Civic Museum of Archeology and the Collegiate Church in Casole d’Elsa
From Etruscan artefacts to Sienese artworks
The Civic Museum of Archeology in Casole d’Elsa, housed in the rectory of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, displays archaeological artefactsfrom the Etruscan period uncovered in the surrounding area, along with local artworks from the late Middle Ages onwards.
In the section dedicated to archaeology, you can follow the history of the region’s inhabitation by the Etruscans, starting from the earliest period and evidenced by the necropolis’ hoard from the town of “Le Gabbra”. Here you may admire the attic-style vases rediscovered in the 19th century by Marquis Barbagli, attesting to the economic and cultural vitality of this zone during the Archaic period, but also two splendid bronze fasteners (hair clips) decorated with one of the earliest portrayals of boxing in the Etruscan world, not to mention the grave goods from the Hellenistic era produced under the influence of the town of Volterra.
The historical-artistic section includes an important collection of works by the local painter Alessandro Casolani, active in the 16th century, as well as late-medieval works such as the altarpiece by Andrea di Niccolò and a fresco by Giacomo Pacchiarotto, painted in 1521 for the Palazzo Pretorio.
The museum itinerary concludes with a visit to the Collegiate Church, among which stand out the sepulchre of messer Porrina, a masterpiece by the 14th-century sculptor Marco Romana; the funerary monument to the bishop Tommaso Andrei di Gano di Fazio; three canvases by Rutilio Manetti and the Maestà by Duccio, commissioned by Beltramo and Ranieri Aringhieri and placed in the family chapel.
The view from Casole d’Elsa is breath-taking, with the rolling hills of the Siena countryside unfolding all aroundand, not far away, like a guardian watching over the village, the historic towns of San Gimignano and Volterra. ...