Casole d’Elsa is a small town in the Val d’Elsa, which has less than four thousand inhabitants, the place is a beautiful medieval village that is located in a dominant position on a hill 417 meters high and about 14 km from Colle Val d’Elsa.
The history of Casole d’Elsa dates back to the eleventh century when Volterra founded a castle on the site of the village. This castle was enlarged with the passing of years and became a possession of Siena in the thirteenth century. The village of Casole was positioned near the border between Siena and Florence and to better defend it the republic of Siena on several occasions strengthened the fortifications of Casole.
Among the notable buildings the Collegiate Church built in the twelfth century in Romanesque-Gothic style, is a building with a nave that houses numerous works of art among them: the Cenotaph of Beltramo Aringhieri – a Gothic work of the fourteenth century by Marco Romano -, paintings, frescoes and pottery. Under the Collegiate are visible the remains of the previous Romanesque church.
Next to the Collegiate is the Canonica, a construction of the beginning of the fifteenth century, is now the seat of the Archaeological and the Collegiate Museum, in this museum you can see some archaeological remains found in the area and an interesting collection of religious art with paintings of the 14th and 15th century.
Also interesting are the Praetorian Palace and the Rocca Senese both dating from the fourteenth century. The Rocca Senese is now the seat of the municipality. Just outside the town is the Romanesque church of San Niccolò which serves as the cemetery chapel, inside the church there are frescoes of the seventeenth century by Francesco Rustici.
In the nearby village of Mensano worth visiting the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista built in the twelfth century, with a nice portal. Noteworthy inside the church are the 14 carved capitals of the columns that divide the aisles, considered among the best examples of Romanesque sculpture in the area of Siena.
Weekly market in Casole d’Elsa: 1st and 3rd Monday of the month
Piazza della libertà 8.00-13.00
Information Offices – Casole d’Elsa
Information and tourist services
Piazza P. Luchetti 53031 Casole d’Elsa
Tel. 0577 – 949737/8 Fax 0577 – 949740
- AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
- Scali Luciano; Anselmi Barbara; Zangrandi Camillo “Val di Merse. Casole d’Elsa, Chiusdino, Monticiano, Murio, Radicondoli, Sovicille” 2005, Aska Edizioni