Val d'Orcia
Val d'Orcia

Top things to do in Monticchiello

Monticchiello, a tiny village famous for its theatre

Located about 6 kilometers from Pienza, Monticchiello stands on the top of a hill (500 metres above sea level) in the heart of the Val d’Orcia.

Monticchiello is a typical medieval village still enclosed within the ancient walls which, though partly in ruins, still retain some defensive towers. This small village has arisen gathered around the fortress that has a donjon that dates back to 1256-1257.

In addition to its artistic and architectural heritage, the village is notable for its peculiar theatrical tradition. Here, every year, are staged performances of the “Teatro povero” (poor theater) in which the actors are the people of Monticchiello themselves.

things to do in Monticchiello
Monticchiello (Photo by pug girl / CC BY)

Top things to do in Monticchiello

Monticchiello is the typical Tuscan hill village: hilly, graceful and medieval. In short, a real gem. Walking through its winding and irregular streets that occasionally flow into pretty little squares enclosed between stone houses, you will have the feeling of being in another era and perhaps you will no longer want to return to the present.

Fort and city walls

Monticchiello had a solid system of fortifications, formed by the fortress located on the highest point of the settlement and the turreted walls that protected the village. Today, the only part of the fortress that resists is the mighty donjon built by Siena.

The walls, partially preserved, are interspersed with towers of various shapes and sizes. Of these there are still seven, five with a square base and two round towers.

Things to do in Monticchiello: visit the hamlet
Monticchiello in Val d’Orcia

Pieve dei Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo

Pieve dei Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo (parish church of the Saints Leonardo and Cristoforo) is a Gothic style church built in the second half of the thirteenth century.

The facade, very simple, is characterized by a beautiful ogival portal surmounted by an elegant rose window.

The interior, remodeled during the eighteenth century, has a single nave; on the walls there are some fine frescoes of the Sienese school made between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On the right wall, we find the Episodes from the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria; on that left fragments of a Madonna and Child attributed to Niccolò di Segna; while in the presbytery, among the various frescoes, the figure of San Cristoforo stands out.

Pieve dei Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo in Monticchiello
Pieve dei Santi Leonardo e Cristoforo (Photo by LigaDue / CC BY)

Teatro Povero

The Teatro Povero (poor theatre) of Monticchiello was born in the sixties as a form of resistance to the crisis of the economy linked tosharecropping.

During the shows are usually treated the great themes andhistorical facts, especially contemporaries, that have an important role in the life of the village.

Things to do in Monticchiello: go to the Teatro Povero
Teatro Povero (foto di http://teatropovero.it)

Things to do around Monticchiello in Val d’Orcia

Monticchiello is located in the heart of the Tuscan Val d’Orcia just a short distance from Pienza. From here you can organize various itineraries to discover the Val d’Orcia that will lead you to the San Quirico d’Orcia (15 km), Castiglione d’Orcia (16 km), Montalcino (27 km) and Radicofani (28 km). Do not forget also to include the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and at least one of the spas of the valley (Bagno Vignoni and Bagni San Filippo) between the stages of your tour.

How to get to Monticchiello

By car: from the north A1 to the Valdichiana exit, then continue on SP327 in the direction of Torrita di Siena, then SP 135 and SP 17 to Montepulciano. From there follow towards Chianciano / Monticchiello until the turn on SP88 towards Monticchiello.
From the south A1 to the Chiusi / Chianciano exit; before arriving in Chianciano, turn left onto SP19 (signs for Amiata / Sarteano / Radicofani), turn onto SP 40 towards Amiata and then onto SP88 towards Monticchiello.

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