The Museum of Historic Grancia and Olive Oil from Serre, a village in the municipality of Rapolano Terme, documents the history of the medieval fortified farms, known as the “Grancia”. They have been part of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala since the 14th century.
The Grancia di Serre, dating back to the 13th century, represented a centre of local agricultural production which was able to supply a good part of the dietary needs of the Sienese Hospital. It was a storehouse of grain, wine and oil processing. In order to preserve this multiplicity of functions, the Museum of Historic Grancia provides an itinerary exploring this varied past.
There is also a section dedicated to olive farming and the making of olive oil. It is situated in the space of the farm which was used for these purposes and displays the machines used for pressing. In these rooms there are didactic panels about olive cultivation and the making of oil in the 1900s, when the olive oil was still stored in earthenware jars known as ziri. Another area contains the Centro di Documentazione delle Grance that uses multimedia stations to familiarise visitors with the events that took place at the Grancia, detailing the many stories of the Grancia and the Grange System of the Santa Maria della Scala.