Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo




Archipelago Toscano




Badia di Coltibuono

Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa


Bolsena Lake


Brunello di Montalcino




Castel del Piano



Castellina in Chianti


Castelnuovo Bererdenga

Castiglioncello Bandini

Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione d'Orcia

Castiglion Fiorentino



Chinaciano Terme




Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio

Colle Val d'Elsa


Crete Senesi

Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba



Gaiole in Chianti



Greve in Chianti


Lago Trasimeno

La Foce



Massa Marittima

Montagnola Senese


Monte Amiata

Monte Argentario





Monte Oliveto Maggiore








Parco Naturale della Maremma







Radda in Chianti



San Bruzio

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Galgano

San Gimignano

San Giovanni d'Asso

San Quirico d'Orcia


Santa Fiora














Tavernelle Val di Pesa

Torrita di Siena




Val d'Elsa

Val di Merse

Val d'Orcia

Valle d'Ombrone




Walking in Tuscany
Castello di Montemassi

Montemassi castle
album Surroundings



Roccastrada and its territory are rich in fortresses and castles overlooking the plains of the Maremma. Not far from Roccastrada, near the village of Sassofortino, one can reach the ruins of a secluded castle. The castle of Montemassi is only few kilometres away from Sassofortino. The castle is, without any doubt, the most famous monument in the territory of Roccastrada. During the 13th century the castle belonged to the powerful Aldobrandeschi family and, between the numerous fortresses that they ruled in the Maremma, it was one of their main stronghold. In 1306 the castle wad subdued to the Pannocchieschi family that had numerous territories in the northwestern part of Tuscany. Later it passed to the Republic of Siena undergoing through the years, to a long series of destruction and rebuilding.
The hamlet and the fortress are famous in the world for appearing in the distinguished fresco showing the siege by Siena, in 1328, Guidoriccio da Fogliano, whose attribution to Simone Martini (XV century) has being a theme of a passionate querelle.
In the mediaeval centre, that still preserves the appearance of a unified hamlet stands the Church of Sant'Andrea, that preserves a painting of the Siena School.
The castle, which crowns the village on a hill 280 meters above sea level, is constituted on the northern side by the ruins of the palace. On the southern side are the remains of a quadrangular tower, with embrasures, with remains of brick vaults and fine ornaments. Today the whole complex is in a state of deterioration, despite the recent restorations in several stages and excavations (which brought to light the foundations of a church inside the walls).

Montemassi is home to the castle depicted in the Buon Governo painting by Simone Martini located in the Palazzo Pubblico of Siena.
The fresco, one of the greatest masterpiece of the gothic figurative culture in Tuscany, is preserved in the globe hall inside Palazzi Pubblico in Siena.



Simone Martini, Guidoriccio da Fogliano all'assedio di Montemassi, 1328, Siena, Palazzo Pubblico


For Gordon Moran, Michael Mallory, and others, the newly discovered fresco depicts Arcidosso, which, along with Castel del Piano, is documented as having been added to the castle series in 1331. Its structures and landscape resemble presentday Arcidosso exceptionally closely, and included as an additional identifying feature is a three-branched tree that leans out from the base of the keep, a device found in many of Arcidosso's town seals.


Unknown Master (first quarter of 14th century), Castle on a Hill, 1300-25, fresco in Palazzo Pubblico, Siena
The fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano, depicting the conquest of the castles of Montemassi and Sassoforte in 1328, formed part of a fresco cycle Castelli which occupied the upper part of the wall opposite to the Maestà in the Sala del Mappamondo in Palazzo Pubblico, in Siena. The cycle, commemorating the castles conquered by the Sienese, was initiated in 1314 by the representation of the Castle of Giuncarico, it was continued by the Guidoriccio and in 1331 by the Castles of Arcidosso and Piano. The latter were destroyed in 1361 when Lippo Vanni painted the Battles of Valdichiana and Poggio Imperiale.



Gordon Moran and Michael Mallory, The Guido Riccio controversy and resistance to critical thinking, Syracuse Scholar (1979-1991), Vol. 11, Iss. 1 [1991], Art. 5


Massa Marittima and the Metalliferous Hills

Walking in Tuscany | Itineraries

The itinerary runs through one of the highest spurs in the entire area, the Sassoforte (787 mt). We commence our walk in Sassofortino and climb towards the Sassoforte, through chestnut trees and multi coloured prairies until we reach, at the foot of the mountain, one of the most beautiful beech tree forests in Tuscany, a wonderful forest where ancient beech trees grow from the clefts of volcanic rocks.
Sassofortino, a medieval hilltop village characterised by narrow winding streets and stone houses. From the village, you can enjoy a spectacular view over the plains of the Maremma.
The area where Sassofortino is located is called Alta Maremma, since the villages and castles of the area were built on the tops of hills from which it was easier to protect the inhabitants during the dark centuries of the Middle Ages.

Sassofortino - Montemassi |15,8 Km, 5 hours

  We leave Sassofortino walking through small crops, Macchia, vineyards and pastures, an area rich in calcareous fossils where it is easy to find imprints of bivalves and gasteropoda where the fields are ploughed. In the whole area, especially on the highest part of the hill, huge oaks stand out on the fields. They were once very common, kept for their acorns and also for the precious shade they gave to the ploughmen when they rested. These oaks are nowadays cut down to give space to the work of tractors. We keep on walking through crops and woods of cork trees, to find ourselves in the Pagiano area where chestnut trees easily grow thanks to the presence of a plate of rhyolite, we then find holm trees and we get to the Pieve of Caminino. By the asphalted road there is the Oratory of Saint Feriolo, where it is said the Saint was martyred. Pilgrimage to this place only ended a few decades ago: people came in spring to pray that they would have plenty of water for they crops. Pilgrims would put an herring on the Saint painting, near his mouth so that it might recall him the idea of the refreshing water. We carry on crossing the asphalted road that leads to Sassofortino; we go through an under wood of cistus and lavender together with arbutus heather and huge cork trees. Going down to the dyke of the torrent Asina, we find the itinerary that comes from Roccatederighi, through Poggio Colombo we arrive in Montemassi.

  The Pieve di Caminino is situated to the east of the village of Montemassi. A medieval church, surrounded by a rural settlement, the Pieve di Caminino functioned as a religious building until the 17th century in which period the site was abandoned.

In the latter half of the 1800's the Marucchi Locatelli family purchased the church and the surrounding buildings as well as the neighboring estate of Peruzzo. The various buildings were subsequently restored. The architecture of the ancient church is largely Romanesque in style and the higher section of the façade is still intact. Inside the church, which is no longer consecrated, concerts of classical music are held in virtue of the buildings perfect acoustics.

Roccatederighi - Montemassi | 8,3 Km, 3 hours

  The first part of this itinerary goes through chestnut trees woods and crops going round the Rhyolitic spur on which Roccatederighi was built. In this part of the paths there is a botanical curiosity: the prickly broom (Ulex europaeus), which is not to be found anywhere else in our Municipality. Crops and olive trees becomes now predominant: they divide the land into small proprieties, giving the territory its characteristic aspect. We carry on towards the valley: behind us Roccatederighi’s church and the bell tower are easily spotted among the Rhyolitic rock spurs.

We then get to the dyke of the torrent Asina and we take the gravel road leading to Montemassi. There are no more crops but woods of turkey oak, arbutus, heather and cystisus. Further up we can enjoy a wonderful view from two panoramic spots: the upper part of the road we are on from which we can see the village of Roccatederighi with the side of the mound sketched with edges, rows of olive trees surrounded by woods. The other spot is Poggio Colombo from which we can get a 360° view.



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The Trekking Roccastrada (hiking Roccastrada) has eight well marked hiking trails (a total network of paths, mule-tracks, cart-roads of 146 km, 235 miles) winding through thick woods, rivers, hills and low mountainsThe official website of the Comune of Roccastrada gives a wealth of information (in English) about the trails, fauna and flora.

Sticciano - Roccastrada | 19 km, 5 hours

Roccastrada - Castello del Belagaio | 13,5 km, 4,5 hours

Castello del Belagaio - Torniella | 13 km, 4 hours

Torniella - Sassoforte - Roccatederighi | 20 km, 5 hours

Piloni - Sassoforte - Sassofortino - Roccatederighi | 16 km, 6 hours

Sassofortino - Montemassi | 13 km, 4,5 hours

Roccatederighi - Montemassi | 7 km, 2,5 hours

Trekking in and around Roccastrada | download pdf


Wijn in Toscane

The Etruscans were the first to plant vines in the Maremma. The Romans called the area Ager Cosanus, the land promised to Bacchus, where they produced the wine that was served at the Emperor’s tables in Rome.
And it was again that wine that Columella, Pliny and later Redi described as the “blood of the land”. Here Siena grew wheat and the Medici began to plant vineyards. In more recent times certain pioneers wagered on the Maremma as a wine region, such as Trecci or Bettino Ricasoli and his brother Vincenzo, or the Princes Corsini.

The Zonin family

In 1999, continuing their company’s expansion in Tuscany – where they already owned Castello d’Albola, in the heart of Chianti Classico, and the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto farm, in the Vernaccia di San Gimignano region– the Zonin family acquired this 430-hectare property in the Maremma, of which 160 hectares are planted with vines. Together with Sangiovese and Vermentino, which are clear markers of its Tuscan identity, Syrah, Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Merlot and the white Viognier are grown.

Tenuta Rocca di Montemassi
Via Sant'Anna - Fraz. Montemassi
56036 Roccastrada (GR)

The museum is opened from Tuesday to Saturday, with timetable for the guided tours (visits last 1.5 hours): 10.30 a.m. – 2 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. Sundays and Holidays by appointment.