Monticiano, a nice medieval hamlet in val di Merse
Monticiano is a small medieval hamlet located about 35 kilometres from Siena. This village stands on a hill overlooking the Valley of the river Merse a short distance from the magnificent Abbey of San Galgano. All around Monticiano there is a lush vegetation made by great forests of oak, chestnut and pine trees. Are part of the municipality of Monticiano even the Bagni di Petriolo, an ancient hot spring that still attracts many visitors.
The birth of Monticiano dates back the 12th century when it was a castle controlled by the Bishops of Volterra. Later, the castle was conquered by the Repubblica di Siena who retained possession until the mid-16th century when it was conquered by Medici of Florence.
Things to do in Monticiano: the visit
Monticiano with its stone and brick houses gathered along a handful of streets, is well suited to a relaxing walk to discover the main monuments:
- Chiesa del Beato Antonio Patrizi
- Ex convento agostiniano
- Chiesa dei Santi Giusto e Clemente
Chiesa del Beato Antonio Patrizi ed ex convento agostiniano
The lower part of the hamlet is gathered round a central circular plaza, piazza Sant’Agostino, where is located the former Augustinian convent with the chiesa del Beato Antonio Patrizi. Built between the end of the 13th and the 14th centuries, the church of the Blessed Beato Antonio Patrizi features a Gothic exterior that contrasts with a baroque interior. Inside you can admire some si può ammirare an important cycle of frescoes and a painting by Rutilio Manetti, Death of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi.
Is worth a visit also the former convent of Sant’Agostino that preserves, inside the Chapter House, some interesting monochrome frescoes created by artists of the Sienese school.
Chiesa dei Santi Giusto e Clemente
Into the higher part of the hamlet stands the Romanesque Chiesa dei Santi Giusto e Clemente (14th century). On the facade are quite interesting some details about the portal of entry: in particular the arch decorated with lilies and the lintel that with its very archaic geometric decoration, suggests the reusing of materials from an older building. Inside there are a 15th century wooden cross and a 17th century painting representing the Immaculate Conception.
Things to do around Monticiano
- Riserva Naturale Tocchi
- Terme di Petriolo
- Abbazia di San Galgano
If you want to visit a natural park, not far from Monticiano there is the Riserva Naturale di Tocchi, a protected area characterized by the presence of various tree species and numerous local animal species, mammals and birds in particular.
Well known since the Roman age, even Cicero talks about this, the hot springs of Petriolo are located about 20 kilometres from Monticiano and are available both through equipped establishments that freely. The thermal water of Petriolo flow at a temperature of 43 celsius degrees (109° fahrenheit) and, thanks to the hydrogen sulphide, is indicated for the treatment of respiratory problems.
Around Monticiano there are many suggestive places as churches or castles, the most fascinating of these spots is the magnificent Abbey of San Galgano, located at short distance from Monticiano.