Casole d'Elsa is an Italian little town near Siena, in Tuscany. It is situated in the valley of the Elsa river. This town is located about 50 Km (31 miles) southwest of Florence and 25 Km (16 miles) west of Siena. Main sights: Collegiata of Santa Maria Assunta, this church, built in a Romanesque style and enhanced by a bell tower, was consecrated in 1161. The upper part of the church is decorated with blinds arches divided by slender semicolumns. The transept is dated back to the 14th century and in the lower part we can find the tombs of Bernardino Degli Albertini by Marco Romano (early 14th century) and of Bishop Tommaso Andrei by Giano Fazio (1303). The Civic Museum is annexed to the church and inside it there are works by Domenico Di Michelino, Alessandro Casolani and other artists.
Historical artistic sites
La Suvera Show position
LOCATION: near Pievescola, on a deviation, on the left of the road that goes from Colle di Val d’Elsa to Grosseto, passing through Colonna di Montarrenti.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: records of the XI century confirm the existence of the castle of de La Suvera and that it belonged to the monks of San Lorenzo dell’Ardenghesca, that it was under the patronage of the Ardengheschi family who, at a later date became the owners.
Destroyed by Siena in 1268, the castle deteriorated and was re-built at the beginning of the sixteen hundreds and was completely transformed into a villa by the new owners, the Chigi’s of Siena. Further improvements were made in the seventeen hundreds.
DESCRIPTION: an imposing building on three floors above which is a characteristic loggia. One side of the villa, as can be recognised by the construction of the wall, has retained traces of its medieval origin. Attached is a seventeen hundreds chapel surrounded by an Italian garden.
San Niccolò a Casole d'Elsa Show position
LOCATION: the church was built in a dominant position on the right of the road which leads form Casole D'Elsa to Colle di Valdelsa. The name “Casole” is the plural of “Casola”, the Latin diminutive of “Casa” (home).
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: this church was approved for construction on the 17th of June 1384. At first it was designed to be a tomb, but it was never realized.
Recently other information maintenance during the following centuries has come to light. For this reason we have been able to know that in the 16th century a brickwork Portico was added in front of the facade.
DESCRIPTION: this church, adjacent to the municipal cemetery, has the form of a transept with large central apse and two side apses shaped into the thickness of the walls.
Internally there are five naves all cross-vaulted and fully arched. The walls have been embellished with frescoes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and behind the main altar we can notice the work of the 13th century Sienese school.
San Giovanni Battista a Pievescola Show position
LOCATION: in the middle of a group of houses, on the left hand side of the road which leads from Colle di Val d’Elsa to Grosseto, passing through Colonna di Montarrenti.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the earliest records of the church date back to 1001 when the Countess Ava di Montemaggio desired its construction and wanted it to be protected by a surrounding wall, now half-hidden in the ground. In the 13th century the church had thirteen suffragette churches under its jurisdiction and good incomes. In the following centuries begun the building deterioration. Unfortunately not enough effort was made to keep it in good conditions.
DESCRIPTION: the church is basilica in plan with three naves and as many apses, each with elongated windows. The facade, irregular because of the position ex-centric beli tower, an entrance door with arched architrave, beautiful arched mullioned windows in Pisan/Lucchese style.
San Giovanni Battista a Mensano Show position
LOCATION: in an attractive position, in the centre of Mensano which is situated on an important local link road which is connected on the right with another road which goes from Colle di Val d’Elsa to Grosseto passing through Colonna di Montarrenti.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the church of San Giovanni Battista in the castle of Mensano is mentioned in an Act dated 29th December, 1171 issued by Pope Alexander III, which assigned the building to the Bishop of Volterra.
The church however, was able to maintain a position of relative autonomy both socially and politically. In the 13th and 14th century it was subjected to many changes, fortunately removed in the 20th century.
DESCRIPTION: an imposing church with a basilica plan and three naves and apses which are formed on either side within the thickness of the wall.
The facade is attractive and there are capitols at the top of monolithic columns attributed to Bonamico Pisano as well as a fresco on the left wall representing the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastiano.
SS. Maria e Gervasio a Marmoraia Show position
LOCATION: on the right of the street that goes from Scorgiano to Maggiano.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: building dated in the 11th century, situated at the center of the Fort Marmolaia whose walls are still visible.
DESCRIPTION: the facade of the church is made of stone, with a central door and overhead windows. In front of the building there is a section of the walls of Marmoraia.
In the back side there are the apse and the bella tower. The renovation made over the centuries has not disturbed the whole thing.
Tumulo Etrusco di MucellenaShow position
LOCATION: in the “Montagnola senese” at 553 meter above the sea level, near the road the leads to “Marmoraia”. There is a road sign that says “Etruscan Tumolo”.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the area was inhabited by the Etruscans from the 4th century B.C., and, it the same years, it was also was under the hegemony of the city of Volterra.
DESCRIPTION: large mound of earth and stones covered with threes, typical of the sixth century B.C., with an underlying tomb supported by a central pillar, in front of which there is a wall opposite with two niches.
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