In Valdichiana, in the province of Arezzo, you can take a
guided tour of the small village of Lucignano, one of the most
interesting examples of medieval town planning for its
elliptical plan with concentric rings.
Orange flag of the Touring Club, one of the "most beautiful villages in Italy", Lucignano has a remarkable landscape, artistic and food and wine heritage, which give the visitor the feeling of a suspended place, out of time. The guided tour of Lucignano allows you to discover a village linked to ancient traditions, little known by mass tourism, not surprisingly called the "pearl of the Valdichiana".
The first evidence of the presence of a residential nucleus dates back to the Etruscan period, but during the Roman dominion, in the 1st century. BC, it was the consul Lucio Licinio Lucullo who founded a castrum: in honor of him, it was called Lucinianum. From that moment, the town experienced alternating periods also, and above all, due to its position of connection with the various provinces of the Valdichiana, which made it a nerve center for the defense of the territory and an important commercial crossroads. The guided tour of the historic center of Lucignano will make you discover its glorious medieval past, witnessed above all by the complex masterpiece of urban planning.
During the guided tour I will take you to the highest part of the village, seat of the thirteenth-century Palazzo Comunale, on whose façade there are numerous coats of arms and epigraphs of podestà and vicars who held public offices, during the sixteenth - seventeenth century. The first floor of the building was occupied by the residence and offices of the Vicariate of Valdichiana, while today it is the seat of the municipal offices. The ground floor, seat of the ancient Court and its prisons, currently houses the Municipal Museum which, since 1924, has collected the most precious works of art in Lucignano, including the imposing Golden Tree, a jewel of medieval goldsmithing and compendium of Franciscan symbolism.
On the hill in front of Lucignano, during a guided tour, we can see the remains of an ancient fortress begun by the Sienese in the first half of the 16th century. In 1553, Lucignano passed under the Florentines, however Duke Cosimo was able to finish only the two bastions of the fortress, which still exist today: the Baluardo del Calcione and the Baluardo della Purità. Just beyond the fortress, there is the sixteenth-century Sanctuary of the Madonna della Querce, so called due to the occurrence of miraculous visions linked to an oak. The church, attributed to Giorgio Vasari, was built in the place where the inhabitants of Lucignano drew the water that treated hypogalysis and sterility.
Lucignano is a small village, but rich in culture and
traditions, where different events take place every year which,
attracting tourists and local people, celebrates nature and the
changing of the seasons.
Therefore, in conjunction with the events, during the guided tour you can attend fairs, village festivals and events related to the colors, sounds and local flavors of the Valdichiana. Lucignano is also characterized by a constant presence of flower growers and nurserymen who, especially in the month of May, display their floral triumphs in the “Festa dei Fiori” and in the “Maggiolata”.
Borgo Castellano di Gargonza dates back to the 13th century and a guided tour of the fiefdom will immerse you in a fairytale setting. Already controlled by Arezzo as a village of the Ubertini Counts, Gargonza had a strategic importance in the Valdichiana so that the castle was, in the Middle Ages, the subject of disputes between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Perhaps the most important event in Gargonza was the presence of Dante Alighieri in 1304, who participated in the meeting between the Ghibellines who escaped from Florence and the Arezzo people: book a guided tour in a fortified rural village, a stone's throw from Lucignano, considered the "pearl of the Valdichiana".
The system of clayey hills south of Siena are called the Crete Senesi. The Crete Senesi are peculiar undulations of the soil of calcareous nature, which change color according to the seasons (white, honey, purple), marked by deep erosion almost totally devoid of tree-lined areas. This landscape is much loved by photographers who, at the end of the reportage, satisfy their palate in Asciano, a village of evident medieval origins but already inhabited by the Etruscans. In this regard, the Etruscan Museum is of particular interest in Asciano, where the finds found in the necropolis of Poggio Pinci are preserved.
In the heart of the Crete Senesi, in an unmistakable and relaxing landscape, is the village of Rapolano Terme. The guided tour, entering through the Porta Nuova, will lead you to the oldest part of the town, the Castellare, with the church of San Bartolomeo and the Palazzo Pretorio, now the seat of the Municipality. In Rapolano Terme, between hot baths, mud baths and whirlpools, you can choose to spend a single day or an entire holiday, alternating relaxation and visiting the surrounding area. The Antica Querciolaia and the Terme di San Giovanni, the two Rapolano establishments, are places of peace immersed in panoramas of incomparable beauty.
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