by Loretta Gallorini
Sarteano rises at foot of the Cetona Mountain in panoramic position. Its origin is medieval and it became a Signoria thanks to the Counts Manetti. Notable is also the Etruscan presence as testified by the numerous necropolises, among the most important of the ancient territory.
The massive structure of the castle dominates the inhabited area and it is situated on the top of a hill on a rocky spur and isolated from the village according to the medieval use, it well preserves its native aspect. The three doors of access are original even if they have been rehandled during the centuries.
In Piazza Bargagli, immediately out of the walls, is the entry of the church of St. Francis. The origin of this church dates back to the early XIV century although it was restructured in 1480 with the addition of the bell tower and the hutshaped façade made of stone, the coat of arms of the Piccolomini shines out on the gable.
The inside is aisleless and it preserves frescos of the XVII century of Sienese school devoted to the Virgo, mosaic frescos and decorations coming from the church of Saint Victoria that is the most ancient of the territory of Sarteano.
From Piazza Bargagli through Porta di Mezzo you enter the historical centre, from here you go up again following Via Garibaldi and on the left you find the Town Hall whose fourteenthcentury origins appear on the side of the construction, further on, always on the left, is the 1584 Suffrage aisleless church that preserves inside the crucifixion of Sienese School of the XVIII century, the Resurrection of Lazarus that is the only known work by the Sienese painter Flavio Amatori.
Just outside this church we are immediately in Piazza St. Lawrence where the Collegiate of St. Lawrence is: it became a sanctuary of Mary because of its devotion to the Madonna, the latter symbolized by the painting of Francis Bonichi da Lucignano known as the Madonna with her Child or Madonna del “buonconsiglio”, very revered and brought in procession for the main party of April 26.
The Collegiate has a Renaissance façade and Latin cross plant. Inside it preserves interesting paintings of Sienese school and a valuable statue made of painted papier-mâché representing St. Rocco, that is brought in procession on the day of the Saracino. On the little square in front of the church there is Palazzo Cennini, whose original construction dates back to the XV century.
Continuing you can climb up to the Castle or, taking Via St. Angel and then Via Ricasoli, you come in Piazza of St. Martin in Foro where you find the Church of St. Martin. The ancient church was destroyed in 1844 and subsequently reconstructed.
Inside there are important and valuable pictorial works among which the Madonna with the Child by Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio, perhaps his most beautiful work and the Annunziata ( Our Lady of the Annunciation) by Beccafumi.
Coming down in Via Roma the beautiful Palazzo Piccolomini of the XVI century.
Continuing you reach the Archaeological Civic Museum, where the many testimonies of the important Etruscan and Roman past of the town are exposed, placed in Palazzo Gabrielli Galgani that was built in the XII century and reconstructed and widened in the second halves of the sixteenth century.
At the end of our run in Piazza XXIV Giugno you find the 1740 Arrischianti Theatre. The theatre, with a triple order of stages, and its 146 places, is a beautiful example of small Tuscan theatres.
In the interesting surroundings the abbey of the SS. Trinità di Spineto of the XI century and the picturesque village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, with the Romanesque little church of St. Andrew, from here a suggestive view on the Amiata Mountain and on the Val d’Orcia.
Other towns in the area:Agliana, Anghiari, Arezzo, Asciano, Badia a Ruoti, Badia Agnano, Bagni di Lucca, Bagno a Ripoli, Barberino di Mugello, Barberino Val d'Elsa, Bietina, San Giustino Valdarno, Bucine, Buonconvento, Calci, Calenzano, Campo nell'Elba, Camucia di Cortona, Carrara, Casciana Terme, Cascina, Casole d'Elsa, Castel San Gimignano, Castelfiorentino, Castelfranco di Sopra, Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castiglione Fibocchi, Castiglion Fiorentino, Castiglioncello, Certaldo, Cetona, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Cinigiano, Civitella della Chiana, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Cortona, Dicomano, Dudda, Empoli, Fabbrica di Peccioli, Figline Valdarno, Florence, Foiano della Chiana, Follonica, Fonteblanda, Fornacette, Forte dei Marmi, Gaiole in Chianti, Gambassi Terme, Gavoranno, Ghizzano, Grassina, Greve in Chianti, Grosseto, Iesa Palazzo, Impruneta, Isola del Giglio, Lamporecchio, Laterina , Livorno, Loro Ciuffenna, Lucca, Lucignano, Lucolena, Marciano della Chiana, Marina di Grosseto, Empoli, Masotti, Massa, Massa e Cozzile, Moggiona, Molazzana, Monsummano Terme, Montaione, Montalcino, Monte San Savino, Montecatini Terme, Montefollonico, Montelopio, Montepulciano, Monterchi, Monteriggioni, Monteroni d'Arbia, Montespertoli, Montevarchi, Monteverdi Marittimo, Monticchiello di Pienza, Monticiano, Montisi, Nievole, Orbetello, Panzano in Chianti, Pari, Pergine Valdarno, Pian di Sco', Pienza, Pietrasanta, Pievasciata, Pieve Fosciana, Pisa, Pistoia, Pitigliano, Poggibonsi, Policiano, Ponsacco, Pontassieve, Ponte a Elsa, Ponte a Moriano, Pontedera, Poppi, Porciano di Lamporecchio, Porciano di Stia, Porto Ercole, Pozzo della Chiana, Prato, Puntone, Radda in Chianti, Radicofani, Rapolano Terme, Reggello, Rignano sull'Arno, Rigomagno, Rigutino, Riparbella, Ponte a Moriano, Rosignano Solvay, Rufina, San Baronto, San Casciano dei Bagni, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, San Donato in Poggio, San Gimignano, San Giuliano Terme, San Giustino Valdarno, San Miniato, San Quirico d'Orcia, Sansepolcro, Saturnia, Scandicci, Scarlino, Segromigno in Monte, Seravezza, Serre di Rapolano, Sesto Fiorentino, Sieci, Siena, Sinalunga, Sorano, Staggia Senese, Subbiano, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Terontola, Terranuova Bracciolini, Tirrenia, Torre del Lago Puccini, Torrita di Siena, Trequanda, Uliveto Terme, Vagliagli, Vecchiano, Venturina, Viareggio, Vicchio, Vinci, Volterra
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