What to visit in the surrounding area

Casole d’Elsa: A stone’s throw away from our Residence.

The centre of Casole is bustling with activities! There are artists’ studio-shops, where you can buy works, and where children can take part in workshops, and also a wide range of restaurants. The civic archaeological (and church) museum is also full of character, and you can also visit the adjacent church.

The museum has Etruscan finds from tombs found in the local area, as well as works dating from the 14th to the later 16th century. 

For lovers of art and wellness, you can also visit the wonderful “Dreamwoods” sculpture park, by the German artist Deva Manfredo, who has been making works for 40 years using stones and salvaged natural materials. 

San Gimignano: UNESCO Heritage Site. The town of the medieval towers.

We would certainly recommend that you pay a visit to the civic museum, in the so-called Torre Grossa. The entrance fee is very affordable, and you will be able to admire not only the various works on display, but also the panorama from the highest part of the town. What’s more, this area is well-known for a very fine white wine called VERNACCIA, typical of this town, and famous throughout Italy. 

Colle Val d’Elsa: Stop-off 32 along the Via Francigena

A medieval “borgo” divided between an upper part (the borgo), which was a destination for pilgrims and travellers, and the lower part, where old historic buildings stand alongside modern constructions.

Also located in the borgo are the house of Arnolfo di Cambio, and the Civic and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. Colle is also known as the City of Crystal, and glass was made here as far back as the Middle Ages. Here you can visit the new Crystal Museum, or step inside the glassworkers’ workshops and the most important shops selling crystal glass.

This is also the town that the RIVER ELSA passes through, and you can visit the springs at Le Vene and Le Caldane for a pleasant picnic, or else go to the Baluardo to admire its views over the town of Colle. Places and sites of special interest are: Porta Nova, Il Torrione, the Duomo, Piazza Santa Caterina, Bastione Sapia, the “tower house” of Arnolfo, Piazza Arnolfo, and the Palazzo Campana bridge (all in the upper town). 

Volterra: The Town of Alabaster.

This old historic town is full of lovely squares you can visit, such as Piazza dei Priori, one of the finest in Tuscany, and completed in the 13th century. Piazza San Giovanni is the town’s religious centre, and includes the basilica and the baptistery. There is also the Etruscan Gate, and the Porta dell’Arco, one of the finest monuments from the Etruscan world. Here you can also visit the Roman Theatre in the Vallebuona zone, and the Archaeological Park with its Etruscan acropolis. One of Volterra’s many attractions is the fact it is the Town of Alabaster, and you can buy alabaster work at one of the many local shops.