What to say about this famous, enchanting Town?
Siena (from Latin Saena Julia) was first settled by the Etruscans (c. 900–400 BC), then founded on the site at the time of Emperor Augustus.
Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, it is a fantastic medieval Town with magnificent architecture and incredible pieces of art. Siena is famous for its art, museums, magical medieval cityscape, cuisine, and of course for the Palio, the renowned horse race held twice a year: www.ilpalio.org
Too much to say in these few lines. See here just some info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siena, then enjoy! Come and discover its treasures.
Buonconvento (from the Latin Bonus Conventus), is mentioned for the first time in 1100. In 1313 the German emperor Henry VII died here. Small walled town, listed among the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy (Borghi più Belli d’Italia). Originally part of the Via Francigena pilgrim route with its ‘Museo dell’Arte Sacra’ and ‘Museo Etnografico del mondo contadino’. Medieval and Renaissance Castles, the fortified Pieve of Sant’Innocenza a Piana. Nice restaurants, wine bars, pizzerie, a cinema-theatre, weekly market on Saturdays. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buonconvento
An imposing working Benedictine Abbey, with beautiful frescoed cloisters (Signorelli and Sodoma), ancient Library. It was founded by the Sienese Bernardo de’ Tolomei (1272-1348), who conceived it as the first spiritual centre of the Olivetana Family. Shop with herbalist and products of the monks, home made special herbal liqueurs. Gregorian vespers are sung at just after 6.00pm and at 11.00am mass on Sundays. https://www.monteolivetomaggiore.it
Montisi is a very special, ancient village. Its name comes from a temple dedicated to the Etruscan goddess Isis. It is famous for its ‘Giostra di Simone’, a jousting pageant in historic costume held at the beginning of august, and for its Olive Oil Festival held in October. https://montisi-montalcino.com/pro-loco/pro-loco-giostra-di-simone/
It’s also the seat of the ‘Piccola Accademia’, a famous Harpsichord School run by Bruce Kennedy www.piccolaaccademia.org, and of the Opera Festival, organised by Sivia Mannucci Benincasa: www.solobelcanto.it
The Castle, an imposing medieval structure beautifully restored, and built in part by the same Piccolomini Pope as Pienza, includes the Town Hall and the Fireplace Room, and a Museum dedicated to the White Truffle and its festival www.tartufodisangiovannidasso.it
A walk around the village will also bring you to the small but intriguing early Romanesque Chapel of San Pietro in Villore. Another interesting local feature consists in the ‘Bosco della Ragnaia’: a beautiful woodland park and garden landscaped by the American artist Sheppard Craige http://www.laragnaia.com/EN/passeggiata/
Famous village with unique Early Renaissance square and Duomo, to the design of the Piccolomini Pope, it is the “touchstone of Renaissance urbanism.”
In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d’Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes.
Many shops with local produce; ceramics, linens etc. Nice restaurants for lunch and dinners, and walkway along the walls with majectic views of Monte Amiata. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pienza
Explore this medieval town of beautiful architecture, first mentioned in historical documents in 814 AD, with its imposing Fortress, and admire the enormous views. Famous for its Brunello wine, find all the varieties in the delicious restaurants and wine bars of the village. The local festival is ‘Sagra del Tordo‘, a pageant in historical costumes and archery contest held in August and October: www.sagradeltordo.it/la-sagra-del-tordo.html
Medieval and Renaissance hill town, according to legend, it was founded by the Etruscan King Lars Porsena of Chiusi, recent findings prove that a settlement was already in existence in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. Famous for its wines Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile. Beautiful and elegant architecture. Local Festival: ‘Bravio delle Botti’, a pageant in historic costumes held in August www.braviodellebotti.com.
Old town of Etruscan origin on the Via Cassia between Siena and Rome. See the tryptic of Sano di Pietro in the Collegiata church. Visit The ‘Horti Leonini’, Renaissance Italian gardens and the Piccolomini Palace. Lively village, nice shops and restaurants, lovely walk along the walls. Its ‘Festa del Barbarossa’, held in June, celebrates the historical meeting between Federico I Hohenstaufen, the Redbeard, and Pope Adrian IV messengers, in 1155. Pageant in historical costumes and archery contest.
Picturesque Romanesque Abbey below Montalcino, the outer walls made of alabaster, the foundation of the original Benedictine monastery dates to the time of Charlemagne. The Abbey safeguards the ancient tradition of Gregorian plainchant by hosting an annual concert performed by renowned choirs. Monks Pharmacy, Workshops on the techniques of medieval icons, Didactic laboratory of the monastic pharmacy, Gregorian Choirs Classes.
The ancient village of Bagno Vignoni is located near San Quirico, in the Val d’Orcia Natural Park. Thanks to the Via Francigena (which was the main route followed by pilgrims in antiquity who went to Rome), these thermal waters were found and have been used since Roman times. At the heart of the village is the “Square of sources”, namely a rectangular tank, of sixteenth-century origin, which contains the original source of water that comes from the subterranean aquifer of volcanic origins. Since the Etruscans and Romans the spa of Bagno Vignoni was attended by eminent personalities such as Pope Pius II, Saint Catherine of Siena, Lorenzo the Magnificent and many other artists who had elected the village as their main holiday resort. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagno_Vignoni