After a long and delicate restoration, the “Grancia” of Serre di Rapolano was opened to the public as a museum. The project was realized thanks to the cooperation of the City of Rapolano, the Province of Siena, and the Superintendency and Councillorship for Culture in the Region of Tuscany. The museum documents the history of the Grance, the ancient fortified farms that belonged to the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala beginning in the 14th century. In this case the structure, which dates to the 1200s, has undergone several modifications since 1790. An important cultural and historic patrimony which represented a center of local agricultural production which was able to supply a good part of the dietary needs of the Sienese Hospital. The farm stored grain as well as making wine and olive oil, a multiplicity of functions that is mirrored in the Museum where the threads of history—not just of the mountain community of Rapolano e Serre, but of the entire Province of Siena—are symbolically tied together.
The first section is dedicated to the culture of olive farming and the cycle of making olive oil. It is situated in the space of the farm which was used for these purposes and displays the machines used for pressing. Didactic panels about olive cultivation and the making of oil in the 1900s, when the olive oil was still stored in earthenware jars, are included. The next section uses multimedia stations to familiarize visitors with the events that take place at the Grancia, such as a workshop for young visiting artists which helps to forge links between tradition and contemporary art.