Arcidosso, a suggestive medieval hamlet on the Mount Amiata
Arcidosso is one of the main villages of the Mount Amiata. This suggestive hamlet has developed around the fortress of the Aldobrandeschi creating a pyramid which has its peak in the ancient castle.
What to see in Arcidosso
Coming from the Strada Provinciale di Arcidosso, just outside the city walls we can find the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie (also know as santuario della Madonna dell’Incoronata). Built in 1348 after the plague, the sanctuary was remodeled many times since the end of the 15th century. Inside, there are some interesting artworks; among these we mention a banner representing the Virgin in glory with Sains Sebastian and Rocco made by Ventura Salimbeni and a Madonna and Child attributed to Pellegrino di Mariano.
The visit to the hamlet
The historic center of Arcidosso is divided into three districts (terzieri) called Castello, Codaccio and Sant’Andrea.
The district of Castello is the heart of the hamlet, here are located the Fortress of the Aldobrandeschi, the Church of San Niccolò and the Teatro degli Unanimi that, having been founded in 1741, is the oldest theatre in the province.
The fortress of Arcidosso is very ancient, it seems that its construction has been started during the 9th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, the castle was the subject of numerous measures to strengthen the structures. The main tower of the castle, for example, was built around the year 1100. The last medieval renovations done during the Middle Ages were made by the Republic of Siena that, after many attempts, managed to conquer the fortress in 1331. Today the fortress, interamente visitabile, hosts two museums (one is about the Middle Age and one about David Lazzaretti, the “prophet of the Amiata”) and is often the venue of cultural events.
Chiesa di San Niccolò
The church of San Niccolò, protector of Arcidosso, is located near the castle. Built around the half of the 12th century, the church was enlarged during the 17th century up to incorporate the nearby oratory of the Holy Cross. A restoration between 1934 and 1943 the gave the current neo-Romanesque appearance.
Museo di Arte e Cultura Orientale
In the Castle Square is housed the Museum of Oriental art and culture. This is an unusual museum dedicated to art and culture of Tibet and Asia. Designed and developed by professor Namkhai Norbu, the museum uses of various multimedia contents that accompany the artworks, costumes, votive offerings and all other exhibits
Address: Piazza del Castello 1
Leaving the square in direction of the district of Codaccio, we pass through Porta dell’Orologio (clock gate), one of the city gates, so named because of the clock that was installed during the nineteenth-century makeover.
Chiesa di San Leonardo
Located in the district of Codaccio, the curch of San Leonardo (12th century) houses some works such as the Francesco Vanni‘s Decapitation of San Giovanni Battista and two wooden statues representing Sant’Andrea and San Processo.