It's easy to see why Montemerano is listed as "one of the most beautiful villages in Italy". It's heart-shaped historic center really is in the heart of the Maremma region, and the quaint town retains its Medieval character.
Montemerano was established in the 1200s by the Aldobrandeschi family, with the castle and accompanying village to serve it. It came under the Duchy of Orvieto then passed to the Republic of Siena, without losing its original character. The town is still enclosed in its encircling walls with its three gates of entry intact.
Walk the streets and soak in the atmosphere of the old world in the stone buildings, narrow lanes, stairs, and courtyards. Walls with climbing vines, windows and doorways decked out with flower boxes, archways and friendly smiles greet visitors as they meander the old town center. The picturesque Piazza del Duomo is at the center of village life. The church of San Giorgio is dedicated to Montemerano's patron saint and has some nice artwork, including the unusual Madonna della Gattaiola (Madonna of the Cats), so-named for the early, crude version of a cat-flap door cut into the bottom of the fresco by a priest, to allow entry of felines into the church! The former church Pieve di San Lorenzo was built in 1188, and while deconsecrated, serves as a cultural center.
The town pays homage to St. George with an annual festival that include the Giostra del Drago - Joust of the Dragon, a fun, costumed affair to slay the dragon.
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