A relaxing visit to the characteristic hamlet of Santa Fiora
Our visit to Santa Fiora starts in the Terziere di Castello (the Castle district), in piazza Garibaldi, where you can admire some of the structures relating to the ancient Castle of the Aldobrandeschi. The main remains of the castle are the two towers that still stand although incorporated by surrounding buildings. The first one dates back to the 14th century and is characterized by the presence of a clock. The other one, higher, was once used as a prison and still inside you can see some of the drawings and writings inscribed on the walls by his “guests”.
The most valuable buildings of the village are the Palazzo pretorio, that houses the Tourist Office, and the Palazzo Cesarini Sforza. The Palazzo Sforza, built on the remains of the ancient fortress of the Aldobrandeschi, is a renaissance building is the seat of both the municipality and of the Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio del Monte Amiata.
Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio del Monte Amiata
The Museum of the Mines was created to tell the story of mining on the Mount Amiata and in order to understand the harshness of the work of the miners and the risks that they took.
Tickets: regular 3 euro; reduced 2
For more informations about the opening hours, please consult the official web site of the museum.
Pieve delle Sante Flora e Lucilla
Crossing the district of the Castle we get to piazza dell’Arcipretura where is located the Pieve delle Sante Flora e Lucilla. Already mentioned in 12th century, the church manteins a romanesque-gothic style. On the front you can admire a late Renaissance portal and a beautiful rose window. The interior, on three naves, presents a surprise: an extraordinary collection of Della Robbia’s terracotta! Near the baptismal font there is an altarpiece representing the Baptism of Jesus; another altarpiece represents the Madonna della cintola; the pulpit, made by three scenes, tell the stories of the Last Supper, the Resurrection and the Ascension; a triptych composed by the incoronation of the Virgin and by the Saints Francis and Hieronymus; the last potteries are a crucifix and the Holy Oil Tabernacle near the major altar.
Not far from the Pieve we pass through the Porticciola to get to the terziere di borgo, a very characteristic district centered between the Convento delle Clarisse and the Convento degli Agostiniani, where in the past was created the Jewish ghetto.
La peschiera di Santa Fiora
Finally we arrive into the last district: the terziere di Montecatino. Here we find the chiesa della Madonna delle Nevi and the famous peschiera. Born as a trout farm during the domination of the Aldobrandeschi, the peschiera, alimented by the source of the river Fiora, was converted by the Sforza into a very pleasant park-garden as we find even today and that represents one of the main reasons the visit to Santa Fiora.
Places to visit near Santa Fiora
On Mount Amiata and in the immediate surroundings, there are many other interesting villages to visit, among these we point out Arcidosso, Abbadia San Salvatore, Piancastagnaio and Roccalbegna.