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One of the most beautiful villages in Italy: Santa Fiora, the land of water

Santa Fiora Italy

Santa Fiora is definitely one of the Tuscan towns that are a must see: a picturesque village where the element of water is king and which creates an atmosphere full of charm in every season. The small town is ranked among the most beautiful villages in Italy and it has been assigned the status of Orange Flag of the TIC – Touring Club Italia – for a three-year long period of 2018/2020.

The historic centre of Santa Fiora is small but welcoming, full of tourist facilities and typical shops. For information on history, culture, nature, gastronomy and events, tourists can refer to the information point.

The village is built around the Fiora river: the antiquity of the village, the culture and its traditions are still alive and make it a truly unique place. It is surely worth a visit at least once in your lifetime. It is also the ideal destination for a holiday in Tuscany for those who just want to relax and be pampered by the sound of water, as well as for those who want to embark on a journey to discover ancient customs.

What to see in Santa Fiora, Tuscany

1. Terziere di Castello

The centre of the “land of water” is historically divided into three districts. Terziere di Castello is the oldest part of the village, where the remains of the Aldobrandeschi buildings and fortifications can be found. In the main square there are the 14th-century Tower and Palazzo Sforza Cesarini (16th-century).

The Renaissance building is the seat of the Municipality of Santa Fiora and it houses the Monte Amiata Mining Museum. In fact, between 1800 and 1900 the area was characterised by mercury extraction. At the end of the square begins Via Carolina: the only road that crosses all the three districts.

The Paris Church of Saints Flora e Lucilla is the most important monument in the village. It houses a precious collection of ceramics attributed to Andrea della Robbia.

2. Terziere di Borgo

The Porticciola introduces us to the distrct of Terziere di Borgo, a natural development of the ancient town. For years it was the most populated district. In the past, the Jewish ghetto was located between the Convent of the Poor Clares and the Convent of the Augustinians.

An absolute must is the Church of Sant’Agostino, founded in 1309; of its adjoining Convent, the only original piece that remains is an arched portal from 1473.

In this district – which is surrounded by walls – you can enjoy splendid views of the mountains and the Peschiera.

3. Terziere di Montecatino

Passing through Porta San Michele you reach the most picturesque part of Santa Fiora: Terziere di Montecatino district. This is dominated by the Peschiera: it is a basin that collects the waters of the River Fiora. It is said to take its name from “catino”, meaning basin: a place where water collects.

The Peschiera of Santa Fiora was probably a trout farm of the Aldobrandeschi family, subsequently transformed by the Sforza Cesarini into an elegant Renaissance garden-park containing cypresses, lindens and magnolias.

4. The Peschiera and the Fiora spring

Adjacent to the body of water you can find a small and suggestive Church called the Madonna della Neve, also known as “Pescina”. The small church was built by the Augustinians in the 17th-century. It is quite humble but rich in frescoes, attributed to Francesco Nasini. What makes it unique is its glass floor from which you can admire the water spring of Fiora.

This is definitely a journey in search of tranquility in one of the must-see Tuscan villages where you can indulge yourself with the flavors of the Amiata,  such as the Sanfiorese chestnuts. You can also attend one of the ancient traditional festivals, particularly the Carnival of the dead which is example of theatrical and popular celebration regarding death and the will of Carnival.

What to see nearby

  • Saturnia (45 minutes by car)
    Saturnia is located just a short distance from the renowned hot springs and it is perfectly set in the gentle hilly landscape typical of the Maremma, making it the ideal starting point for excursions.
  • Orvieto (1 hour and 18 minutes by car)
    Orvieto is a town with a unique historical and artistic heritage in Umbria. A “museum” town that has lived through various historical eras, some of them as a major protagonist.
  • Bolsena Lake (1 hour and 13 minutes)
    Bolsena Lake is located in the province of Viterbo. It has a very characteristic oval shape, due to its volcanic origin. For this reason, the lake’s shores – low and sandy – are characterised by blackish sand.

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