SAN GIMIGNANO - COLLE VAL D'ELSA
CASOLE D'ELSA - POGGIBONSI
MEDIEVAL TOWNS AND FRANCIGENA ROUTE
The valley of river Elsa is crossed by Francigena route, an ancient pilgrimage road documented since the 800 BC. Pilgrims from North-West Europe, particularly from France, travelled along this route to reach the City of Rome. The Hospital of “Santa Maria della Scala” in Siena was a stop to meet and rest, and the actual welcoming tradition of the place is strictly connected with the Francigena pilgrimage. Traces of these route are still evident on the way, and still nowadays a lot of pilgrims walk on this itinerary, to enjoy the beauty of the landscapes between Siena and Radicofani. In the Elsa valley there are numerous historical and artistic towns to discover: San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Colle and Casole d'Elsa.
The historical centre of San Gimignano, as well as other wonderful locations in the province of Siena, was declared UNESCO World Heritage. It is mainly famous for its towers, 72 in the Middle Ages, one for every noble family of the city, erected to demonstrate their economic and political power. Of these seventy-two towers, now only 16 are preserved.
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