A tour to discover some of the less mainstream beauties
of the Sienese territory: Monticiano and Monteroni d'Arbia.
Far from the most popular touristic destinations, the Sienese territory hides unique treasures that contain all the essence of Tuscany.
A few kilometers south of San Lorenzo a Linari, Monticiano is located in the picturesque context of the Metalliferous Hills, where villages and nature alternate in the construction of landscapes full of surprises.
If the village of Monticiano is a treasure chest in which to get lost, to discover the thousand streets and timeless views, the most precious jewel of this municipality is located a few kilometers away, embedded in the green hills of Siena, between Val di Merse and Maremma.
Terme di Petriolo, along the Farma stream, it is an oasis of well-being where the waters flow directly from the source at 43°C.
Immersed in a fairytale environment, surrounded by centuries-old trees, the pools offer the opportunity to re-discover the primordial contact with nature, to better enjoy the silence and peace of the surrounding territory, in a condition of absolute relaxation.
Already known in Roman times, mentioned in the works of Cicero and Martial, these springs obtained great success around 1200 A.D., when they became permanently frequented by famous people including the members of the Medici family.
In addition to the spas, along the stream, it develops the homonymous Nature Reserve Park, ideal for excursions and trekking easily suitable for the entire family, to discover the pristine wonders and the numerous animal species that populate these territories.
However, the natural treasures are not the only ones that this reserve can offer. In fact, surrounded by the colors of the majestic trees, it is hidden, as in an enchanting landscape, the Belagaio’s Castle, a fortified complex dated back to the Medieval age.
The Farma stream ends its run inside the Merse river, of which is it’s the first tributary, and not only touches the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, but also gives life to the Natural reserve, which is rich in flora and fauna.
Inside this reserve, always in the municipality of Monticiano, a mandatory visit would be the Museum of Biodiversity, a modern building that shows and explains the great heritage of the biodiversity that you can
find in the territory of Siena and more generally in our planet. Moreover, it shows and explains the actions necessary for the conservation and the complexity of the relationships between humans and natural ecosystems.
Located further East than Monticiano, in the territory of Crete Senesi, the municipality of Monteroni d’Arbia is known to be one of the main stages of Via Francigena.
An enchanted village, symbol of the link with the surrounding countryside that most characterizes this strip of Tuscan land.
In this regard, Grancia di Cuna represents one of the main attractions of the area: the oldest and best-preserved testimony of a Medieval fortified farm in the area.
The structure of this particular architectural complex, among the most unique ones of the whole Sienese countryside, is dated back to before the Twelfth Century, then used as a ‘Hospital’ dedicated to welcome pilgrims and merchants passing along Via Francigena. Over the Centuries, following successions and new possessions, the structure expanded and changed function, developing as a small autonomous village, surrounded by walls built around the fortified farm.
The building that you can visit today, dates back to the Fourteenth Century, with the doors, walkways and towers still perfectly preserved.
Monticiano and Monteroni d’Arbia are just two of the many alternative destinations easily reachable from San Lorenzo to Linari: the province of Siena it is a suitable destination for every kind of tourist, from lovers of art and culture to those who prefer to get lost in the exploration of unspoiled natural landscapes, passing through those who want to retrace history, up to those looking for a journey into flavours.