore and Santa Fiora, the latter owned by the Aldobrandeschi family. Centred around a fortress is the close-by medieval hilltop town of Arcidosso. The well-known medieval town of Abbadia San Salvatore is today an important centre for mercury mining. Not only is it a popular destination for the summer, it boasts the ideal territory for winter sports.


Chianciano Terme

This famous spa town is well known for curing liver complaints and is situated on a hill that overlooks the Val di Chiana. The town possesses an old district of medieval origins which features a Clock Tower, medieval walls, collegiate church and fountain, its most delightful attractions. The stylish modern area of the town boasts several hotels and the spa which is adorned by extraordinarily beautiful parks, the most outstanding being the Parco dell’Acqua Santa with its thermal springs.



The city of Chiusi sits on a hillock lying between the valley of Chiana and the river Astrone. It was founded by the Etruscans between the IV and VI centuries. Its recently unearthed and numerous archaeological ruins and urban arrangement testify to its origins. Its most representative religious building is the Cathedral of San Secondiano. The Cathedral museum housing the Benedictine Codes of the 14th century stands adjacent to the Cathedral and access to the “Labirinto di Porsenna”, an intricate underground aqueduct with cistern dating from the I century BC can be gained from it. The Torre Campanaria, also located in the main square, offers a vantage point from where one can enjoy splendid panoramic views across the valley.

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