Perched on the slopes of Monte Civitella, Castell'Azzara is a charming village in a commanding position over the Paglia Valley. Located in the southern and less-explored part of Tuscany, it is a gem of character-filled lanes and lovely landscapes. The town is the highest in the province at 816 meters above sea level, giving it the name "eagle's nest" for its lofty position on Monte Civitella. It is near Monte Amiata and abutts the tufa zone that includes the towns of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano.
Local legend holds that its name derives from a game of dice called "Zara", and that three descendants of the noble Aldobrandeschi family decided who would inherit the castle with this game! The village consists of a compact jumble of narrow streets that lead to the ancient fortress, a massive two-story building flanked by the clock tower. In Piazza II Febbraio is the church of San Nicola, built in the nineteenth century, where there was once an older church. The castle stands square on the slope along with the distinctive clock tower. The town itself dates to 1216 but the area was previously inhabited by the Etruscans.
The Villa Sforzesca is a Renaissance palazzo built by cardinal Alessandro Sforza in 1580. It is occasionally opened for special events or concerts.
The area is known for its outdoors activities, with nature reserves and mountains that hold trails for biking, hiking and horse riding.
Been there? Done that? Share your experience and tips!
Haven't visited yet? Have questions about Castell'Azzara? Ask them here!
Explore nearby towns
Let yourself be enraptured with the beauty of Sorano.
Located on Monte Amiata, between the Val d'Orcia and Saturnia, the pretty medieval town of Santa Fiora has much to offer for those who want old world Tuscany without crowds.
Onano represents the northernmost point of Lazio, near Viterbo, at the foothills of Mounts Volsini.