Museum of Historic Grancia and Olive Oil from Serre
Discovering the grance, the ancient fortified farms
The Museum of the Historic Grancia and Olive Oil is located in the characteristic village of Serre Di Rapolano and traces the history of the grance, ancient fortified farms, which have been part of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala since the fourteenth century. In fact, the grances were built specifically to manage the amount of land that worshippers left to the hospital and to store the agricultural harvest before transporting it to Siena, where it was then used for charitable purposes.
The large harvest volumes were stored inside these structures and the former barns, oil mills and cellars, used to store grain, oil and wine are still intact inside. Specifically, the Grancia of Serre Di Rapolano dating back to the thirteenth century, was a centre of local agricultural production able to supply a good part of the dietary needs of Santa Maria della Scala. As evidence of this, photographs and documents bear witness to the history not only of the communities of Rapolano and Serre but also of the whole province of Siena.
The museum offers visitors two itineraries: the first dedicated to the history and the overall functions of the grancia, illustrates the organizational system and how the various working roles were distributed within the structure.
Set inside a machinery area of a former oil mill, the second itinerary describes oil cultivation and production in detail. You can also taste and buy locally produced oil in the museum.