Central Italy and Rome, Handbook for Travellers

By Karl Baedeker | Go to book overview

(p. 5) is Giglio, Lat. Igilium (1634 ft.; 8½ sq. M. in area), a considerable island (2350 inhab.) containing granite-quarries and vineyards. Near the harbour, Porto, are vestiges of a Roman palace. A steamer plies every morning, except Sun., from Porto Santo Stefano (p. 5) to Giglio, returning in the afternoon.


4. From Florence to Siena viâ Empoli.

59 M. Railway in 2¾-3½ hrs. (fares 11 fr. 5, 7 fr. 75, 5 fr.); through- carriages by some trains. In summer express trains run on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. in 2¼ hrs. (fares 12 fr. 15, 8 fr. 50 c.).

From Florence to (19½ M.) Empoli (Rail. Restaurant) and thence to Pisa and Leghorn, see Baedeker's Northern, Italy.

The line to Siena ascends the fertile valley of the Elsa, on the right bank of the stream. To the right, on the hill, stands San Miniato, once an imperial palace of Frederick Barbarossa. — 22½ M. Ponte a Elsa; 26 M. Granaiolo. — 30 31. Castel Fiorentino; the town, on the slope (354 ft.) to the left, is the principal place in the Val d' Elsa.

About 7 M. to the S.W. of Castel Fiorentino (diligence thrice daily in 1 hr.) lies the small walled town of Montaione (1121 ft.; Alb. Ciulli, R. 1 fr.), with 3673 inhab., 3½ M. to the S.W. of which is the Franciscan monastery of San Vivaldo, which possesses fourteen glazed terracotta groups illustrating the Passion, perhaps from the school of the Robbias.

35 M. Certaldo (426 ft.; Albergo della Stazione, Via Umberto Primo, near the station, R. 1½ fr.), with 4522 inhab., lies on the hill to the left. It was the family-home of Giovanni Boccaccio, who was born at Paris in 1313, and died here in 1375. A statue of him, by Aug. Passaglia, was erected in the principal square in 1879. In the upper part of the town is the church of Santi Michele e Jacopo, in which the poet was buried; it contains a memorial tablet of 1503 and a bust by Giov. Rustici. Close by is the Casa di Boccaccio, which was restored in 1823 by the Marchesa Lenzoni- Medici, and furnished with old household-effects. The tower commands a pretty view. The Palazzo Pretorio, which is adorned with coats-of-arms, contains some defaced frescoes.

A carriage-road leads to the S. from Certaldo to (7 M.) San Gimignano (p. 18; one-horse carr., 1 pers. 3, 2-3 pers. 4, there and back with 5 hrs., stay 5 or 6 fr.; two-horse carr. 8 or 12 fr.).

Before reaching (39½ M.) Barberino di Val d' Elsa San Gimignano is visible for a short time on the right.

43 M. Poggibonsi (Alb. dell' Aquila, opposite the station, R. 1-1½ fr., well spoken of); the town (7886 inhab.) lies to the right. On the hill 1 M. to the S. rise the old Fortress and the monastery of San Lucchese. In the church of the fortress is an altar-piece (Noli me tangere) and in the former refectory are frescoes by Gerino da Pistoia.

From Poggibonsi to Colle di Val d'Elsa, 5 M., branch-railway in 17 min. (75, 45 c.). Carriage (see p. 18) with one horse½, with two horses 3½, there and back 2½ or 5 fr. — Colle di Val d'Elsa (Venezia,

-17-

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