San Gimignano, reachable from Tenuta Torciano in 5 minutes drive only, preserves intact its image of the medieval commune, with the walled village which gathers rich art treasures, with the proud of its towers, so as a long time ago, reason of proud and richness was the saffron that was produced here and exported in France and in the Low Countries. The area inside the medieval town walls which surround the built-up area and mark the access from South of the Via Francigena, is closed to the private traffic. But there are many car parks where to leave the car and going then on foot. The Piazza della Cisterna (which dates back to 1237) is the hub of life in San Gimignano. Here you can admire, among the most important buildings, Palazzo Tortoli-Treccani, Palazzo Cortesi with the tower "del Diavolo" and then you can go towards Piazza del Duomo with the thirteenth-century towers "degli Ardinghelli" (a little divergent, to which lean the "loggia" of Palazzo del Popolo, the Romanesque twelfth-century Collegiata (with frescoes by Taddeo di Bartolo and works of Benozzo Gozzoli and Jacopo della Quercia), the Palazzo del Podestà, The Museo Civico, Via San Matteo, Piazza S. Agostino with the church containing masterpieces of Pollaiolo, Bartolo di Fredi and Benozzo Gozzoli. You can also enjoy the many little shops which offer precious local handicrafts.
Colle di Val d'Elsa
Colle di Val d’Elsa, where Arnolfo di Cambio was born and whereis still standing his native house, is 15 minutes drive from Tenuta Torciano. The village Colle Alta (233 mt), once Piticciano, is reachable from Via del Castello which is interesting to visit as it still keeps its medieval characteristics almost intact. Here you can still admire the ruins of twelfth- and thirteenth-century fortifications. Very interesting to visit is Palazzo Campana, an unfinished work of Giuliano di Baccio d’Agnolo (1539), the Piazza del Duomo, the Palazzo Pretorio with the Museo Archeologico Bandinelli and works of Arnolfo di Cambio. The Museo Archeologico collects archeological finds (rare black painted vases) of a necropolis of Monteriggioni. Charming is the church of S.Agostino with the unfinished thirteenth-century façade in Colle Bassa with paintings of Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Alessandro Allori and Taddeo Bartolo. You can breathe an enchanting atmosphere, almost still standing at the Middle Age time.
Siena, the town of the 3 hills from where its streets start to run, surrounded by high walls which contain it, is 20 minutes drive from Tenuta Torciano. It is a fascinating, fourth-century town, full of history and wonderful art. It is not possible to enterinside the walls by car but you can leave it in one of the many car parks. Siena branches out in three “thirds” referring to the hills, which regard the allotments of the “contrade”, protagonists of the Palio in honour of Madonna di Provenzano on July 2nd and in honour of the Assunta on August 16th. Representatives of the “contrade” dressed with medieval costumes parade with the flag-wavers in a rich procession followed by the Carroccio or Carro di Trionfo which carries a silk drape painted for the winner “contrada”. It is difficult to show the ideal way to enjoy the beauties of the town, but there is something that cannot be missed: the Fonte Gaia in Piazza del Campo of Jacopo della Quercia (1419), the Palazzo Pubblico (exemple of gothic civil architecture), the Torre del Mangia (1325-48), the Cappella di Piazza, the Museo Civico with works of Simone Martini, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Martino di Bartolomeo and the Allegoria del buono e cattivo Governo by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1338), the Palazzo Piccolomini, the Basilica dei Servi, the churches Santa Maria degli Angeli in Valli, Santo Spirito, S. Agostino, S. Niccolò al Carmine, S. Maria di Provenzano, the gothic S. Domenico , the basilica francescana of S. Francesco, the Oratorio of S. Bernardino, the Santuario della Casa di S. Caterina, the main place with the Duomo. A short visit will not allow to enjoy all the beauties of Siena which should be appreciated with patience and careful.
Volterra, famous town thanks to its alabaster production and to its Etruscan walls of which there are stillstanding ruins, is reachable in 40 minutes drive from Tenuta Torciano. The squared Piazza dei Priori, with Palazzo dei Priori, is certainly an exemple of a medieval Piazza. In the XII- XIII-centuries Duomo, there is among the other works, a fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli. Of great value is the Battistero with the font by Andrea Sansovino (1502). The Quadrivio dei Buomparenti and via Ricciarelli are starting points for an unusual excursion to the XII-century church of San Francesco with the image of the Madonna di S. Sebastiano dating back to 1400, the patron saint of the town, going on towards the Pinacoteca and to the Museo Civico with works, among the others, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Luca Signorelli and Daniele da Volterra. It is interesting to visit S. Michele Arcangelo, the romanic theater and the fortress, Renaissance stronghold, the Etruscan Museum Guarnacci with a collection of IV-I-centuries b.C. Etruscan cinerary urns made of tuff,alabaster and terracotta.Via Matteotti, medieval street, in the historical center and Porta all'Arco are ideal destinations for alabasters lovers who can find here a wide range of works in the many shops. A walk in Viale dei Ponti that starts from Piazza dei Martiri della Libertà will let you enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.
Firenze is about half an hour drive from Tenuta Torciano. With buildings, churches,suggestive art works, the Arno river, the Tuscan chief town welcomes the visitor suggestingcultural walks, shopping in exclusive boutiques or in shops with original handicrafts, nice moments in large squares where the view is unique and unforgettable. Those who get Firenze cannot miss a visit toPiazza del Duomo, Piazza San Giovanni and to the religious monuments of great historical-artistic value: the Battistero di S. Giovanni, the basilica di S.Maria del Fiore, the campanile di Giotto, S. Lorenzo, S.Spirito, S.Trinità, S.Maria Novella, the basilica della SS.Annunziata, the Badia Fiorentina, S.Maria del Carmine, S. Filippo Neri, S.Marco, Santa Croce. And it is interesting to visit also Palazzo Pitti, Galleria degli Uffizi, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello,Orsanmichele, Piazza della Signoria or Palazzo Vecchio. From Ponte Vecchio – the eldest and most famous bridge with the three arches and flanked with a double row of small shops, especially jewellers’ – you can enjoy a picturesque view of the town and the river. But you can enjoy the most spectacular view from Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can admire the whole city in its splendour. Museums, churches, alleys, bridges (among the others Ponte alle Grazie), buildings, nobility houses, squares, any corner ofFirenze enchants the tourist who will keepeverlasting memories of the images of frescoes, of paintings, of sculptures which the city still preserves made by very famous artists like Michelangelo, Raffaello, Perugino, Filippo Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Lippi and many other ones.
Lucca, the town surrounded from suggestive, ancient, long (about 4 km) and red walls, certainly one of the most characteristic military works in Tuscany, is about 35 minutes drive from Tenuta Torciano and shows most of its beauties in the monumental centre (Piazza Napoleone with Palazzo della Provincia, Piazza S.Martino, Piazza del Salvatore, Piazza S.Michele and all the buildings and also thePinacoteca Nazionale with works made by Pontormo,Andrea del Sarto and Veronese). Interesting to visit is theDuomo, (dedicated to S.Martino built in the XI-XII centuries but restructured inside in the XIV-XV centurieswith works of great value by Matteo Civitali and Tintoretto and Domenico Ghirlandaio) but also the churches S.Maria della Rosa, SS. Giovanni e Reparata, SS.Simone e Giuda, S.Michele in Foro – one of the most typical exemples of the pisano-senese architecture with even a Madonna con Bambino by Andrea della Robbia, made of glazed terracotta- S.Paolino, S.Romano and S.Alessandro. In the northern quarters, with the wonderful S.Frediano built in 1127 and modified in the XIII century, it is to visit with careful the interesting Piazza del Mercato. A walk just to have a look about the nice shops in Via Fillungo, in the historical centre of the town. It will be very pleasant and relaxing. If you have time, visit the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi, in a XV-century villa with an interesting archaeological area and an area with paintings and sculptures of great value (made by Vasari, Guido Reni and Pietro Paolini and Girolamo Scaglia – famous artist of the 1600 in Lucca). S.Maria Forisportam (with two works by Guercino), the oratorio di S.Giulia complete your visit which will leave traces in the memory of the most interested ones.
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of theProvince of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its Leaning Tower (the bell tower of the city's cathedral), the city of over 87,500 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno.