Guided tours

LaVal di Merse: ‘’a land of endless beauty’’

Chiara Bicellari - Guida turistica Val di Merse

On the west side of Siena, where the metalliferous hills and the Maremma meet, the Val di Merse is an unmissable stop for everyone who loves natural environments. It develops between the Merse river basins and the basins of its tributary, the Farma, and is dotted with ancient villages and extraordinary monuments, among which the San Galgano Abbey. The original nucleus of this complex is the Roman hermitage of Montesipei, with its unique circular form, which was designed as a mausoleum to store the tomb of the Saint. Inside, you can find the famous sword in the stone, which belonged to the knight Galgano Guidotti, who stack it in the ground as a symbol of resignation to material assets. .

San Galgano abbey

A few years after the Saint’s death, occurred in 1181, the rising number of mocks that came to San Galgano from Casamari, caused the request of a bigger construction for the Gothic abbey, in the valley below. A period of flourishing culture and economy was followed by a rapid decadence and abandonment with consequent occupations which also caused the crash of the roof. Recent restorations have strengthened and cleaned up the travertine and bricks backbone of this massive construction that dominates with its charm in the valley.


From the hermitage of Montesiepi you can see the hill on which Chiusdino, the birthplace of Galgano, stands 564 meters above sea level. Walking along the characteristic alleys, which develop in an elliptical shape following the trend of the double walls, you can observe the facades of medieval houses, including the Saint's house, with fragments of fourteenth-century frescoes. The civic and diocesan museum of sacred art collects numerous works of art from the churches of the area, including paintings on wood and canvas, sacred goldsmiths, reliquaries.

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    Val di Merse Tour

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