Yearly Archives: 2016

THE MAREMMA REGION

The Maremma region extends along the Tyrrhenian coast from the mouth of the River Cecina beyond Tarquinia. The name can derive, according to scholar, either from the Latin “maritime”, or maybe from the Castilian “marismas” which means "swamp". The coast is mostly flat land, interrupted by the Piombino Promontory, Punta Ala, the Mountains...

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4 May 2016

SAN GIMIGNANO, TOWN OF THE MEDIEVAL TOWERS

San Gimignano, town of the medieval Towers. Soaring on a hilltop overlooking Valdelsa, in a territory most certainly inhabited in Etruscan times, the town is an outstanding testimonial to medieval Tuscan urban planning. It was already an important market centre in the 10C, at the crossroads of important routes. In the 13C it...

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14 April 2016

THE MEDIEVAL BORGO OF GARGONZA

The tiny village of the medieval Borgo of Gargonza is situated a few kilometres from Monte San Savino, at the boundary between the Val d’Ambra and the Val d’Orcia, along State Road 73.

The landscape context is one of the most suggestive in the western Valdichiana: the castle is built on a...

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12 April 2016

THE VALDICHIANA VALLEY

The Valdichiana Valley is a green, well-cultivated dale about 100 km long, located between the plains of Arezzo and Orvieto, surrounded by mountains and hill clad with silvery olive groves, and including the hydrographic basin of the Canale Maestro della Chiana.

Human settlements in the Valdichiana have really ancient origins. The various...

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8 April 2016

THE ABBEY OF FARNETA

The Abbey of Farneta, dedicated to Santa Maria, rises on the small hill of Farneta, close to the beautiful town of Cortona, and excluded from the phenomenon of becoming a marsh thanks to the 320 metres of altitude that characterize it.

The foundation of the original monastery is reportedly to be attributed...

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6 April 2016

THE CASTLE OF MONTECCHIO VESPONI

The name of the Castle of Montecchio Vesponi derives from a corruption of “Castrum Montis Guisponi”, a name acquired from the last name of the Aretine family that originally owned the locality. This small fortress, built on a “monticulus” at an altitude of 364 metres a.s.l., has been documented ever since the 11th...

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1 April 2016

THE LAKES OF CHIUSI AND MONTEPULCIANO

The Lakes of Chiusi and Montepulciano are situated right in the middle of the Valdichiana, both within the province of Siena, they are connected by the Passo della Querce channel and are a residual area of the vast swamp that covered the whole valley of the Chiana river. The whole area is a...

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30 March 2016

THE RURAL HOUSES OF VALDICHIANA

The phenomenon of the rural houses strewn through the plain of the Valdichiana or along the hill promontories is something which always attracts the attention of the visitors. Some are now used as country dwellings; others have been restructured to give hospitality to farm holidays facilities and not only; still others are, instead, on...

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25 March 2016

Etruscans Masters of Writing exhibition at MAEC

Etruscans Masters of Writing exhibition at MAEC ("Etruschi Maestri di Scrittura") was inaugurated last Friday, March 18th in Cortona at the Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona (MAEC) and it will be open until July 31st.

After the recent discoveries of Etruscan inscriptions near Montpellier and the discovery in Cortona of the...

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25 March 2016

THE BEAUTIFUL CERTALDO IN VALDELSA

The beautiful town of Certaldo (Firenze province) in Valdelsa is of Etruscan-Roman origin, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds scattered throughout the city, such as pottery, tools and Etruscan tombs. Certaldo has two centres, the older one rising on high land (Certaldo Alto or Rione Castello), and the other lying below (Certaldo...

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23 March 2016