Distances from the main tourist destinations
|Lago Trasimeno||Km 30|
Ancient Etruscan city of artistic interest with numerous and important archaeological finds. The upper part of the city, where the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Medicean Fortress are located, maintains a medieval character. The beautiful Piazza Grande is considered one of the most picturesque and original piazzas in Italy and it is where the Giostra del Saracino, a tournament of horses with period costumes, takes place.
Cortona, one of the main art towns in Tuscany, was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan confederation. At the end of the 4th century B.C., it allied with Rome, then became a Ghibelline diocese in 1325, and then ranked with the Ranieri family until 1409. It was finally sold to Florence and in 1411 followed the Grand Duke of Tuscany's sequence of events. Few Renaissance palaces remain, like Palazzo Servini-Cucciati with its marvelous portal, and the town's features are mainly medieval, as proven by palaces like Palazzo Quintani and Palazzo Alfieri-Cozzi. Don’t miss a visit to the archaeological sites of the Etruscan tombs, the MAEC Museum and the Museum in Farneta.
The origins of this city date back to the Etruscan and Roman times. It is situated on the hills overlooking the Valle d’Arbia, the Valle dell’Ombrone and the Val d’Orcia. An interesting place to visit is the Town Hall, seat of the Municipal Museum (Museo Civico) with its tall towers and impressive façade adorned with several coats of arms. Other places not to be missed are the Castle, built in 1361, and out of Montalcino the Romanesque Church of the Benedictine Abbey of S.Antimo. Montalcino is also known for its “Brunello”, a high quality wine famous worldwide.
Reorganized by Pope Pio II, who was born there, Pienza is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture. Though lacking in major “piazzas”, Pienza is a quiet agricultural town filled with shops where one can taste locally made products, such as the renowned pecorino cheese, and enjoy excellent wine.
This town was certainly inhabited during the Etruscan times, and its particular location between the Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia makes it one of the most beautiful hill towns in the area. In ancient times it was the object of clashes between Siena and Florence. Admire the Piazza Grande, the highest point in town with the Town Hall dating back to the 1300s, and the Cathedral, designed by Taddeo di Bartolo. Here you can taste specialties like the famous wine called “Nobile di Montepulciano” and a local pecorino cheese.
Legend has it that the lovesick nymph of Lake Agilla seduced the handsome prince Trasimeno, pulling him under her watery home, which has been thus named after him. The lake holds an ancient troubled history in its castles, fortresses, abbeys, and churches. There are boats available for many tourist excursions to the central islands and one can visit towns like Castiglione del Lago, Touro sul Trasimeno, and Passignano sul Trasimeno.
National Parks and Protected Areas
In the surroundings of Castiglion Fiorentino we find beautiful parks and forests of great natural interest such as the Parco delle Comunanze, the Parco di Lignano and the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi. The Parco delle Comunanze is characterized by a huge pine forest with thick Mediterranean shrub underbrush and its paths are perfect for a walk and for hiking excursions in contact with nature. The Parco di Lignano is spread over 300 hectares and has pic-nic areas equipped with tables, benches and barbecue to prepare grilled food and eat al fresco with your friends and family. A renowned meeting point for hikers and nature lovers, the Parco di Lignano is often the venue of sport events and recreational events both for children and adults. A little further, one hour driving from Castiglion Fiorentino, we find the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi enriched with the religious centers of Camaldoli and La Verna, which are visited every year by thousands of pilgrims. Religion and landscape melt together in a really evocative way to offer tourists the chance to experience a unique journey amid spirituality and nature.