Central Italy and Rome, Handbook for Travellers

By Karl Baedeker | Go to book overview

ramini family on the site of a mediwval castle, and was modernized in the 19th century. On the groundfloor is a ceiling-painting by Peruzzi: Judgment of Paris. The frescoes in the chapel, by the same master, have been sadly injured by restoration. Visitors are admitted in the afternoon only.

Attractive drives may be taken also to San Gimignano (p. 18), or to Monte Oliveto Maggiore (see below; viâ Buonconvento, see p. 43), each about 22 M. from Siena (3 hrs.' drive). — Other drives and motorexcursions, see p. 22.


6. From Siena to Chiusi.

54 ½ M. Railway in 2 ¾-4 brs. (fares 10 fr. 25, 7 fr. 15, d fr. 60 c.); express train in 2 ¼ hrs. (fares 11 fr. 25, 7 fr. 90 c.).

Siena (p. 21) is a terminal station. The train returns part of the way to Empoli and then diverges towards the S. E. We traverse the hills which form the watershed between the Oinbrone and the valley of the Chiana. — 5 ½ M. Arbia.

About 2 M. to the N.E. lies Sant' Ansano a Dófana, the parish- church of which contains a Madonna and saints by Pietro Lorenzetti ( 1328) and a Madonna by Bald. Peruzzi, to whom also is due the brick erection of the Martirio Sant' Ansano (key at the parsonage). A pyramid surrounded by cypresses on the opposite (E.) ridge of hills marks the site of the castle of Monte Aperto, whence Farinata degli Uberti (p. 24) started for the battle of 1260. Carr. from Siena (6 M.), see p. 22.

10 N. Castelnuovo Berardenga, in a bleak district of barren clay-hills, deeply furrowed by rain-courses.

19 ½ M. Asciano; the pleasant little town (656 ft.; Alb. del Sole, R. 1 ½ fr.; 3620 inhab.), 2 M. to the right of the station, possesses fortifications constructed by the Sienese in 1351, a handsome fountain on the piazza, and several old churches. The church of San Francesco contains a tasteful holy-water basin, a painted terracotta altar-piece with SS. Raphael and Christopher, of the school of the Robbia, and a Madonna by Lippo Memmi. In the Collegiata are a Birth of the Virgin by Sassetta, an Assumption by Giovanni di Paolo, with wings by Matteo di Giovanni, and frescoes by Taddeo di Bartolo. In San Sebastiano is a fresco by Benvenuto di Giovanni. The altar-piece of Sant' Agostino is by Domenico di Bartolo ( 1437).

Asciano is a convenient starting-point for a visit to the famous, but now suppressed, Benedictine convent of *Monte Oliveto Maggiore (6 M.; carriages at the station, at Bucclarelli's or the Alb. del Sole, 8-10 fr. there and back with one horse; a drive of 2 hrs. by the highroad, or 1 ½ hr. by the picturesque direct route, suitable for light vehicles only). Direct route from Siena, see p. 22.

Visitors who desire to spend the night at the convent must apply beforehand to the 'lispettore' of the Accademia di Belle Arti at Siena (p. 38), from whom they receive a 'permesso' to present to the 'Sopraintendento alla custodia del già Arcicenobio di Monte Oliveto Maggiore'. Those who have not time to send this two days in advance should provide themselves with provisions for one day. Only artists and scholars are allowed to stay more than two days at the convent (pens. 5 fr.).

-44-

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