Staggia Senese is a small village with beautiful walls and an interesting medieval castle. Staggia is found in the municipality of Poggibonsi, from which it’s distant 4 kilometers, it can be reached from Florence or Siena with the Florence-Siena superhighway using the exit of Colle Val D’ Elsa South and continuing on the left (to right if it’s reached from Siena) for approximately three km.
Staggia was during 12th century a feud of the Soarzi family. Its position between Florence and Siena was of strategic importance and starting from 13th century the small village that was risen around the feudal castle developed thanks also to the vicinity with the Via Francigena.
To the end of 13th century, a new feudal family, the Franzesi, taken possession of the castle, they transformed it in a fortified residence. In 1361 the business activity of the Franzesi family went bankrupt and the castle was acquired from the Republic of Florence, was therefore that became an important outpost of the Florentine Republic against the enemy Siena. In 1372 and then in 1431 various works were made in order to improve the fortifications of the castle and the village.
In Staggia is also interesting a visit to the church of Santa Maria Assunta, it was known since 994, although few remnants of the Romanesque church were left by the early 20th century rebuilding. The parish church owns a remarkable art collection, which masterpiece is the painting by Antonio del Pollaiolo, from the 1460s, representing the “Angels Informing Mary of Magdala”.
Remarkable are also the 15th century “Adoration of the Wise Men”, by Francesco Botticini, a mid 14th century “Madonna with Holy Child” of Siennese school, a precious Gothic gilt-copper monstrance from the second half of the 14th century, a 1574 “Visitation” painted by Francesco Maria Butteri, and a “Christ’s Pietà” painted in 1579 by Arcangelo Salimbeni.
Today the castle and the walls of Staggia are still imposing, of the originls three gates are still visible the North-east Gate and the Florentine Gate, while the Senese Gate has disappeared. Its walls still have to regular intervals various polygonal towers. The castle, that has an irregular plant, has two cylindrical towers and a high square tower, it’s in phase of restoration and will become a luxury hotel.
Weekly market in Staggia Senese: Saturday
Via del Pollaio (Hours 8.00-13.00)
- AA. VV. “Toscana” Guide Rosse Touring Club Italiano, 2007