TerritoryTo discover the territory and its cities
The Val d’Elsa is the valley of the river Elsa, northwestern of Siena, the origins of the area has Etruscan and then Roman, as evidenced by numerous artefacts found throughout the territory. During the medieval period, thanks to the construction of the Via Francigena, the zone became an important economic and political fulcrum giving life to the construction of churches, parishes, abbeys, castles and suburbs. In this context the valley played an important strategic role in terms of military and political views and saw the birth of fortified villages. In the period of Medici the area suffers an economic regress up to the Lorena period and all membership in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the subsequent construction of the Tuscan rail network that will give new impetus to the region.
In this context, the territory of Casole d’Elsa, which is home Borgo Le Mascie, reflects the history of the valley. In the first decades of the eleventh century, the castle became an important stronghold for the bishops of Volterra, who had to defend themselves from the expansive ambitions of Siena and Florence, then in the course of 1200 the Siena influence was growing stronger, and in 1260 with the victory at the battle of Monteaperti on Florentine finally passed under the dominion of Siena. Casole was the site of the ancient Piave of Santa Maria Assunta, the church and its cloister were the headquarters of acts of signing of salient importance for valdesana history.
In this setting, in the heart of Chianti, it is situated Country House Le Mascie.
A journey through history, a journey of the spirit to cross on foot, horse, bicycle or by car, in the footsteps of the old pilgrims who for centuries have traveled these roads, in areas where the human hand is integrated with nature . An inner journey to get in touch with the environment and the people, to stop and meditate, to understand the history, art, culture and religion of the area.
- from San Gimignano to Monteriggioni: 18.51 miles long-distance walk 7:30 h, 96% of cycling.
- from Monteriggioni to Siena: 12.73 miles, long- distance walk 4:30 h, 95% of cycling.
- from Siena to Ponte D’arbia: 17.70 miles, long- distance walk 6:20 h, 100% of cycling.
To relive history from the Etruscans to Romans, from the battles between the armies of medieval Siena and Florence for its domain. The territory of Chianti Classico in all its beauty and fullness of its food and wine, wineries and olive crop of one of the most popular areas in the world. The Gallo Nero territory to discover and drink.
TRAIN OF NATURE
For a trip in the time without time, in a vapor train of epoch in the villages and in the castles, between farms and feasts, between nature and unusual landscapes, for a trip full of emotions in railway lines that were forgotten in the time, but that they find again new sap with the nice little train.
The lands of Siena are rich of water, the extinct volcano Monte Amiata, gave the territory numerous thermal springs, making it the place with the highest concentration of spa facilities in the world. Exploited and known for centuries, under the hand of the man the thermal baths have still made more fascinating a territory that is by its nature; the architecture of the large spa tub in the center of the square of Bagno Vignoni, and even the most modern equipped spas of Chianciano, Rapolano, San Filippo, San Casciano dei Bagni, Petriolo and many more, all with different properties to be discovered, for a well-being and relax assured.
For those who want to stay fit or simply to visit the area in slow and ecological way. The Chianti fits perfectly with cycling, offering various routes with different degrees of difficulty: from the walk suitable for the whole family, to the most difficult and professional path.
- Golf e Tennis in Casole d’Elsa, 15 min. car through SP541 and SP27.
- Riding stables 5 km away.
- San Galgano Abbey 20 min. car through the SP541 and the SS73, is one of the most beautiful churches in the area, surrounded by the halo of mystery and mysticism, presents itself as a white elephant, reduced only to the walls, without the roof, keeps intact all its Gothic style. Not far away stands the hermitage of Montesiepi which houses the “sword in the stone“, embedded in the stone, as legend, by Galgano Guidotti the moment when he gave up the comforts of the noble life that until then had led. The similarities with the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur are interwoven, leaving in doubt which of the two stories is the original.
CITIES AND SURROUNDING AREA:
- Siena to 30 min of automobile through the SS73
A medieval city, rich in treasures and flavors, by the huge historical and artistic heritage, with its Old Town entered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a must see on the journey in the territory of Siena. Do not miss the Piazza del Campo shell and the Torre del Mangia, the majestic Cathedral with its magnificent floors and the many churches and historic buildings. And how can we forget the Palio and the historic culinary tradition, from pici to the panforte passing by the excellent Chianti wine.
- Colle Val D’Elsa at 20 min by car, through the SP541
The oldest part is perched on a high hill, long disputed between Florence and Siena, has given for a long time from the ‘500 to a flourishing industry of the glass all now in activity. Don’t lose to visit the museum of the crystal.
- Monteriggioni 30 minutes by car, throught the SP541 and SP74
With its magnificent walls makes it unique in the panorama of medieval towns in Tuscany, do not miss the museum with reproductions of medieval and renaissance weapons.
- San Gimignano in 40 minutes by car throught the SP541
Its historic center, with its towers are part of the UNESCO Heritage, by one medieval skyliner postcard.
- Volterra in 45 minutes by car throught the SR68
city famous for the extraction and processing of alabaster and for its Etruscan origin.
- Florence just over one hour by car throught the motorway Siena-Florence
The cradle of the Renaissance, Heritage, universally recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, rich in art and architecture, museums and monuments. The Duomo, Santa Croce, the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Pitti are the must-see stops in the city.