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Surroundings

Agriturismo near Volterra with restaurant and pool

Booking

Art City

Because of its central location, San Gimignano is a perfect base for excursions throughout Tuscany. From here, in fact, you can easily reach several cities such as Siena, Florence, Lucca and Pisa.

Also we would like to suggest other routes perhaps less known, but no less interesting:
Colle di Val d’Elsa, Casole d’Elsa and Monteriggioni
Certaldo and Castelfiorentino
Volterra
Massa Marittima and San Galgano
The Val d’Orcia and the Crete Senesi
Radda, Gaiole and Castellina in Chianti




Turistic itineraries

Siena

The origins of Volterra has its roots in prehistoric times, but the first major development occurs with the Etruscans, which make Velathri, Volterra, one of the most important city-states of their confederation. Subsequently Velathri was forced to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome, changing its name to Volaterrae. Built on a hill of clay, shaped over the centuries by landslides that have deleted part of the walls and the Etruscan necropolis. Volterra boasts over 30 centuries of history from the Neolithic to the present day, through the Etruscans and the municipalities. The old town is entirely built with a gray stone called bench, and is an intact example of an old municipal town.
You should visit Volterra departing from Piazza dei Priori, the heart of the city, overlooked by distinguished buildings such as the Bishop's Palace, the Praetorian Palace and the Palazzo dei Priori. In the surrounding streets you will come upon various tower-houses and the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Civic Museum. Behind that, next to the walls, there is the Roman amphitheater, while the Etruscan evidence is mainly collected in the Archaeological Park and the Etruscan Museum.
Nearby stands the Medici Fortress, which overlooks the city. Built for military purposes, it was used as a prison from the beginning, by opponents of the Medici up to today. The name of Volterra has always been connected with the manufacture of alabaster, a resistant material with an opal effect, discovered by the Etruscans and used for urns for ashes, and still worked today by artisans in small workshops.

Agriturismo Volterra
Agriturismo Volterra

San Gimignano

The "city of the beautiful towers" is one of the best preserved medieval settlements of Tuscany, where the old town has remained largely intact and is a remarkable example of urban organization of the city. For its unique urban and architectural characteristics San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although Etruscan in origin, San Gimignano sees its development period between the ninth and twelfth centuries, when the pilgrims heading to Rome along the Via Francigena contributed to the welfare of the city: abounding hotels and inns and businesses were thriving. Especially valuable local agricultural products were traded, including the most wanted saffron, sold in Egypt and France.
At its peak, there were 72 towers, of which only 14 have survived to the present day, an expression of political and social supremacy of the aristocracy of San Gimignano. The change of route of the pilgrims and the plague of 1348 were the causes of the decline and abandonment of this centere, but have allowed an extraordinary preservation of its medieval appearance.
Absolutely to visit are the Collegiate Church of St. Mary of the Assumption, or the Dome, one of the finest examples of Tuscan Romanesque, and the Church of St. Augustine also finely painted and placed in the most beautiful squares, Piazza Sant'Agostino. We advise you to visit the Great Tower and the Palazzo del Popolo, Piazza della Cisterna and museums, or simply to walk the streets and see the towers and tower houses of the old aristocracy that overlook the main streets and squares.
A must is a visit to the Wine Museum and of the Vernaccia, the Parco della Rocca di Montestaffoli, with its dedicated routes and wine tasting of local wines, with particular attention to the Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni Castle was founded on a hill in early 1200 by the Sienese as an outpost to control the valley towards Florence, a historic rival of Siena. The medieval town is completely enclosed within the walls, which are organized for more than 500 metres and decorated with 14 towers. Only two doors will open, that of St. John facing Florence and Franca or Romea looking towards Siena. Since 2005 you can go on two stretches of the ancient walkways on the walls, from which you have beautiful views.
The village consists of a few alleys that wind around the central square, Piazza Roma, the heart of Monteriggioni. Unpaved, until about forty years ago, it is now finely paved. The square is still surrounded by vegetable gardens and gardens, which in the past ensured the survival in case of a siege.

Agriturismo Volterra
Agriturismo Volterra

Colle di val d'Elsa

Colle di Val d'Elsa is located in the center of Tuscany between Siena, Florence and Volterra and just 13 km from San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena. We find various documents confirming the presence of the town from the tenth century, although it gains in importance only in early 1300, when, under Florence, it was used against the Sienese Monteriggioni. In the following years the city continued to gain power, continuing to be on the side of the Medici family.
Always the history and economy of Colle are inextricably linked to the waters of the river Elsa, which permitted the development of productive activities such as paper mills, woolen manufactures and finally the laboratories of glass and later of crystal. In the nineteenth century it was called "the Bohemia of Italy", but today it has become "City of Crystal", holding only 15% of world production, and over 95% of the Italian one.
The most interesting part is undoubtedly that of Colle Alta, perched on a hill and enclosed by a circle of walls still partially visible. Walking through the streets of Colle Alta, one can encounter various buildings of interest such as the Praetorian Palace, seat of the Archaeological Museum Bianchi Bandinelli, the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori, used as a Civic and Religious Art museum. Colle also boasts numerous tower houses, including the most famous, the Arnolfo di Cambio, the famous sculptor and architect of the place.

Volterra

The origins of Volterra has its roots in prehistoric times, but the first major development occurs with the Etruscans, which make Velathri, Volterra, one of the most important city-states of their confederation. Subsequently Velathri was forced to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome, changing its name to Volaterrae. Built on a hill of clay, shaped over the centuries by landslides that have deleted part of the walls and the Etruscan necropolis. Volterra boasts over 30 centuries of history from the Neolithic to the present day, through the Etruscans and the municipalities. The old town is entirely built with a gray stone called bench, and is an intact example of an old municipal town.
You should visit Volterra departing from Piazza dei Priori, the heart of the city, overlooked by distinguished buildings such as the Bishop's Palace, the Praetorian Palace and the Palazzo dei Priori. In the surrounding streets you will come upon various tower-houses and the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Civic Museum. Behind that, next to the walls, there is the Roman amphitheater, while the Etruscan evidence is mainly collected in the Archaeological Park and the Etruscan Museum.
Nearby stands the Medici Fortress, which overlooks the city. Built for military purposes, it was used as a prison from the beginning, by opponents of the Medici up to today. The name of Volterra has always been connected with the manufacture of alabaster, a resistant material with an opal effect, discovered by the Etruscans and used for urns for ashes, and still worked today by artisans in small workshops.

Agriturismo Volterra

Agriturismo Volterra

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