Monticiano and the Castello di Tocchi in Tuscany, Italy

Val di Merse







San Galgano


Monticiano Monticiano church

The river Farma marks the natural boundary between the provinces of Sienna and Grosseto in Tuscany, Italy, before joining the Merse and flowing into the Ombrone and so to the sea near Grosseto. Monticiano is located on a hill overlooking the river Merse, a short distance from the Abbey of San Galgano. During the mediaeval period, Monticiano was a possession of the Bishops of Volterra, when it had a castle, and then in the 13 C it fell under the control of the Siennese and later the Florentines. In the 17 C, the Medici conceded it as a fief to the Counts of Elci. 

The late-Romanesque Church of Sant’Agostino (1291-1362) which has a later baroque interior, is situated at the entrance to the main piazza of Monticiano. In the adjacent former monastery, the chapter house is decorated with a cycle of monochrome frescoes depicting the Passion by the Siennese painters Bartolo di Fredi, Guidoriccio Cozzarelli and Giovanni di Paolo and a Virgin Enthroned with St Augustine and the Blessed Antony de'Patrizzi by a Siennese painter influenced by Taddeo di Bartolo (1422). This monastery is in Gothic style and is one of the oldest Augustinian hermitages. It was part of the same Augustinian congregation that included the convents of Lecceto, San Leonardo al Lago and Santa Lucia.

Higher up in the old part of Monticiano, there is the Church of Saints Giusto and Clemente, founded in the 12 C, with a facade in square-hewn stone, a portal decorated with palmettes and a curiously small bell-tower. Also worth seeking out are the Palazzo Callaini and the Antico Spedale, transformed into a church, where there is a curious decoration under the side-door: a snake with a lily in its mouth.

The area around Monticiano has numerous forest and country paths that are ideal for hiking, bicycling and horse riding. There are numerous rare plant and animal species, including otters, alpine newts and freshwater crabs. Worth seeing are the locality of San Lorenzo a Merse with the ancient castle and the Romanesque church, the hamlet of Castello di Tocchi, the ruins of Castellaccio, Monte Quoio and Renna, as well as the villages of Iesa, Scalvaia, Bagni di Petriolo, Torniella and Il Santo.

fortified village of Castello di Tocchi

View of the interior of the fortified village of Castello di Tocchi

Castello di Tocchi

Castello di Tocchi from above

The original portal of Castello di Tocchi

The original portal of Castello di Tocchi

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