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

Pieve of SS. Ippolito and Cassiano(Conèo)


album Surroundings

Small churches in Tuscany


The presence of christian communities in this valley dates back to the 5th century, as many country churches, Pievi, were located along the old Roman roads and can be found throughout Tuscany, Umbria and Emilia - Romagna. The term pievi is thought to have come from the Latin plebs, denoting their function among the common people. These crudely built rural churches were built to spread Christianity into the pagan hinterlands of medieval Italy by providing a place where baptisms might be performed.
These romanesque churches were built from the 7th to the 13th centuries and incorporate many interesting architectural features.
The basic form of these pievi is rectangular, with 3 apses and two rows of columns from front to back. They are usually built on an east-west orientation with the facade facing west. Typically they are of rough hewn soft stone and adorned with an assortment of pagan images.
The Pieve di Santa Maria dello Spino between Monticchiello and Bagno Vignoni, and the Pieve dei Santi Vito e Modesto a Corsignano in Pienza are two of the most important little churches of the valley.

The Pieve dei Santi Vito e Modesto a Corsignano in Pienza

Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace (1405) of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian: Enea Silvio Piccolomini), a Renaissance humanist born into an exiled Sienese family, who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town.
Located less than 1 km from Pienza and reached by taking the romantic and scenic via del bacio (way of the kiss) is Pieve di Corsignano.

Its origins can be traced to the VII century, while the actual version dates back to the 12th century.

Inside is the baptismal font where Pio II and his nephew Pio III were baptized. The scenery of the Val d’Orcia begins with a symmetry of natural harmony with its rolling hills, and then changes into the majestic grandeur of the Amiata. Monticchiello, La Foce and San Quirico d'Orcia are situated within an hour's drive from Podere Santa Pia. The road which leads from Castiglioncello Bandini to Monticchiello and San Quirico, passing first through Castello Porrona, Montalcino and Pienza, is breathtaking.

Photo gallery Monastero di Sant'Anna in Camprena

Picture Gallery Pienza and the pieve di Corsignano



PienzaPanoramaSO   Pieve Corsignano esterno   Pieve Corsignano interno

Pieve dei Santi Vito e Modesto a Corsignano



Pieve Corsignano interno


Pieve di Corsignano3   Portale pieve pienza   Pieve Corsignano fonte battesimale

Portale d'ingresso  della Pieve dei Santi Vito e Modesto a Corsignano, Pienza


  Portale laterale    
Pieve di Santa Maria dello Spino

The Pieve di Santa Maria dello Spino, between Monticchiello and Bagno Vignoni, is used on the annual Corpus Domini procession, the Processione del Corpus Domini.
It already existed in 1050 and the place was a stoppimg post (mansium ad sextum) on the imperial road that connected the Cassia consular road with the Aurelia.
The facade is constructed with sandstone blocks and a few disorganized friezes, pieces that had been recovered from a former structure; the roof has a double slope.
The bass relief of a dragon and a human figure with an animal on a leash is divided by the only window. A light frame with an intertwining vegetable theme forms, with the roof, a kind of gable. There was probably in the past a roof over the front entrance of which you can see the remains. The bell tower was built before the actual church and was included during the enlargement in medieval times. On the right hand side the "scarpa" base is to be noticed because it is surmounted by a meridian, the elegance of the hanging arches and the good conservation of the mullioned window. You reach the courtyard through the arch. On the right hand wall you can see the slits and the arquebusiers, which show that the complex was fortified. To the left are the remains of a cloister brought to light in 1950. The elegant palace with the typically Sienese mullioned windows was the summer home for bishops.
Below the courtyard floor precious mosaics have been discovered that date back to the Roman Empire and which belonged to a large Roman villa furnished with hot air heating. Judging from the size of the "greca" design that is the frame of the floor, we can imagine that the mosaics proceed under the level of the floor of the church for quite an area. The entrance of the church is unusual: instead of going up the steps, you go down. The inside, divided in three naves, reminds us of late French Romanesque, quite near to Gothic. The first span to your right is smaller than the others because it includes the preexisting bell tower. The capitals are elegantly decorated with human figures and geometric forms. The beautiful vault of the strange "tiburio" has a barrel shape, while the lateral ones are "a vela".


The Pieve di San Stefano in Cennano


Castelmuzio includes three churches. The most famous is the Pieve di Santo Stefano in Cennano, just outside the village. This small parish church has a documented history since 715 A.D. Its location was originally an Etruscan place of worship, and much later the church was built over an early Roman temple. The part you see today was built in 1285 A.D.
In recent years a cemetery and Roman bath have been discovered very close to the church.


The pieve di Santo Stefano a Cennano, Castelmuzio

Pieve di Santo Stefano a Cennano, façade


The Pieve di San Stefano in Cennano, of paleo-Christian origin, arose around the center of what was a Roman settlement, a vicus. It was situated in an uncivilized area, a part of the greater municipality of Roman Arezzo. It was built on the foundations of a former pagan temple. It is sited along an Etruscan-Roman road leading from Chiusi towards Chianti and Fiesole.
The structure already existed in the 4th century, (perhaps consecrated by Saint Donato, second Bishop of Arezzo, who was an evangelizer in this area) as a baptismal church. As part of a group of 19 Pievi, it was the object of a famous dispute between the Bishops of Siena and Arezzo, over the question of to whom they belonged, which went on until 1220. Of the 19 ancient baptismal churches, Cennano and Corsignano are the only ones which have retained any integrity, while the others either no longer exist or have been radically altered.

The present structure of the church, which is on the plan of a basilica with Romanesque traces, dates back to 1285, as a Gothic inscription in the arch above the door indicates.
On the outside, in the doorway arch, in addition to the previously mentioned inscription, are some very interesting carvings, full of symbolic significance.
At the sides are the figures of two human heads. Above those are two birds of prey (eagles), then two fleur-de-lis (French workers participated in the construction of the Pieve), topped by two mammals (sheep and bull), and finally, an eagle with its wings spread.
To the side are two Maltese crosses, to symbolize the passage of the Knights Templar. Above the door in the front, is an arched window opening, with characteristic traces of the gothic style.
The Pieve di San Stefano is maintained by the Confraternita di San Bernardino.

[read more]

  Pieve di Santo Stefano a Cennano, absis

Pieve di Santo Stefano a Cennano, absis

Monastero di S.Pellegrino in Passeno in Castelmuzio

  Monastery of the Pilgrim in Passeno, near Castelmuzio was founded in the 7th century (653-661) by a Longobardian lord named Ursus Ariman, and was located close to an alternate route of the Roman via Francigena.  



La Pieve di San Cresci, named after the saint and martyr Acrisius, popularly called Cresci, is situated just outside of Montefioralle, above the bustling town Greve in Chianti, in the province of Florence, in the diocese of Fiesole. The old church is named after one of the greatest evangelists of the Florentine countryside.

La Macina di San Cresci , located in the pieve, consists of a studio space, gallery and residence for artists. It is a platform for creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary art in all its forms. 

Pieve di San Cresci at Monteficalle
The Romanesque Pieve of San Pietro a Cedda is six kilometres from Poggibonsi's centre. It is an abbey-like building with a noteworthy apse and a large bell tower. The complex decoration of the portals and windows is also significant. The interior has a tabernacle attributed to Mino da Fiesole. It once housed also a 14th-century triptych of the Florentine School, now in the town museum of Colle.  



    Pieve Santa Restituta, Montalcino   Pieve di Cedda, Poggibonsi
    Pieve Santa Restituta, Montalcino    

Pieve di Santa Maria a Pacina


The Parish church of Pacina with its round bell tower can be found just a few kilometres outside Castelnuovo Berardenga on the road that leads to Pianella.

[read more]


Pieve di Sant'Appiano 


Pieve di San Giovanni Battista, or Pieve di Ponte allo Spino

One of the most important monuments of Sovicille is the Pieve di San Giovanni Battista, or Pieve di Ponte allo Spino, a Romanesque church with nave and two aisles and adjacent the cloister's remains of Gothic's rectory.

Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino, Sovicille, Montagnola Senese


Sovicille, Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino     Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino, absis

Sovicille, Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino


  Sovicille, Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino   Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino, absidi
Sovicille, pieve di ponte allo spino, resti dell'antico chiostro (ripristinati negli anni '50) 04 colonnetta romana   Sovicille, Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino , interno   Sovicille, pieve di ponte allo spino, interno, capitelli della fine del XII secolo 03 vendemmia
Pieve di Ponte allo Spino, resti dell'antico chiostro, colonnetta romana  

Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino, interno


  Pieve di San Giovanni Battista a Ponte allo Spino, interno


Map of Romanesque churches in Tuscany and beyond




Castel del Piano, Chiesa di San Biagio a Gravilona   
Pieve dei Santi Stefano e Degna in Castiglione d’Orcia   CastelDelPianoChiesaSantaLucia2
Castel del Piano, Chiesa di San Biagio a Gravilona  

Pieve dei Santi Stefano e Degna in Castiglione d’Orcia


  Castel del Piano, Chiesa di Santa Lucia
CastiglioneDOrciaChiesaSantaMariaMaddalena   Vivo d'orcia 045   Vivo d'Orcia, Pieve di San Marcello

Castiglione d'Orcia



L'Ermicciolo, Vivo’Orcia



  Vivo d'Orcia, Pieve di San Marcello

Pievi Romaniche della Toscana e oltre | Romanesque churches in Tuscany and beyond | Mappa | Map

Holiday Accommodation Tuscany

Located on the outskirts of Castiglioncello Bandini, in a hilly and unspoilt land, Podere Santa Pia is one of the best places to slow traveling in Tuscany. This formal cloister offers the quiet tranquility of a private retreat, with numerous attractions, beautiful nature reserves and beautiful beaches within easy reach.

Tuscany's Best-Kept Secret | Holiday home Podere Santa Pia