What to see in and around Asciano
Immersed in nature, the commune of Asciano is a small jewel dating back to medieval times that still attracts many tourists every year. The beauty of the surrounding area and the uniqueness of the Crete Senesi make this place an ideal destination for those seeking peace and tranquillity who also want to discover all the riches of medieval art. To ensure you don’t miss any of the wonders this area has to offer, here are some tips on what to see in and around Asciano.
Places to visit in Asciano
With its narrow streets and small historic centre, Asciano represents the typical medieval village of timeless beauty. Located in the heart of the Sienese hills, a few kilometres away from Siena, Asciano offers many attractions and points of interest. Let’s explore the unmissable places in Asciano together.
Church of St. Francis
The Church of San Francesco, also known as the Church of San Lorenzo, was erected in the second half of the 13th century on the ruins of an old Longobard castle. Today, it represents one of the main buildings built in the Franciscan style: its construction dates back to the same period as the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Over time, especially between the 17th and 18th centuries, it underwent a number of Baroque-influenced modernisations, such as the addition of some altars and the final closure of most of the Gothic windows.
The exterior of the church is characterised by a gabled façade with a rectangular window replacing the typical Gothic rose window. The interior consists of a single, wide nave, the walls of which are decorated with frescoes dating back to the 12th century. They depict Christological themes and episodes from the life of St Francis.
The Palazzo Corboli museum is located in the historical centre of the medieval village of Asciano. Housed in a stunning medieval palace, once the residence of the noble Bandinelli family, today it preserves some of the most important masterpieces of Etruscan and medieval art. The museum’s exhibitions are spread over three floors. In the first room, visitors can admire a number of frescoes from the church of San Francesco, which have been transferred to the museum over the course of time in order to better preserve them.
In addition to this collection, in the archaeology section visitors can admire a number of artefacts and testimonies dating back to Etruscan and Roman times. These were discovered during excavations of the Etruscan settlement in the Upper Ombrone Valley.
Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore is located in the heart of the evocative Crete Senesi and is only a few kilometres from the medieval village of Asciano. The construction of this imposing building dates back to the Middle Ages, when a young nobleman from a Sienese family decided to abandon his wealth to devote himself to a solitary life in this picturesque area.
From that moment on, numerous pilgrims and wayfarers made this fascinating place a privileged destination: later on, the congregation of the Olivetan Benedictine monks was founded here. Today, it is a fascinating site that attracts many tourists.
Around the municipality of Asciano, visitors can admire one of the extraordinary scenic wonders of the Tuscan territory, the Crete Senesi. Formed by the erosion of water and rain, these clay hills attract numerous tourists and nature lovers from all over Italy. This stunning landscape is, in fact, protected and varies in form and colour with the changing seasons. From these picturesque hills, visitors can appreciate the beauty of the Tuscan countryside and the magical medieval town of Siena in the distance.
Booking a tasting session
Tuscany is one of the leading regions in wine production. Its vast territory produces some of the best known wine labels in Italy and the world, such as Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Chianti DOCG, Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Morellino di Scansano. To fully enjoy this wonderful area, you can also book a wine tasting session. A visit to a wine cellar offers the opportunity to discover how these excellent products are made and to taste and savour the best Tuscan wines alongside typical dishes.
Sunset photography tour
Natural landscapes of extraordinary beauty and an evocative view of the Sienese hills are two elements that characterise the magnificent municipality of Asciano and its surroundings. This is an area rich in history and tradition, characterised by natural masterpieces, such as The Crete Senesi, as well as spectacular works of art, such as the Sito Transitoire by French artist Jean-Paul Philippe. In short, the perfect place to treat yourself to a magical sunset photography tour. This tour is the perfect option for photography enthusiasts as well as those who simply like to observe and admire nature.
What to see near Asciano: the city of Siena
Located just a few kilometres away from the municipality of Asciano, the medieval city of Siena is an unmissable destination for those who want to fully explore the wonders and traditions of the Tuscan region. This unique place has managed to retain its original splendour and still attracts millions of tourists a year.
If you find yourself in Asciano, Siena is a stop not to be missed on your tour of Tuscany!