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Agriturismo in Siena

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Agriturismo in Siena
In the absence of facts, legend has taken over history: Senus, it is said, the son of Remus, was the founder of Siena. This explains why the Roman wolf that nursed Romulus and Remus became the symbol of the city.
 
The emperor Augustus assured Siena’s place in history by constructing, on the site of modern-day Siena, a Roman colony by the name of Colonia Julia Saena. In the twelth century Siena became an independent republic that continued to expand its territory. Its riches were derived from extensive trade links with Europe, and the city soon became the arch rival of powerful neighbouring Florence.
 
Until the fifteenth century the relations of the two cities are dominated by victories and defeats on both sides. In the fourteenth century, when trade was at its pinnacle, many of the monuments, palazzi and patrician houses were built, which today dominate Siena’s character.
 
In 1348 the population, struck by the black plague, was reduced to half its original size. In 1555 Siena capitulates and is integrated into the Grand-Duchy of Tuscany with Florence as its capital. During the following centuries Siena and its neighbouring towns fell into neglect.
The nineteenth century brought a revival.
 
1849 saw the creation of a railway line to Poggibonsi and Empoli. In 1861, the line also linked Siena to Chiusi and to Rome. Today, Siena is a flourishing city, which has kept its many medieval buildings magnificently well preserved. Its narrow streets and buildings in pink brick lend it a special charm of its own.
 
The surrounding landscape is stunning, dominated here by the city walls of Pienza, here by those of San Gimignano.
 
Siena is an ideal base from which to explore the rest of Tuscany. The wine domains of the Chianti, San Gimignano or even Montepulciano are all only a few kilometres drive away.

Surrounding area
 
Abbey of Sant’Animo
Isolated, nestled between hills sprinkled with cypress and olive trees, this splendid abbey ws founded in the ninth century. The simplicity of the abbey church blends in harmoniously with the landscape. In the light of the afternoon it is even more beautiful. The monks’ Gregorian chants and occasional organ recitals transport the visitor beyond all present concerns.

Abbey of San Galgano
The Abbey of San Galgano, built between 1224 and 1288, is one of the most important Gothic Citsernian buildings in Italy. Of the original structure, built in honour of San Galgano (1148-1181), only the impressive walls of the abbey church remain.

Abbadia San Salvatore
Centre of Mount Amiata, the small town of Abbadia San Salvatore is an ideal location for summer and winter recreation. It also has an important medieval quarter.

Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Hidden in the midst of cypresses, the famous monastery consitss of an abbey church with a gothic clock tower and a large cloister whose frescoes, painted by Luca Signorelli (pupil of Piero della Francesca) and by Sodoma, assure the reputation of the place. The abbey of Monte Olivieto Maggiore is the mother house of the Olivetans, an order founded in 1313 by Bernardo Tolomei.

Bagni San Filippi
These are warm and sulphurous springs that originate in the midst of a forest and form natural waterfalls and pools.

Buonconvento
Buonconvento is an agricultural borough surrounded by fourteenth-century walls that harbour a typical medieval centre.

Castello di Brolio
The castle has belonged to the family Ricasoli since the twelth century and was built around the year one thousand. It was the object of numerous disputes between Florence and Siena. Since the nineteenth century it has some of the most productive agricultural lands of the Chianti.

Chianciano Terme
Chianciano Terme is one of the most important spas in Europe. The town consists of hotels, baths and villas interspersed with boutiques. At the foot of the old town of Chianciano Vecchia are the sulphurous and calcic waters of Chianciano Terme that were already known by the Romans. The are used in treatments for ailments of the kidneys, the urinary tract, the digestive system and others.

Chianti (see introduction to Florence)

Chiusi
Dominated by medieval and Roman architecture, Chiusi was once an important Etruscan site. Numerous tombs have been found in the midst of fields that testify to this past. These days it is an important agricultural centre.

Colle di Val d’Elsa
Colle di Val d’Elsa consists of two boroughs. Colle Basse, situated in the plain, along the river Elsa, is the more modern and is known for its specialisation in the manufacture of crystal. Colle Alta is more authentic, having managed to preserve its medieval aspect with its fortified walls and entrance gate, both dating back to the sixteenth century.

Montalcino
Perched on top of a hill covered with olive groves and vineyards, Montalcino has preserved its fortress of the fourteenth century as well as part of its walls. The village is known for its excellent red wine, the Brunello. Wine tastings are offered in the fortress or in the enoteca, which gives wine lovers to chance to sample the products to the sounds of classical music.

Mont Amiata
Mount Amiata is the highest mountain in Tuscany and a popular destination for lovers of winter sports. It is an old volcano that reaches an altitude of 1738 m and has numerous springs.

Montepulciano
Built on a rocky mountain ridge overlooking the Val di Chiana, Montepulciano is a pretty little town known for its gastronomy and its Renaissance art. Its vineyards produce the famous red wine, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni and its impressive walls of the thirteenth century offer a rare example of medieval military architecture. The village is centred around a single street in the middle of which is a square with restaurants and a church.

Pienza
A peaceful little agricultural community, Pienza harbours a perfect example of Renaissance town planning, the Piazza Pio II. At the heart of a labyrinth of streets decorated with flowers, this splendid trapezoid square was conceived according to the instructions of Pius II, who wanted to build a city conforming to the ideals of the Renaissance.

San Gimignano
Perched on top of a hill, San Gimignano and its fourteen towers in grey stone are eloquent testimony to medieval Tuscan town planning. This magnificent city, surrounded by imposing walls interrupted by five gates, exudes the charm of a medieval city.

San Quirico d’Orcia
The very pretty Romanesque church (XII and XIII Centuries) is the pride of this village. San Quirico aquired considerable importance in the Middle Ages due to its proximity to the “Francigena”, the road that linked Rome with the north of Italy. The road used to be a vital throughfare for merchants, travellers and pilgrims.


For any question about Agriturismo in Siena,  please contact our Tuscany Agriturismo Specialist
Alessandro@dolcevita.be
Tel: +32 2 653 25 20
 
 Ask him for a customized proposal !

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