The province of Siena is one of the more vast in Tuscany and includes many little-known places and yet full of attractions; this time we recommend a tour of Val di Merse, located in the southwest of Siena, an area defined by high hills, woodlands, agricultural areas and medieval hamlets.
Imagine a route through the most interesting venues in Val di Merse if you are planning an holiday in Siena and enjoy the mood of thos green oasis far from the beaten track.
The first stopover could be Chiusdino, situated on the Colline Metallifere, is a village probably founded by the Longobards, where you should visit the ruins of San Galgano Abbey, considered a legendary venue, in fact Galgano here, drew his blade and thrust at the rocky ground as a proof of his conversion. The weapon is still visible and is believed to be the “sword in the Stone”, because since then it has remained intact.
The Cloister of Montesiepi overlooking the Abbey is otherwise perfectly preserved and keeps the shrine that protects the “sword in the stone”; we suggest a visit because the interior chapel is frescoed by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
Monticiano is a small town located on the right side of the valley of the river Merse and is surrounded by lush forests, a nice alternative for those who love to walk into nature, it is also at the border with Terme di Petriolo, thermal spring known since the Roman Age. These thermal baths are immersed in the Natural Reserve of Basso Merse so that the hilly backdrop is a daydream scenery for relaxing days.
Sovicille is a village that has different peculiarities from other locations indicated, is located on the Montagnola Senese, a mountain landscape with deciduous forests and caves. Just near Sovicille you can visit the Ethnographic Museum of the Forest, which depicts the relationship between the man and the forest through the description of the crafts of the past, a project created to promote the territory with a network of pathways and a map that you will find at the Museum.
With the arrival of Spring season the Val di Merse reveals its natural treasures and is ready to welcome the tourists who are looking for unusual itineraries. This is the official website of Val di Merse: www.valdimerse.si.it