Monteroni d’Arbia: things to see
Monteroni d’Arbia is a picturesque Tuscan village nestled between the magnificent Crete Senesi hills and the spectacular landscape of the Val d’Orcia, easily accessible from wonderful Siena. Rich in history and centuries-old traditions, it is an unmissable stop for admirers of the beauty of this splendid territory, wanting to savour the culinary traditions of Tuscany. Let’s discover together the sights of Monteroni d’Arbia.
What to see in Monteroni d’Arbia
The history of Monteroni d’Arbia goes back to Etruscan times and has always been linked to the presence of the Via Francigena, which, for centuries, made this area a destination for numerous pilgrimages. This charming village, nestled in the Sienese hills, features narrow alleys and small, stone-built squares where you can admire ancient buildings and monuments dating back to the mediaeval period. In addition, Monteroni d’Arbia boasts numerous hiking and cycling routes that are perfect for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in the nature of the Tuscan landscape and, at the same time, enjoy the traces of a rich and centuries-old history. Here are some suggestions about what to visit in Monteroni d’Arbia.
In the centre of Monteroni d’Arbia village stands the Mulino Fortificato, a watermill dating back to the 1st century B.C., still considered one of the earliest plants in history for the processing of raw materials. In fact, it was used to supply wheat and flour to all the farms and hamlets surrounding the village and, at peak processing times, produced up to 8 tonnes of wheat.
Crete Senesi hills
Monteroni d’Arbia’s strategic location offers magnificent views of the famous Crete Senesi hills. The name refers to the unusual clay composition of the soil, which takes on different hues depending on the seasons of the year: in spring it is deep green, in summer it turns a burnt yellow, in autumn it is characterised by red and orange hues, and in winter it turns a silvery grey. The Crete Senesi hills are criss-crossed by numerous panoramic roads and paths that allow you to fully appreciate the beauty of this landscape rich in vineyards, cypress trees, fields of olive trees and mediaeval villages.
Grancia di Cuna
The Grancia di Cuna is one of the oldest surviving examples of a fortified medieval farm. Even today, it still represents a perfect example of synergy between history and landscape that characterises this magnificent area. Erected in 1224 by the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala of Siena, the Grancia di Cuna developed into a small, self-contained, walled, mediaeval village, in the centre of which a genuine farm fortress can be found.
Church of St James and St Christopher
One of the main churches in Monteroni d’Arbia is the ancient mediaeval Church of Saints James and Christopher. Built in the 12th century, it stands at the entrance to the fortified Grancia di Cuna. The church has a gabled façade with a Romanesque-style rose window and features a single nave. The interior of the church is lit by two large windows built in the Gothic period. Inside are some frescoes dating back to 1300, still partially preserved and depicting the Madonna and Child, the Presentation in the Temple and the Adoration of the Magi.
Monteroni d’Arbia is located a few kilometres south of Siena, an ancient town with a timeless charm that is a must-see for lovers of mediaeval history, but also for anyone interested in the ancient traditions that characterise this village. Renowned for the Palio di Siena, one of the most famous events in the world, it also offers magnificent buildings and monuments dating back to the Middle Ages, such as the Torre del Mangia, the Palazzo Pubblico, the Duomo di Siena complex and many more. If you are visiting Monteroni d’Arbia, don’t miss this spectacular town that still attracts millions of tourists every year.