Siena on the orizon
Porta San Marco, also known as “delle Maremme” is one of the gate Southoriented. You can enter through a lowered arch. It was built during the 14th century and renovated two Centuries later by the great architect Baldassarre Peruzzi. On the morning of 3 July 1944, the French expeditionary force, under General Joseph de Monsabert, entered Siena Through Porta San Marco without encountering resistance from the Nazi-fascist forces, reciting precisely an order by the Monsabert: “ Shoot where you want, except beyond the XVIII Century”
The main important point of interest in Fogliano, is the Pieve San Giovanni Battista, bulit at the end of the XII Century where you must stop. You can see Siena and the Torre del Mangia in the distance with the frame of the Chanti countryside.
Mugnano is a small settlement where a beautiful CASATORRE stands together with the Pieve of San Giovanni Battista a clear example of Romanic architecture
Pieve di Corsano, from the early years of 1000 has been a reference point for all the churches and people of this area
In addition to the beauty of the building, a strange legend is worth reminding: it is told that towards the VXII Century, a local nobleman wanted to give his daughter Laura, the so called “child bride” of ten years old, as wife to a wealthy gentleman who would have been able to rise the fortunes of the girl’s family, which was disgraced. Legend has it that on her wedding day Laura, who arrived at the parish with her father, run away shortly before the priest sanctified the marriage, leaving some footprints in front of the parish church. Since then there has been no news of her, but the tradition has it that on sunny Sundays, in springtime, her footprints can be found around the church, as if the “child bride” returned to visit the place from which she was fled
In San Rocco a Pilli is worth visiting the Pieve di San Bartolomeo of Romanesque Structure but heavily remodeled in Neoclassical style and Villa Cavaglioni, a mighty XVIII Century building of quadrangular shape with a very beautiful Italian Garden on the backside. On the top of a little hill is possible to visit the XIX Century church dedicated to San Bartolomeo, work of Agostino Fantastici.
Many have written about Siena and its harmonious beauty, in all times, and it is difficult to invent new words to describe its charm, especially if you are not poets. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1995.
José Saramago, a Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize winner, was in love with the city and dedicated words that describe it with brushstrokes of deep emotion and passion.
“And here is Siena, the beloved, the city where my heart is truly pleased”. “The three hills on which it is built make it a city where there are no two equal roads, all contrary to submit to any geometry”. “This wonderful color, the color of the body browned by the sun, but that is also the color of the crust of the corn bread, this wonderful color goes from the stones to the road and to the roofs, softens the sunlight and erases the anxieties and fears from the face”.
“There can be nothing more beautiful than this city”. Piazza del Campo “a square inclined and curved like a shell, which the builders did not want to pave and remained so, as if it were a lap”.
“I look at the old palaces of Siena, ancient houses where I wish I could live one day, with a window of my own, overlooking the clay-colored roofs, the green shutters of the windows, as in the attempt to decipher where this secret comes from that Siena murmurs and that I will continue to hear, although I do not understand it, until the end of life”.
The Crete Senesi are a land landscape. Rain and wind have shaped and designed the hills of clay as the passing of time on a face wrinkles: bitterness and sweetness, roundness and edges, deep furrows and light slopes, the signs of a very long life lived intensely.
The Crete Senesi are a sea landscape when, green of the grass, brushed by the wind, the expanse of hills seems to move: waves, as far as the eye can see, up to the horizon. An illusion of infinity, a crystallized and immobile space that extracts the soul. Then…. A stronger wind rises and the clouds run changing the colors to the landscape, a flock moves, the sun is reflected on the window of an isolated farm next to a cypress, and dirt roads open up like scars in the green.
Ideal places if you try to get away from the world, as did Giovanni Tolomei, of an important and wealthy Sienese family, who in 1313 found his place in the “Accona desert”, where he founded the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, not far from the route of the Via Francigena that wound further downstream, where the water moved mills and gave man the means to overcome nature.
The Val di Merse is the breath of the Terre di Siena, it is sap, it is rest, rest. It is Mediterranean and yellow scrub of brooms, bed of rivers, sometimes torrential at times placid, kingdom of wild and free animals.
In the woods, small villages that have stood still in time, that have not allowed modernity. In the green the treasures of water: remains of mills that in the Middle Ages made the economy of this land, thermal waters where centuries of generations and peoples have bathed, places where they have left traces, even in the DNA of the inhabitants, mysterious civilizations like the Etruscan one, small Romanesque churches, ruined castles. Surprising architectures at these latitudes: stately villas and Italian gardens, cloisters of monasteries with oriental charm as illustrations of “the thousand and one nights”, walls of powerful abbeys that, still, in silence, dominate the territory and radiate mysticism, hermitages where legendary knights laid down their weapons and changed their lives leaving traces that appear to us full of symbology.
Expanse of colors that rest the eyes, sounds of water and silence, smell of earth and smell of salt in the breeze that comes from the sea not far away, taste of fruits of the forest.