San Quirico d’Orcia, located over 400 meters above sea level, is situated 45 km from Siena on SS. Cassia, to get there you pass through the villages of Monteroni d’Arbia, Buonconvento and Torrenieri, near the intersection to Pienza you arrive in San Quirico.
Formerly the village was called San Quirico in Osenna. In medieval times it was quite important, so that Frederick II chose it as the seat of a judge and then in the twelfth century it became the seat of an imperial vicar. Starting in 1256 became the seat of a podestà appointed by Siena.
San Quirico retains much of the walls of the 15th century, missing only the north east and the southern side. Entering from Porta Nuova you find Piazza della Libertà, where is the church of Santa Maria di Vitaleta, always in the same square is the entrance to Leonini Gardens (Horti Leonini), a city park built in 1581 on plan of Diomede Leoni, man of confidence of the Medicean family, who in 1535, received, from Francesco I de’ Medici, land located between the ramparts of San Quirico d’Orcia. The garden is an excellent example of classic Italian garden. Within the gardens is a statue of 1688 the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici. The Horti Leonini are enriched with other statues with inscriptions and symbolic connotations that celebrate Diomede Leoni, owner-designer of the gardens.
Crossed the Horti Leonini, we arrive to the small church of Santa Maria, built in Romanesque-Lombard style in the 11th-12th century. Continuing on the left along via Dante Alighieri isa house of 14th century, here the tradition wants that Santa Caterina da Siena lived. Across piazza della Libertà and and proceed along Via Dante Alighieri meet some medieval buildings, then turning right into via Poliziano, one arrives at Porta Cappuccini a gate of 13th century.
Returning to Via Dante, is located before the Renaissance Praetorian Palace and then the Palazzo Chigi (17th century) a building with inside interesting frescoes. Near Palazzo Chigi is the wonderful collegiate or parish church of Osenna (Saints Quirico and Giulitta), the most beautiful and interesting building of San Quirico, with three Romanesque portals, dating from 1080. It was built to commemorate the martyrdom of San Quirico, who was killed, only five years old, from the Romans, for having declared Christian.
The visit of San Quirico continue to the wonderful Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia (Saints Quirico and Giulitta).
Weekly market San Quirico: 2nd & 4th tuesday of the month
Information Offices – San Quirico d’Orcia
Piazza Chigi 2
tel. +39 0577 899724 fax + 39 0577 899721
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