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Castle of Sarteano, Siena. Autor und Copyright Marco Ramerini

Sarteano: a walled town dominated by an imposing castle

Sarteano, is an interesting medieval town situated at 525 meters above sea level in the southern province of Siena, the town is just 6 km from the highway (A1) exit Chiusi-Chianciano. At Sarteano was born in 1439 Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, who became Pope in 1503 for less than a month with the name of Pius III.

Popular tourist resort, Sarteano maintains its medieval appearance, of which the main building is the imposing castle of Manenti, dating from the twelfth or thirteenth century and renovated in the fifteenth century. The castle is surrounded by a double circle of walls enclosing an imposing square keep with round towers at the sides. Sarteano was a stronghold of the Republic of Siena during the Middle Ages. A part of the walls were destroyed and dismantled during the nineteenth century. In medieval walls are still visible some gates including the Porta Monalda, Porta Umbra and Porta di Mezzo.

The village retains some fine churches and maintains the characteristic medieval mark in the streets and in the buildings of the old town. The church of San Francesco of the fourteenth century, has a Renaissance façade, and has within it some frescoes from the church of Santa Vittoria. In the church of San Martino there are some interesting paintings including the Annunciation (16th century) by Domenico Beccafumi. The collegiate church of San Lorenzo is a late Renaissance building (16th century).

La Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Sarteano, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Church of San Lorenzo, Sarteano, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

The Town Hall is a building which originated in the fourteenth century, but which through the centuries has been heavily modified, inside there is the eighteenth-century Teatro Comunale of Arrischianti. Other notable buildings of Sarteano are the Palace Goti-Fanelli (16th century), the Palace Cennini, Palace Sisti-Berdini (14th century), the Palace Piccolomini (15th century) and the Palace Gabrielli (sixteenth century) in the latter Palace archeology lovers can visit the archaeological Museum of Sarteano rich with many ancient objects found in the area and with reproductions of Etruscan tombs, including the painted tomb of the Quadriga Infernale dating from the second half of the fourth century. B.C.

Sarteano

Sarteano

Among the excursions to do in the area of Sarteano the most beautiful are those that lead to the medieval village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro – real viewpoint over the Val d’Orcia -, to the Camaldolese Abbey of San Piero in Campo (11th century), and finally the abbey of Spineta.

A few kilometers from Sarteano, near the resort Spineta, there are also the ruins of the Castello delle Moiane.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

Weekly market in Sarteano: Friday.
Piazza Bargagli

Tourist Information Office – Sarteano
Ufficio Informazioni
Corso Garibaldi, 9
tel. +39 0578 269204 – fax 0578269204

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007
  • Minetti Alessandra “La tomba della quadriga infernale. Nella necropoli delle Pianacce di Sarteano” 2006, L’Erma di Bretschneider
  • Marrocchi Mario “Sarteano. Tra val d’Orcia e val di Chiana. Itinerari scelti” 1996, Pieraldo
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