Guide of San Qurico D'Orcia
San Quirico D’Orcia is an ancient and very interesting small situated between Monte Amiata and the Chiana Valley.
Consequently to the numerous archaeological researches effectuated, its Etruscan origins are testified by findings of cinerary urns and many other funerary objects.
In middle Ages it was a fortified town. Nowadays, a considerable part of the town-walls is still standing, as well as 14 small towers.
Located in central position of Via Cassia, in connection to Via Francigena, the pilgrim way to Rome, the town has been a crucial point of historical events and meetings between high European political and ecclesiastical personalities. In the 12th century its fame increased particularly duly for the arrival of Federico I “Barbarossa” when he was going to Rome to receive the Imperial Crown. He stopped with his army in San Quirico D’Orcia (former called San Quirico di Orsenna) and Pope Adrian IV sent three cardinals in his honour. In the same century Sienna’s Republic expanded their territory over the town. When the Republic of Sienna felt down, the town passed into the power of the Marquis of Marignano and afterwards under the Govern of Cosimo I de Medici. In the 17th century Cosimo III de Medici granted it to a nephew of Pope Adrian VII, the Cardinal Flavio Chigi.
The main monuments to visit in San Quirico D’Orcia:
- The Saints Quirico and Giuditta Collegiate Church: is a magnificent example of Romanesque church built in the 11th century with sandstone and travertine marble. Its bell tower was reconstructed in the 18th century. Indoors, there are many beautiful elements coming back from different artistic periods, such as the Baroque choir, the Rococo High Altar, the panels (15th century) by Antonio Barili, a very good painter from Sienna’s school, the organ from the 17th century which has a splendid timbre, as well as the triptych from the 15th century painted by Sano di Pietro, an important Sienna’s school exponent, which is dedicated to San Quirico, the patron saint.
- Palazzo Chigi: is a remarkable and giant building from the 17th century commissioned to the architect Carlo Fontana by Cardinal Flavio Chigi. Its external structure was gravely damaged during the WWII. Indoors, there are wonderful frescoed lounges.
- Horti Leonini: is the paradigm of the Italian garden. It was projected by Dante Leoni in the 16th century. Coming from the end of the enormous garden an English wood is raising on the top of its largest square, once overlooking by an ancient tower, destroyed during the WWII. In the centre of a smaller square there is a statue of Cosimo III de Medici, built by request of Cardinal Chigi in the 17th century to honour the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Where to eat:
- Trattoria Al Vecchio Forno: is a popular restaurant close to Via Dante Alighieri. It is well-known for its roasts and grills. It has a nice dining room and also a charming garden for outdoors meals. Price per person is about 10/15 euros.
Main Towns of Valdorcia
Radicofani, Sarteano, Cetona,
San Quirico D'Orcia,
Bagni San Filippo,
Abbadia and Monte Amiata
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