The Crete Senesi
Crete Senesi is an area located southeast of Siena. The name come from the clay that occasionally emerges from the ground by characterizing the landscape with its typical grey colour. A nature only seemingly less rich than other areas of Tuscany has led many to call it a “moonscape”.
What to do and what to see in the Crete Senesi
Asciano is a must in any itinerary in Crete. The museums organised in Palazzo Corboli (Museo d’Arte Sacra and Museo Archeologico) are a real surprise, the quality and quantity of the exposed works is really impressive!
Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Well positioned on high hill and partially obscured by a thick wood, the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore is one of the most important in Tuscany. Founded in the fourteenth century, the abbey keeps various works of art and a rich library with 40,000 volumes!
Buonconvento is a beautiful town characterized by an intensive use of bricks. Located on the via Francigena and well protected by its walls, the village of Buonconvento has well preserved its characteristics.
If you want to know the traditions and culture of this region we recommend a visit to the Museo etnografico della mezzadria (Ethnographic Museum of sharecropping).
If you are lookinf for relax, Rapolano Terme is what you need. Rapolano has two thermal baths: Terme di San Giovanni and Terme Antica Querciolaia. These spas are powered by sulphurous springs which flow at a temperature of 39 degrees. Also used in various wellness programs, these waters are highly valued for their healing properties.
Crete senesi, thanks to their conformation, offer various routes to follow on foot, by bike or on horseback. For example, you can go by mountain bike from Asciano to Monte Sante Marie.
Another way to discover the landscape of the Crete is by travelling on the historical trains of Treno Natura. A trip in the past on a steam train or on a littorina d’epoca (another kind of vintage train).
Where to eat in the crete senesi
The traditional local cuisine is really of high level and we can recommend a couple of places able to exalt it at best. The first place is La Botteghina in Asciano. This is a small restaurant ideal for a quick meal or snack. The second restaurant that we recommend is located in Buonconvento and is a classic Tuscan “trattoria“: Da Mario.