Here’s a far-from-exhaustive list of some of the most beautiful medieval villages in Tuscany.
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most famous and most visited regions, not only for the beauty of its landscape and the quality of its products but also because the walls of its villages have witnessed important historical moments. Here’s a look at some of the beautiful medieval villages in Tuscany.
The city of alabaster (and the clan of the wicked Volturi in Twilight) was one of the main city-states of Tuscany during the Etruscan period, but during the Middle Ages, it became the seat of an important episcopal lordship that governed most of the Tuscan hills. There are many testimonies to these medieval splendors such as the Cathedral, the Medici Fortress and the famous Palazzo dei Priori in its magnificent namesake square.
An incredible fairytale village complete with a stunning panorama and a high rate of traceability: Pitigliano stands on a tuff foundation and appears to be standing on a precipice. The Aldobrandeschi constructed the walls in the ninth century and today, travelers can visit the ruins of Castel dell’Aquila, which is located in the woods near the River Fiora. In addition, St. Joseph is celebrated each spring with a historical re-enactment, the torciata.
3. San Gimignano
A UNESCO World Heritage site, San Gimignano is a European village with incredibly preserved buildings and monuments, letting travelers can admire their original splendor. The town is also located on one of the Via Francigena routes that the Archbishop of Canterbury himself traveled between 990 and 994.
The village of Monteriggioni is dominated by a beautiful medieval castle that was built by the Guelph mayor of the time for defensive purposes. The city’s coat of arms and banner recall the past: the former features three crenelated Guelph towers on a red background while the coat of arms lays in the center of a silver-embroidered red cloth.
Saturnia is known for its fantastic spas. Thanks to an article by Pope Clement III, we know that locals and travelers alike frequented the spas as far back as the twelfth century. The city’s rich history was disputed between Orvieto and Siena, with the last one reigning victorious in 1410.
One of the most famous Tuscan villages, thanks to the success of both ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ and its animated annual festivals. Its small red-roof topped stone houses only add to the city’s charm. The eleventh-century Romanesque cathedral houses many works of art that date back to the Middle Ages.
Collodi has two very famous inhabitants: Carlo Lorenzini, aka Carlo Collodi, and his famous Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who wanted to become a real child. A picturesque medieval village situated on top of a fortress, Collodi has attracted travelers of all ages since the 1883 publication of Pinocchio. Don’t miss Villa Garzoni with its garden, one of the most beautiful places to visit. You can also visit the park dedicated to Pinocchio, a magical place with incredible literary charm.