In Pienza, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, sits the historic Spedaletto Castle, which with its crenelated walls, encloses the residential centre of San Niccolò.
Its fame comes from the via Francigenaand indeed, its construction dates to the 12th century, when it was a hospice for welcoming and curing pilgrims and wayfarers. Until 1236, it was managed by the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. The fortified building has hosted important guests, like Charles II of Naples and Pope Pius II.
The castle, with a square layout, has a tower on each corner and an imposing keep that defends a splendid, fortified entranceway. In the 15th century, a slight scarp was added, as well as arrow slits for the weaponry on the defense walls. Inside the courtyard, visitors can find the Church of San Niccolò, with a beautiful Romanesque façade decorated with a rose window and which conserves frescoes that date to the 15th century.