What to see in Cetona? It is a pleasant small village, located
at the foot of the mountain which gave its name to the village,
on the edge of the Valdichiana. Its origin dates back to the
Etruscan's time, its urban layout was realized during to the
phase of Sienese domination in the Middle Ages (15th century)
and to the subsequent Medici period.
The village consists of two concentric circles, or the ancient defensive walls, which surround the large central space where the Rocca stands. Cetona is also an important archaeological site, the wood and the clay attracted the first human settlements as early as prehistoric times (40,000 years ago): in this sense, one thing to see are the Belverde caves.
The thing that strikes the most, arriving in Piazza Garibaldi in Cetona, is to see its monumental size compared to the small village. It is a long rectangle, somewhat disproportionate to the town, which hosts the local market every Saturday morning. It is surrounded by the ancient Palazzo Vitelli, the Loggias, the church of San Michele Arcangelo and the former church of the Santissima Annunziata. My advice is ... sit in the square, sip a good coffee and enjoy the placid atmosphere, before taking a slow stroll along the cobbled streets called "coasts".
One thing to see in Cetona is certainly the Civic Museum. The road that climbs to the left from the Torre del Rivellino (via Roma) leads us to the Museum, where the phases of human settlement on Mount Cetona are documented, from the Palaeolithic to the end of the Bronze Age. Its caves were inhabited by Neanderthals, who left behind chipped stone tools and the remains of hunted animals. An intense population of the area occurred during the second millennium BC, especially in Belverde, on the eastern side of the mountain: the caves are a thing to see.
In addition to the museum, in Cetona it is possible to see the Archaeological Naturalistic Park of Belverde, characterized by some caves such as the cave of San Francesco and the caves of the Poggetto and of the Noce, once used as places of burial and worship. The Park is a place to see: about 40,000 years ago, the caves were frequented by humans. A short distance from the archaeological area is the Belverde Archeodrome, an educational path that completes the picture of the activities related to the Cetona museum. The settings, structures and artefacts reproduced are inspired by the phases of prehistory
On the slopes of Monte Cetona we find the ancient village of
San Casciano dei Bagni. During the guided tour, you will be able
to appreciate the happy combination of pristine vegetation and
thermal waters, which has given fame to its territory since
prehistoric times, also favored by the proximity to the Via
Francigena and the Via Cassia.
There are many Etruscan traces found in San Casciano Bagni, including the discovery of the necropolis of Balena, while the testimony of Orazio traces the foundation of the Fonti Clusinii (ancient name of San Casciano) to the lucumone di Chiusi, Porsenna.
Most recently, in November 2022, 24 bronze statues were found in San Casciano. According to experts, they will revolutionize the history of Etruscan and Roman statuary and you can admire them in the city museum during the guided tour.