The Val d'Elsa itinerary, starting from Siena runs on Cassia Nord "Via Francigena" you get to Monteriggioni, an important medieval stronghold and military outpost.
Continuing to get to Colle Val d'Elsa important medieval center famous for glassware and the birthplace of Arnolfo di Cambio, then continue to San Gimignano famous medieval city of towers,
the Vernaccia wine and saffron, then closes the tour Casole d'Elsa.
Monteriggioni Monteriggioni Castle to see it from a distance, with its walls and remaining witnesses of bygone days, giving the impression that time has stood still and out of the circle of its walls. The people and their realities have changed but still those who chose to live in the castle, has kept the pace slow and full of life on a human scale and nature, with the values of the farming culture and constant contact with history. L 'image of the castle for travelers and it was very impressive and imposing as it appears high on the hill.
Colle Val d'Elsa
Colle di Val d'Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, in a strategically favorable position, near the cities of Siena, Florence and Volterra, along the Via Francigena, the medieval highway of the great pilgrimages from northern Europe to Rome. The town was originally developed in three villages autonomous, distinct structures and planimetric configuration: the Borgo di Santa Caterina, Castle Piticciano and Piano. Whilst the area of Colle has major archeological finds, dating back to the fourth millennium BC, the first documents, where appointment Colle di Val d'Elsa, date back to the tenth century, but by the end of the twelfth century that the town gradually acquired autonomy and identity politics: the first documented municipal statutes date to 1307.
San Gimignano San Gimignano stands with its towers, on a hill (334m high) dominating the Val d'Elsa. Site of a small Etruscan village of the Hellenistic period (III-II cent. BC), its history began around the tenth century, taking its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena: San Gimignano, who saved the village from the barbarian hordes. It developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the Via Francigena that crossed it. In fact, San Gimignano had an extraordinary flowering of works of art to adorn the churches and convents. In 1199 he became a free municipality and fought against the Bishops of Volterra and the surrounding municipalities, suffered internal strife divided into two factions following the Ardinghelli (Guelph) and Salvucci (Ghibellines). The May 8, 1300 Dante Alighieri came ambaciatore of the Guelph League in Tuscany. The terrible plague of 1348 and subsequent depopulation threw San Gimignano into a severe crisis. The town had therefore submit to Florence. Degradation and abandonment of centuries after it came out only when we began to rediscover the beauty of the city, its cultural importance and its original agricultural identity.
Casole d'Elsa is part of the province of Siena and rises like a medieval village from a hill of 417 meters, overlooking the panorama of the Valle d'Elsa and the countryside. Still retains part of the medieval walls. The place name comes from the Latin "Casula" or house or hut; while the specification "Elsa" was added only in 1862, with reference to the nearby river. The place is mentioned for the first time in a deed in 896 with which the Marquis of Tuscany Adalberto granted the village feud in the Bishopric of Volterra. Documents of the century XI mentioning still Casole castle as the Diocese of Volterra. Since 1201 becomes free municipality, and then fall in 1240 under the influence of Siena who conquered after a long siege, strengthening the fortifications.