(distance: 8 km)
Famous for Vernaccia wine and her two towers, San Gimignano rises from the hills above the Val d’Elsa. The village centre is an authentic jewel of the area’s artistic heritage, where the charm of an past era is perfectly preserved. Of special interest is the beautiful collegiate church of Saint Maria Assunta built in the twelfth century. Within its walls you will find thirteenth century Senese frescos that retell the story of the Old Testament, and works by Barna da Siena, Bartolo di Fredi and Taddeo di Bartolo, together with fourteenth century Florentine frescos. The Church of Saint Augustine (La Chiesa di S. Agostino) contains frescos by Benozzo Gozzoli and the Coronation of the Virgin by Antonio del Pollaiolo. Also of note is the Palazzo del Podestà which contains a fresco by the Sienese painter Sodoma. The Piazza della Cisterna with its famous artesian well at the centre, is particularly attractive.
(distance: 6 km)
Certaldo Alto still has a large part of its original medieval walls and three gateways intact, Porta Alberti, Porta al Sole and Porta al Rivellino. There are two main streets originating from different eras, via del Rivellino and via Boccaccio. A series of characteristic narrow lanes and alleys cut across these two arterial roads. Numerous secluded orchards and fields within the city walls are a characteristic feature of this town. The village is accessed by traveling up the ancient and precipitous roads of either Costa Alberti or Costa Vecchia, or rather by taking the more recently constructed via del Castello. The village and its surroundings offer a rare example of medieval urban planning which culminates in the imposing Palazzo Pretorio situated at the summit. Also worth visiting are the church of Saints Jacob and Phillip (la chiesa dei SS. Jacopo e Filippo) and the house of Giovanni Boccaccio, celebrated author of the “Decamerone”.
(distance: 37 km)
Volterra is situated in the heart of Tuscany, approximately 40 km from the coast. Castled on the summit of a range of hills 545 meters above sea-level, it offers spectacular panoramic views of the Cecina and Era valleys. Volterra overlooks, in complete isolation, a vast territory rich in artistic, historical and environmental resources.