Montaione boasts medieval origins. Surrounded by the typical Tuscan vineyards, olive groves, rows of cypresses and wide forests, the village lies 400 metres above sea level at a 10 minute drive from the holiday farm.
The main square gives a suggestive panoramic view of Valdelsa.
Things to see: the Palazzo Pretorio, dating back to 1257, and the 2nd-century Roman cistern in Sant'Antonio, in a place called “Il Muraccio”.
Particularly interesting is San Vivaldo, a small village just a few kilometres from Montaione situated at the centre of a wide forest called Boscotondo. At the beginning of the 14th century the Franciscan Friar Vivaldo Stricchi from San Gimignano retired in the forest, where he lived as a hermit. His mortal remains were found in the hollow trunk of the chestnut where he lived. A hermitage was built in the very place, which in 1497 became a monastery. San Vivaldo's main feature is its Sacro Monte (Sacred Mount), also called Gerusalemme di Toscana (Tuscan Jerusalem), a group of chapels and tempiettos decorated with terracottas and paintings of the Della Robbia school dating back to the 16th century. It was Fra' Tommaso from Florence who planned and realised the Sacro Monte. The Gerusalemme di Toscana in San Vivaldo is a perfect reduced-scale reproduction of the town of Jerusalem as it was in the 15th century. Fra' Tommaso aimed at reproducing in Tuscany the most important places connected with the preaching and Passion of Jesus Christ.
Immersed in a natural oasis and surrounded by a 1200-hectare estate, the castle of Castelfalfi is worth a visit as well.
is about 40 km from our holiday Farm. The visitor to Florence should see first of all "Galleria degli Uffizi" wich contains one of the greatest collections of works of art in the world. Next to "Galleria degli Uffizi" is "Palazzo Vecchio" with its monumental buildings created in the 15th and 16th centuries rich in frescos, furniture, paintings and tapestry.
If the weather is nice, it is wel worth going for a walk in "Viale dei colli" towards "Piazzale Michelangelo" where you can enjoy the best view in town.
You can't miss "il Battistero", il "bel San Giovanni di Dante", its construction dates back to the 5th century with its wonderful golden doors by Gioberti.
Next to it is the "Duomo" or "Santa Maria del Fiore" a huge building started by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296 on the site of the ancient cathedral of Santa Reparata. It was carried on by different architecs and painters, among them Giotto. On the right of the Duomo is the bell-tower started by Giotto in 1344 and, after his death, continued by Andrea Pisano and by Francesco Talenti in 1359 completed.
The most famous square "Piazza della Signoria" with the superb "Palazzo Vecchio", home of the town hall, is a must to visit. On its right are the arches of the magnificent "Loggia dei Lanzi". The square also has statues (among the most famous ones "Perseus" by Benvenuto Cellini and "The Sabines' rape" by Gianbologna) and it is like an open air museum.
The Academy Gallery houses some of the most famous works of Michelangelo including "David" and paintings by Florentine artists from the 13th to the 16th centuries.
Finally, after this quick look at the most important monuments in Florence, the largest Florentine palace is "Palazzo Pitti". It includes "Galleria Palatina" (works of Italian and foreign artists from the 15th to the 18th centuries), the modern art gallery (19th-20th centuries Tuscan painting), the silver and carriges museums and the ex-royal apartments.
At the beck of Palazzo Pitti, one of the est examples of Italian gardens "Boboli Garden" with statues, fountains and extremely rare vegetation.
Some of the best known churches are "Santa Croce" (tombs of great Italian artists), "San Lorenzo" (Medici family's tombs by Michelangelo), "Santa Maria del Carmine" (Brancacci Chapel with frescos by Masaccio ), "Santa Maria Novella" (crucifixes by Brunelleschi and Giotto), "San Miniato al Monte", "Santo Spirito" and "San Marco Church and Convento".
is within 20 minutes by car from the holiday farm. The village hosts the Festa Internazionale della Ceramica (International Pottery Festival), an exhibition of local hand-made goods, featuring also historical reconstructions, shows and recollections of historical events.
The Museo Archeologico della Ceramica houses archaeological finds dating back from Prehistory to the Middle Ages and locally produced chinaware that has been found during archaeological excavations in the town.
San Gimignano is a characteristic famous village in Siena countryside, a 20 minute drive from Agriturismo Le Docce. With its towers, San Gimignano is one of the most visited Tuscan towns. Not only is San Gimignano rich in pottery and alabaster shops, but also in churches and museums housing extraordinary works of art by Florentine and Sienese artists. The town hall has always been a protagonist in the life of San Gimignano and today houses various works of art. Piazza della Cisterna owes its name to the big travertine cistern decorated with the coat of arms of Podestà Malavolti, who had it rebuilt 1346. Numerous palaces and towers, including Palazzo Cortesi-Lolli, Palazzo Lupi and the Torre del Diavolo, dominate the square.
The multi-awarded ice-cream parlour in Piazza della Cisterna is an obliged stop where to taste the proverbial Vernaccia di San Gimignano ice cream and other specialities.
situated about 40 kilometres from our Holiday Farm is a medieval town which has reached the present day intact. All kind of tourist loves this town , for the beauty and for the art work’s richness. Piazza del Campo, or the Campo as it is more simply known, is the meeting point of the three hills on which the town is built. The piazza, one of the most beautiful in the world, host the Palio of Siena.
Palazzo Pubblico, built in the 1300’s, is one of the most elegant buildings in Tuscany and one of the very best examples of Gothic architecture.
The Cathedral of Siena (Sienna) is one of the purest jewels of Italian art. The facade is a Gothic masterpiece with sculptures, columns, mosaics and pinnacles, created by Giovanni Pisano. Work on the Cathedral began in 1100: construction work went on for a further two centuries Amidst numerous pillars, it encloses the famous parchment by Nicola Pisano, the chapel of the Madonna del Voto, the wooden choir and the glass window by Duccio di Buoninsegna. It also presents the Piccolomini altar with sculptures by Michelangelo, the chapel of Saint John the Baptist with a fresco by Pinturicchio and a statue by Donatello, the Piccolomini bookshop with frescoes by Pinturicchio and the floor with 46 inlaid tiles.
The Cathedral Museum houses the Majesty by Duccio di Buoninsegna and the most important collection of statues by Giovanni Pisano.
The National picture gallery offers a complete picture of the Sienese school of painting from its origins to the 1600’s.
The most important churches to visit are the Basilica of San Francesco, the Basilica of Sant’Agostino, that of Santa Maria del Carmine and that of Santa Maria dei Servi, the Church of Santa Maria della Scala and that of Fontegiusta.
Another interesting church is San Domenico, with the adjacent house of Santa Caterina, which has been converted into a chapter house.
The so-called city of crystal is a 30 minute drive from Agriturismo Le Docce. It is divided into two parts: atop a hills stands the ancient Colle Val d'Elsa, rich in monuments and palaces, at the foot of the same hill stretches the most modern part of the town, with the airy Piazza Arnolfo di Cambio at the centre. At present, 90% of Italian crystal glassware – appreciated both in Italy and abroad – is produced in Colle Val d'Elsa. The Duomo dates back to the early 17th century and in an internal courtyard houses the lowest part of the ancient façade of the Romanesque church of San Salvatore. The Museo Civico e d'Arte Sacra and the Museo Archeologico are well worth a visit. On Friday mornings Colle Val d'Elsa hosts a weekly street market.
Stretching on a steep ridge 550 metres above sea level surrounded by sheer ravines a 50 minute drive from Agriturismo Le Docce, Volterra houses jewels of Etruscan, Roman, medieval and Renaissance art and dominates the whole valley of the river Cecina up to the sea.
Immersed in a unspoilt landscape, Volterra is a town on a human scale renowned all over the world for its craftsmen working alabaster.
Volterra is rich in Etruscan and more modern monuments and works of art which are to be admired while simply strolling in its historical centre or in the Museo Etrusco, in the Pinacoteca Civica and in the Museo di Arte Sacra.
Apart from the suggestive medieval city walls, the well-preserved city gates are still to be admired. In the wide archaeological excavation area just outside the medieval city walls is the Roman theatre dating back to the 1st century BC.
Agriturismo Le Docce suggests the following restaurants:
Il Castagno: Via Volterrana 2 (Gambassi Terme)
Taverna Antica Fonte: Via Valdracca 25 (Certaldo)
Ristoro Poggio a Issi: Loc. Settefonti (San Gimignano)
Dista 45 km dal nostro agriturismo è situata in una vasta pianura alluvionale (4 metri sul livello del mare) a pochi chilometri dalla costa tirrenica, Pisa si distende sulle due rive del fiume Arno.
Tra i maggiori centri culturali d'Italia, Pisa conserva un ricco patrimonio artistico, originale rielaborazione medievale di influenze islamiche, lombarde e locali.
Da ricordare lo stupendo duomo e la sua torre pendente, un monumento che fa parlare il mondo in quanto dichiarato come una delle sette meraviglie.
Capoluogo di provincia della Toscana e sede arcivescovile, la città è oggi un prestigioso centro universitario e di ricerca.
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