Discover the medieval village of Cetona in Tuscany
Cetona is a very nice small town located near the Mount Cetona in the Val di Chiana. The village has an Etruscan origin but owes its urban planning to the Sienese domination in the middle ages (15th century) and the next Medici period. The core of the village consists of two concentric circles, due to the defensive walls, surroundings the wide central space where is la Rocca (the Fortress).
Documented since 1200 as property of the count Ildebrandino, the castle of Cetona fell under the rule of Siena during the 15th century. During this period there were the the first major architectural interventions, the village was equipped with new walls, city gates and cylindrical towers. During the Renaissance the village was granted as a fief to the Vitelli family that created a new large square as a monumental access to the town, piazza Garibaldi.
What to do in Cetona
Our walk in the village can only start from piazza Garibaldi. The square is a a long rectangle, a bit out of proportion to the village, that every saturday morning hosts the weekly market. Coming from Strada Provinciale 21, immediately on your right you can find the chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo. Founded in the 11th century, the church was completely remade in Baroque style. Inside is preserved a wooden statue of the Umbrian school representing the Madonna delle Grazie (14th century). At the bottom of the square we can admire a round tower called Torre del Rivellino.
Museo Civico per la Preistoria del Monte Cetona
Now take the street up to the left of the Tower, via Roma, to get to the Museo Civico per la Preistoria del Monte Cetona. The museum documents the history of the population in the area round the Monte Cetona between the Paleolithic and the Bronze Age. In addition to the Museum you can also visit the Parco Archeologico Naturalistico di Belverde composed by some caves as the grotta di San Francesco and the antri della Noce e del Poggetto once used as places of worship and for burials. A shot distance from the archaeological area was create the Archeodromo di Belverde, an educational path that completes the range of activities related to the Museum.
Address: Palazzo Comunale, via Roma 37
July – September: tuesday-sunday 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00
October – June: monday, wednesday and friday 10.00-13.00; tuesday and thursday 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-18.00; saturday-sunday, holidays and the day before 10.00-13:00 and 15.00-17.00
Also open on reservations for groups of 10 people or more
Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced 3 euro
Parck and Archeodromo: regular 6 euro; reduced 5 euro
Cumulative Museum, Park and Archeodromo: 7 euro
Cumulative reduced with guided tour (for schools): 5,50 euro
A short distance from the Palazzo Comunale we get to the Collegiata della Santissima Trinità. This church, built between the 12th and the 13th century, has some frescoes dated at the end of the 15th century as the Assunzione della Vergine attributed to Pinturicchio. Continuing beyond the collegiate church, you can take via dello Steccato from which you can enjoy a beautiful view, or keep walking on via Rosini to get to the Rocca, not open to the public as private property.
What to see around Cetona
In addition to the aforementioned archaeological area, near Cetona there is the former convento di Santa Maria a Belverde, two kilometers south of the village, composed of three oratorios which contain frescoes dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.
How to get to Cetona
By train: the closest train station is Chiusi Scalo (8 km), from there you can take a bus (line T10 by Siena mobilità)
By bus: from Siena you have to take three busses: line 112 till Montepulciano, line FT4 till Chianciano and finally line FT5. Each line is managed by Siena mobilità. Also from Arezzo you have to take three busses: LS5 (Etruria mobilità) till Bettolle, ST3 till Chiancinao and FT5.
By car: from Florence (130 km), Arezzo (73 km) and Siena (90 km) take highway A1 till the exit Chiusi-Chianciano, continue towards Chiusi on SP146 and finally turn towards Cetona on SP20 and SP231. Coming from Rome the exit from the highway is Fabro.