Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azarra

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


Castelnuovo Bererdenga


Castiglioncello Bandini


Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


Maremma


Massa Marittima


Montagnola Senese


Montalcino


Monte Amiata


Monte Argentario

montecalvello

Montefalco


Montemassi


Montemerano


Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Montepulciano


Monteriggioni


Monticchiello


Monticiano


Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


Pitigliano

Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra




 
Walking in Tuscany
             
 
Campagnatico

album Surroundings
       
   


Campagnatico




   
   

Campagnatico is a fascinating town in the Maremma, located in the south of Valle del’Ombrone and only 32 kilometres from Casa Santa Pia. The town of Campagnatico boasts great importance and secular relevance and was even mentioned in Dante’s fable The Divine Comedy, in the 11th canto of Purgatorio (Purgatory), which refers to the character of Umberto Aldobrandeschi.
Campagnatico itself includes several interesting spots to be visited. Since the town was a fortified hamlet, the walling is still very much present and visible. Like many other medieval dwellings, the walls present doors in the four cardinal directions, of which one pointing south to Rome, and one to north, towards France. The church of Saint John the Baptist was built at a later stage compared with the walls, and uses one of the many crenelated defense towers as its belfry. Opposite the church is the Rocca Aldobrandeschi, of which only ruins remain to these days.

The origins of the city of Campagnatico began under the dominion of the Abbey of San Salvatore, before falling under the control of the Aldobrandeschi family, who managed to maintain power from the end of the 10th century to the end of 1259. This was the year, as mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy, that Umberto Aldobrandeschi was assassinated and the dominion of Campagnatico passed into the hands of the Republic of Siena.

The ancient area of the town is surrounded by walls and square towers. Among the great architectural accomplishments of the 15th century is the Chiesa della Misericordia, still visible today.


Campagnatico, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Misericordia


Of special historical and architectural interest is the Pieve di San Giovanni Battista, of Romanic-Gothic style, charcatherized by a vela, a bold bell tower. Inside the Pieve, frescoes of the late the 13th century. The church it is located in the highest part of the town and is the perfect place to enjoy the splendid views of the Maremma.

Another place of great interest is the Ospedale di Sant'Antonio, a Romanic building once run by the Templar knights who there hosted travellers and pilgrims on their way to Siena. Church of the St Antonio Abate was built in the High Middle Ages and is a fantastic example of Romanesque art, decorated with stunning frescoes and precious works of art.

The Church of St. Maria is one of the principal religious buildings in the town, the church was constructed over the ruins of a pre-existent construction, built prior to the year 1000. In the past the church was custodian to 13th century frescoes, but today these have been moved to the local Parish Church.

Campagnatico actively preserves its history. Every year, various festivals, celebrations and the Palio dei Ciuchi (a donkey race held the first Sunday in September, with many people dressed in ancient costumes).

 

 

 
Abbazia di San Bartolomeo a Sestinga (it)

Riserva Naturale La Pietra (Map).

La Pietra Nature Reserve protects a territory almost entirely covered with woodlands between the stream Farma and the last stretch of the stream Farmulla.
 

Abbazia di San Bartolomeo a Sestinga

 


The village, inside the imposing walls, is a typical example of medieval fortress, with narrow paving-stone streets, bold arches, loop-hole for the archers, high towers and belfry which overlook red tiled roofs and strongholds. The surroundings of Campagnatico also include other fortresses and castles to visit. The Monte Leoni castle is definitely worth a visit for those who want to have the real feel of the passage of time. Not far from Monte Leoni is the castle of Stertignano, another building that has not stood the toll of time and is now in ruins. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit to realize the building characteristics, such wall thickness and materials used, of the castles of this area. Needdless to say, here one breathes the disgraced history that characterized this castle, that passed through the hands of many important families from 1274 onwards to be abandoned in 1370 and returned to the countryside in 1438 by the state of Siena. The most important castle is Montorsaio, today blossomed into a hamlet of greater proportions than the usual fortress. The location is wonderfully set on a hill covered with woods. Just like the other two castles, Montorsaio belonged to many powerful families, however all under the dominion of Siena, which reinforced the bastion with a newly made keep. After other passages of property the Medici got hold of the castle in the 16th century. The more strategic importance of the castle explains why throughout the centuries it has been maintained, reinforced and preserved, saving it from the ruin like its neighboring fortresses.

Set on a small hill not far from Campagnatico is the village of Montorsaio. Of medieval origin and largely restructured is the parish Church of San Cerbone and San Michele and the Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso. The remains of the Castello di Stertignano, which belonged to the Aldobrandeschi family, can be explored at a spot called Marrucheti, a fraction of Campagnatico.

Campagnatico and its Surrounding Castles [in Google maps]
   
   

Arcille, Marrucheti and Montorsaio are fractions of Campagnatico. The largest fraction is Montorsaio, appreciable medieval "borgo" (village) that rises on a high hill facing Campagnatico.
Other nuclei zare Migliorini, Marrucheti, Pianetto, Granaione, Sabatina, Sticcianese and Sant'Antonio.


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Food and wine

The cuisine of the Maremma is very much influenced by the juxtaposition of the coastal plain and the hill country that gradually rises up towards Monte Amiata. Near the sea the dishes are similar to those elsewhere on the Tuscan coast - enriched by the fish of the lagoon of Orbetello and the other similar areas of water along the coast - while, in the interior, the mushrooms and game abounding in the woods and macchia reign supreme. Just about everywhere the wild boar, symbol of the Maremma's culinary traditions, is served, as are many dishes of peasant origin: the local people have always had to rely on the countryside for most of their foodstuffs, and this a guarantee of their quality, as today's cooks who have revived the specialities of the traditional cuisine are well aware.


Located in a region famed for its viticulture since ancient times, the Maremma has made numerous innovations in the last few years, both as regards the revival of the best tradi­ tional wines and the development of new ones. The promotion of this great heritage has also involved the selection and sign posting of wine routes through the two DOC zones in the province of Grosseto.

The Strada dei Vioi ColIi di Maremma passes through the DOC zones of Morellino di Scansano, Bianco di Pitigliano and Parrina, as well as the more recent Ansonica Costa dell'Argentario.

Known until the end of the 19605 as Rosso di Scansano, Morellino di Scansano, awarded DOC status in 1978, is made from a mixture of grapes grown in the hills inland from Grosseto: 85% Sangiovese, known locally as Morellino, and 15% others. Its colour is strong ruby-red tending towards burgundy with ageing, and it has an intense bouquet and a dry, warm flavour with a slight tang of tannin. It's the perfect accompaniment to roasts, red meal and game, as well as mature cheese, especially pecorino. Another local wine is Parrina, grown in a small but fascinating area near the lagoon of Orbetello: it may be white (DOC since 1971), red and rose (DOC since 1986). It appears that its name derives from the Spanish parra, which means vine or vine arbour. The white - its colour is a slightly golden straw-yellow and it has a smooth flavour with a slightly bitter after­ taste - is ideal with fish, hors d'oeuvres and vegetable dishes. The rose can be drunk with all dishes, while the red, ruby in colour, is particularly suited to the traditional Maremma wild boar dishes. Ansonica Costa dell'Argentario is a white wine, straw-yellow in colour, with a slightly fruity bouquet, which may be drunk as an aperitif or with hors d'oeuvres and fish. It's made from Ansonica grapes in the communes of Manciano, Orbetello, Capalbio and on the promontory of the Argentario and the island of Giglio.

The Bianco di Pitigliano, made from grapes grown in the area extending from Pitigliano towards Lake Bolsena, has a delicate bouquet and a dry flavour, making it particularly suitable for accompanying fish dishes.

The Strada del Vino Monteregio di Massa Marittima passes through DOC zones in the communes of Massa Marittima and Monterondo Marittimo and surrounding areas. There are no less than eight types: red (with Novello and Riserva), rose, white, Vermentino, Vin Santo and Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice. DOC status has recently been awarded to Montecucco - the production zone of which borders on those of Montalcino and Brunello - Sovana (the Colline del Fiora area) and Capalbio (Colline di Capalbio, Magliano and Manciano. [1]

         
The development of Paganico, and its passage from little village to walled town, is strictly connected to the beginning of the Sienese domination on this area of the Maremma, started in 1193. The fortified strongold, placed at the confluence between the rivers Ombrone and Lanzo, was constructed along the main road that from Siena, passing through S.Lorenzo a Merse and Forcole, leads to Roselle and Grosseto, giving origin to a real 'terra nuova', a settlement straight in the heart of the new southern territories of Siena.

To facilitate the economic growth, Paganico was free of fiscal impositions and taxes, so that at the time was named Castelfranco Paganico. To increase its importance in 1294 the town was made seat of an important market to destabilize the feudal economic system of the zone, controlled by the Ardengheschi family. In order to complete the elevation of its rank, since 1303 Paganico was seat of a vicariate. The damages provoked by the mercenary troops and the nasty air of the Maremma, at that time a malarial swampy region, caused, starting from the mid-13th century, the depopulation of Paganico. In 1494 the town was sacked from the troops of Carl VIII° then it passed under the Medicean control but only with the Grand-Ducal drainages, carried on in the 18th century, the area known an economic and social rebirth.

The first walled enclosure of Paganico dates back to 1278 and was destroyed in the 1328 by Castruccio Castracani. Little after, in 1334, were erected the new town walls, under the direction of the architect Lando di Pietro, the same director of the works at the New Cathedral of Siena. These walls have the shape of an irregular quadrilateral, nearly trapezoidal, with squared towers on each curtain, four massive tower at the angles, four gates placed at the extremities of the two main road that crossed the town. Remnants of the machicolations are still partially visible. A tall keep or 'mastio' [called Cassero Senese, transformed in medicean age in a residential palace], flanks of the North gate, also known as 'Porta Senese'. The North and South Gates were equipped of a small barbican, now disappeared. The eastern front of the town walls with its Gate is nowadays totaly lost, together with some part of the northern, but all the other sides still surround the town, even though in some parts damaged. Intact are the 'Porta Grossetana' (or Franca) and the Porta Senese, both endowed with the characteristic pointed arch overlapping a lowered round arch surmounted by the black and white coat of arms of Siena. Partially intact is also the Porta Ovest.

Inside the town is geometrically laid out, as all the planned settlements, with some beautiful medieval mansion with porches and, in the main square, the recently restored well and the Romanesque church of S.Michele, erected between 1296 and 1305, with two cycles of frescoes attributed to Biagio di Goro Ghezzi.






[1] Source : Toscanamare | www.touringclub.it
Montecucco is one of the “new” wine regions in Tuscany, it was acknowledged only in 1998. It includes several varieties of wine: Rosso, Sangiovese, Bianco and Vermentino. Rosso and Sangiovese also feature a Riserva wine. The area includes the municipalities of Arcidosso Campagnatico, Castel del Piano, Cinigiano (the eponymous district of Monte Cucco), Civitella Paganico, Roccalbegna and Seggiano.


ASSOCIAZIONE "STRADA DEL VINO COLLI DI MAREMMA
Ufficio del Comune di Scansano
Piazza del Pretorio, 4 58054 Scansano (Gr).

Wine in Tuscany | Montecucco COC