Villages, churches and castles among the hills of the Terre di Siena
The countryside of the Sovicille area, largely covered by woods and forest, has remained unspoilt for centuries. South of Sovicille is the rive Merse, a nature reserve with a rich variety of land and water fauna.
The historic centre of the area, at the foot of the Montagnola, is surrounded by walls dating from the fifteenth century and in the twelfth century was the site of a castle belonging to the Bishop of Siena. A few kilometres from Sovicille is the Pieve (parish church) of Ponte allo Spino, one of the most important Romantic-era churches in the whole of Tuscany.
Another Romantic church can be found on the old road in the village of Rosia, where you can admire the bell tower adorned with triple, double and single mullioned windows.
Among the villages to visit in the area, Torri is worth mentioning: it is famous for its abbey, where you can visit the fourteenth-century basilica and the beautiful pavilion. Stigliano village has three hills occupied by towers and fortifications; Brenna, with the river Merse at its edge, is a good place for swimming in summer; at Orgia, there is still a small tower remaining of the frightening castle of the Ardengheschi; Ancaiano has a beautiful church built to a design by Baldassarre Peruzzi; and Simignano has a Romanesque chapel.
Sovicille is full of churches, villas and castles; it is an area to discover slowly, perfect for tourists on foot or bike who want to immerse themselves in the glorious variety of countryside for which Tuscany is famous.