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Val d’Elsa: the land of Dante’s Commedia

A journey that starts at the end of the thirteenth century with the inspiration of Arnolfo di Cambio, one of the major Tuscan artists, but perhaps less well-known than others because they lived in Rome for decades. Yet Arnolfo was before Michelangelo, before Leonardo, Vasari before or Sangallo the artist who knew how to combine technology architect, sculptor and manual skill of the painter. But today is San Gimignano, with its many installations by contemporary artists, to make us think about how the art of the present can coexist with the old one without denying it, nor to offend, but rather contributing to vivify.

Inside the Palazzo del Popolo is certainly worthy of note is the "Majesty" (1317) by Lippo Memmi contained within the Sala di Dante, as well as, in the Civic Museum and Art Gallery are reported in the beautiful paintings by Coppo di Marcovaldo, Filippino Lippi, Pinturicchio and Benozzo Gozzoli. In the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (XII sec.) Display frescoes of the Sienese school, wooden statues by Jacopo della Quercia, as well as works of the Florentine School. The Chapel of Santa Fina is one of the most significant works of the Renaissance Tuscan built by Giuliano and Benedetto da Majano, in which there are frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio and student Sebastiano Mainardi.

At Casole d'Elsa do not miss the cenotaph of Aringhieri Beltramo, a masterpiece of Gothic Marco Romano kept inside the Collegiate; an Annunciation by Rutilio Manetti and a fourteenth-century wooden crucifix are located in the nearby Oratorio. Not to be missed is the beautiful experimental collection of the Museum and Art Gallery Viva twentieth century. The Museum of the Collegiate contains, among other works, a precious fresco of the Madonna and the Madonna of Humility School Duccio di Domenico di Michelino. A Poggibonsi old and new blend completely: at Fonte delle Fate, a great watering hole of the thirteenth century with six pointed arches type of Siena, is located since 2000 the work of Mimmo Paladino.

The Sleepers, 25 sculptures of human figures, squatting in fetal positions, and crocodiles in bronze, lying on sheets deposited in the water. Among the works of artistic value contained within the fortress of Monteriggioni, one of the few cities that still has the look of a medieval time, is undoubtedly to be counted, the Parish Church of the Assumption.

The parish church, Romanesque style building / Gothic, is located inside the city walls built around 1215, at the height of the expansionist policy of the city of Siena. The castle of Monteriggioni had, in fact, the function of blocking the road to the Florentines during the many wars that took place in those years. Located in the district of Monteriggioni is the Museum of Sacred Art of the Regional Seminary of Pius XII Montearioso. Inside sacred works (XIII - XVIII sec.) As the Madonna del Latte di Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and paintings by Lorenzo di Pietro said Vecchietta, Domenico Boccafumi and Master Sheepfold.

Do not miss the Church of the Holy Saviour and Cirino Badia a Isola among which is the Assumption of the Virgin Vincenzo Tamagni. An itinerary full of history to taste and enjoy the secret part of Tuscany.

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