Casole d’Elsa is a small hamlet set among the hills of the characteristic Sienese countryside. A place from which you can enjoy an incredible view of vineyards, olive trees and tree-lined trails, but which also offers many opportunities to discover about the history and artistic treasures of the area.
What to see in Casole d’Elsa
The journey to discover the town should starts from the Rocca Senese and its walls. Casole d’Elsa is a settlement of Etruscan origin, that in the XIII century came under the dominion of the bishops of Volterra, but it was always quarreled by Siena because of its strategic position.Two towers dated back to XIII century, but one is now almost completely destroyed; the Rocca, built in XIV century, has undergone several changes over time and is now the seat of the Municipality. It also houses ArteViva Picture Gallery, where are displayed the works of art by the children of Casole and surroundings.
Continuing along the main street of the town, via Casolani, you can reach the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta. This church, in Romanesque style, houses many works of art and the baptistery with a 16th century baptismal font. Inside the rectory there is the Archaeological and Collegiate Museum, which preserves finds from the Etruscan period and works of sacred art.
But Casole d’Elsa never ceases to amaze. Majolica, murals and sculptures embellish the town, which also offers a romantic corner dedicated to lovers, where to seal promises of love.
Located in Val d’Elsa, Casole is a few kilometers away from San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Volterra.
In the wood between the hamlet and Chiusdino it’s possible to visit Selva di Sogno, a sort of « magical garden » for adults and children, born from the imagination and inspiration of the German sculptor Deva Manfredo. The artist has created a path in which art and nature merge. Inside the park there are over one hundred stone art installations of different sizes. Some more mysterious, others colorful and cheerful, which almost seem to come to life. In this special place, visitors are invited to stop and meditate. To find harmony and their inner well-being.
When to go to Casole d’Elsa
Casole d’Elsa is a very charming destination, where you can go in different periods of the year to experience Tuscany in its most authentic aspects.
There are two events that make it a rather popular destination: one in summer and the other in winter. On the second Sunday of July, the Palio is held in honor of Sant’Isidoro, a horse race among the six districts (contrade) of the town, such as the Palio di Siena. While during the Christmas period and the Epiphany, the town hosts a picturesque living nativity scene. One of the most famous, in fact Casole is also known as the « Town of the Living Nativity Scene in Italy ».
Credits preview photo: adambomb1983, www.instagram.com/p/By2KtsgAa9h/