Vacanze in fattoria, case vacanze tipo agriturismo
Farm holiday cottage like italian agriturismo, Montepulciano surroundings


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Acquaviva

Acquaviva is a little villageof the town of Montepulciano (SI) located about 8 km from the capital, located 300 m osl. There areabout 2,000 inhabitants. The town's main street is Via Fratelli Claudio Celso and Braschi: hence comprises an inhabited area in slow but steady expansion. The patron saint is St. Victorinus which is dedicated the nineteenth-century church with Greek cross plan. The first traces of Acquaviva is located on a dell'803 document, signed in San Vittorino de Acquaviva. There is atheater, Teatro dei Concordi, remodelled in the '90s, is a gem bèlle époque , which currently hosts the festival of amateur theater, in addition to performances by the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di Montepulciano.
The most striking events, have always been held in the main park Giardini ex Fieralethat still constitute the core business of the country. Last but not least is the event LIVE ROCK FESTIVAL OF BEER (www.liverockfestivalofbeer.it), successful events from '96 that seeks to promote and disseminate the most innovative forms of artistic expression, music, and with good results.

Montepulciano

This is the largest Comune in the Sienese Valdichiana and contains six other villages: Abbadia di Montepulciano, Acquaviva, Gracciano, Montepulciano Stazione, S.Albino and Valiano. The poet Agnolo Ambrogini (known as "il Poliziano" from the Latin "mons Politianus") was born here. The town is said to have been founded by the Etruscan king Porsenna and exhibits impressive architecture, mainly but not only Renaissance.
Michelozzo, Baldassarre Peruzzi and Vignola all worked here, as did Antonio da Sangallo il Vecchio who designed the temple of San Biagio. Apart from the wonders of the historical centre of Montepulciano the tourist would do well to visit the spa centre at S.Albino.
The local economy is based on agriculture and the town is famous for its Vino Nobile. In th summer the town hosts the "Cantiere Internazionale d'arte" and in the mid-Augut holidays the "Bruscello", a traditional show spoken in rhyme, is performed on the Cathedral steps.
On August 29 a wine barrel race, the "Bravìo", is run between the different contrade, or districts, of the town and there is a procession in 13th-century dress.

Cetona

On the eastern slopes of the mountain bearing the same name, Cetona has retained its medieval structure, whith roads, alleys and stairways all leading to the fortress which dominates it. The local economy is mainly agricultural, but tourism as also been actively developed.
Many famous people from the words of economics, theatre, fashion and culture live here in their renovated country homes and villas. Whitin only 5 km of the town can be found one of the oldest settlements in central Italy, dating back 40.000 years, and today known as the Parco archeologico naturalistico di Belverde.
There are 25 prehistoric caves and the largest of these Saint Francis prayed. The Museo Civico contains remains from the bronze age collected from the area around the caves. In the next village, piazze, the romanic Collegiate church contains frescos by Pinturicchio.

Chiusi

In Etruscan times, on the southern edge of the Valdichiana, stood the town of Chamars, powerful enough, in that period, to defeat Rome. In the historical centre, with its medieval architecture as well as styles of the granduchy, remains of the Roman structure can still be seen which were built on top of yhe pre-existing etruscan town.
The Museo archeologico nazionale contains excellent Etruscan finds and Greek ceramics from the contryside around Chiusi; the funeral urns and sarcophagi are particularly interesting. It is possible to visit the catacombs and Etruscan necropolises; the tomba del Leone (6th century b.C.) and the tomba della Pellegrina (5th century b.C.) are open.
Definitely worth visiting are the Museo della Cattedrale and the "labirinto di Porsenna", underground water passages built by the Etruscan and including a large cistern which leads to the romanic cathedral bell tower. There are four neighbouring localities: Macciano, Montallese, Montevenere and Querce al Pino. Festivals: The festival of Santa Mustiola with its palio delle Torri and the September wine festival.

Chianciano Terme

This spa town, which specialises in the treatment of liver disorders, is among the most famous in Italy. The special properties of the waters of Chianciano is not far from the spa centre with its hotels, shops, treatment centres and elegant parks where the therapeutic waters emerge: "acqua Sillene" is used for balnotherapy and mud-bath treatment; acqua Sant'Elena" used for the treatment of the kidneys and urinary disorders.
Both the climate and the unspoilt green areas are excellentr, holidays here are fulfilling and pleasant and dedicated to health and fitness. More than 2 million people visit Chianciano every year. Cultural attractions include the Museo Etrusco, soon to be opened, and the Museo della Collegiata.
Also to be seen are the collegiate church of S.Giovanni Battista, built in 1229 and restored in 1809, the church of the Compagnia (1517), the Torre dell'Orologio with Medici crest and the church of Madonna della Rosa (1585) designed by B. Lanci.

Pienza

The history of Pienza coincides with that of its founder, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later to become Pope Pio II. When his family, was forced out of Siena, took refuge in Corsignano, in the Val d'Orcia, wehre they owned a house and some land. Enea Silvio was born here in 1450 in a small fortified hamlet built around a Romanesque parish church. Traces have been found that this area was inhabited from the Neolithic to the Bronze age and this hamlet was also known in Roman times. When he became Pope decided to transform his birthplace from a hamlet into a town. He wanted in this place famous architects and artists to create a big plan that was a city, that he renamed Pienza, and at the same time a monument to the Renaissance. He was insipred not so much from religious devotion, but from a dream transform the world through a modern way of thinking which was both tolerant and cosmopolitan. It is difficult to know what Pienza would have become if Pio II had not died suddenly on the eve of his crusade to fight the Muslism on 14th August 1464. However, after his death Pienza remained unchanged, perfectly balanced in its modern geometry. The Piazza Pio II, laid out by Bernardo Rossellino, demonstrates an architectural and philosophical concept that represents the Humanist movement. In the square, the celebrated cathedral "domus vitrea", with a Renassaince facade and a Gothic interior, contains works by some of the finest artists from that period: Giovanni di Paolo, Matteo di Giovanni, il Vecchietta, Sano di Pietro; here you can see fine wooden choir stalls in Gothic style and other sacred works of great value.In the majestic Papal residence Palazzo Piccolomini, there is a museum, in the "sala d'armi" there is a display of arms, you can visit the Pope's Bedroom, the Library and the collection of medals of Pio II and Pio III. The Muse Diocesano (in Palazzo Vescovile) contains beautiful Flemish tapestries from the XV-XVI century and works by Bartolo di Fredi, Vecchietta, Maestro dell'Osservanza, Sano di Pietro and Pellegrino di Marino. In 1996 Pienza was recognised by UNESCO for its cultural value and inscribed on their World Heritage List.

San Casciano dei Bagni

The main feature of this medieval town, which stands on the Sienese border between the regions of Umbria and Lazio, is its wealth of hot spring water, numbering as many as 42 springs. The waters here were already known in Roman times (Oratius alludes to their therapeutic qualities). The main economic activity is related to hot springwater tourism and to "agritourism" which thrives thanks to the unspoilt woods and countryside.
Today, a new building stands next to the former spa centre where it is possible to have a variety of mud and water treatments. In the near vicinity the swimming pool is filled with hot spring water at 40°C. It is worth visiting the fairy-tale castle of Fighine. Traditional festivals include: the "Sagra dei Pici" - a homemade pasta speciality - in Celle sul Rigo, a village built on the site of a former fortress.
The festival is held on the last Sunday in May. In San Casciano the "Sagra del Ciaffagnone" takes place on the first Sunday in June. The other frazione of Palazzone is wellknows for its wine festival and its strong Chianti Colli Senesi wine.

Sarteano

A centre of ancient origins with a rich variety of tourists attractions and a particularly mild and pleasant climate which enhances the variety of springwater related activities. the old town, which dates back to the Neolithic age, is dominated by the Castle.
Every year on August 15th the "Giostra del Saracino" is contested, a challenge on horseback between the five contrade or districts of the town and in which participants, using a lance, must catch a ring worn by a Saracen - the eternal enemy. The contest is preceded by the drawing of lots. Traditional dress is a feature of the event.
Also worth a visit is Castiglioncello del Trinoro, a typical medieval village with a wonderful view of the valley below. Close to Sarteano, on the hill of Pietraporciana, a protected beech-wood has proved to be of special interest to the Italian botanical society. It is pleasant to eat out here in the picnic area provided.

Sinalunga

Until 1864 the town was known as Asinalunga (long donkey) as is almost certainly of Etruscan origin. Traditionally an agricultural centre, the town today also has some industry: brickworks, pottery, furniture manifacture, light engineering and glass. The comune includes the villages of Rigaiolo, Scrofiano, Bettolle, Farnetella, Guazzino, and Rigomagno.
Its numerous remains and finds also make it attractive to tourists. In the oldest part of the town we can still see the line of the medieval walls, of which some towers still remain. In the collegiate church there is a "deposition" by Girolamo del Pacchia and paintings by Benvenuto di Giovanni and Sodoma.
Famous people born here include Giuseppe Stocchi, great writer, historian and man of letters, the zoologist Ezio Marchi (1869-1908), the musician Ciro Pinsuti (1828-1888), pupil of Rossini, author of the novel "Il mercante di Venezia". In 1867, in palazzo Agnolucci, Giuseppe Garibaldi was arrested by the army to prevent him from marching on Rome.

Torrita di Siena

Located in the centre of the Valdichiana, Torrita has transformed its traditional agricultural economy into on of light industry and crafts. The earliest historical records date back to 1037. The town subsequently became a fortress defending the Republic of Siena along its southern borders. Remains of the original walls include nine foundations and three doors.
The churches of S.Flora and S.Lucilla contain frescos and other valuable artistic works from the Sienese school. Here was born the famous highwayman Ghino di Tacco dei Monaceschi Pecorai and the Franciscan monk Iacopo da Torrita the restorer of mosaics.
The donkey race "Palio dei Somari", takes place in March. Apart from the town itself, composed of the historical centre and a newer development, do not miss visiting Montefollonico, a village built around a former medieval castle and having remained largely intact. The walks here are particularly enjoable.

Trequanda

This former medieval hamlet, residence of the Cacciaconti family until the 1500s, stands on the top of a hill, deep in unspoilt countryside of woods, vineyards and olive groves. A third of the village is occupied by the Cacciaconti castle and its annexes including an impressive ornamental garden. Here you can visit the church of SS. Pietro and Andrea which contains a fresco by Sodoma.
The mild climate, the relaxing countryside and the gastronomic attractions (wine, oil, cheese, salami, honey and local "chianina" beef) make the area a popular destination for agritourism. The town hall buildings in Petroio house the "terracotta association" and the terracotta museum is now being prepared. The pottery or "coccio", produced by the local manufactures is famous throughout Italy.
Castelmuzio stands on a outcrop of tufa close to the monastery of S. Anna in Camprena which contains remarkable frescos by Sodoma; the parish church of S.Stefano is also nearby.

Cortona

One of the twelve cities of the Etruscan League-substantial fragments of its primitive cyclopean defences can still be seen, incorporated in the medieval walls. Apart from a few fine Renaissance palaces, the prevailing character of Cortona's architecture is medieval, conferring on the steep narrow streets a strong sense of atmosphere. The city is commandingly situated (altitude 600 metres) and there are magnificent panoramas to every point of the compass, embracing the whole of the Val di Chiana.
Prominent among many art works of various periods in the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca are the Etruscan Chandelier known as the "lamp of Cortona", one of the most celebrated bronzes of antiquity, and the "Polyhymnia Muse", an encaustic painting of the Roman era, of Remarkable beauty. The Museo Diocesano displays works by Luca Signorelli, distinguished Renaissance painter and native of Cortona, and a much-admired "Annunciation" by Beato Angelico.
The most important medieval buildings are the churches of San Francesco and San Domenico and The Palazzo Casali, which has a renaissance facade. In these, and in the Renaissance churces of Santa Maria Nuova and San Niccolò, valuable works of art are preserved. The neighbourhood of Cortona is dotted with Etruscan monuments: the tomb called "Tanella di Pitagora" (2nd century B.C.) in the Cannaia district; Etruscan tombs and a hypogeum (6th and 7th centuries B.C.) in the Sodo district.
Among the evocative holy places are the romanesque church of Sant'Angelo in the Metelliano district, the beautiful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (16th century) at Calcinaio and the Convento delle Celle, founded by San Francesco d'Assisi. Severini's "Via Crucis" (20th century) accompanies the mystic ascent linking the inhabited centre with the sanctuary of Santa Margherita which towers above the town and which, in its turn, is overshadowed by the powerful defences of the Girifalco fortress.

San Quirico d'Orcia (Bagno Vignoni)

Originally an Etruscan town, it acquired importance thanks to the neighbouring Via Franchigena. Federico Barbarossa, in 1154, received the ambassador of Pope Adrian IV here and this event is recalled in the "Festa del Barbarossa", 3° Sunday of June. In 1167 it was seat of the Imperial Vicar. The Florence of Cosimo I de' Medici purchased it in 1559. The Collegiata of SS. Quirico and Giuditta is in the Romanesque style: it has three portals and one whit faces southern is attributed toGiovanni Pisano.
Inside is found the polyptych of Sano di Pietro and a Chorus from 1432-1502. Palazzo Chigi is from the XVII century. The "Horti Leonini"(16 th century) are one of the first examplesof of Italia Garden style: from August to October there is an exhibition of sculpture "Forms in green". The Romanesque parish church of S. Maria Assunta was, perhaps, constructed on the remains of a pre- Cristian temple. The inside of the church of S. Francesco holds two wooden polychrome statues and a Robbia's Madonna.
The area of Bagno Vignoni was known about from roman times through the benefits of the waters from its spring which gush forth at temperatures of more 50°C. and are gathered in the big basin which lies at the centre of the town and gives it its evocative appearance. There is a small sanctuary dedicated to S. Caterina from Siena situated at the side of the basin. The castle of Vignoni looks down upon the town and can be roached either by S. Quirico or by Bagno Vignoni: a natural walk which can be made on foot.