Castel del Piano is actually mentioned in the ‘Commentaries’ of Pope Pius II, which highlight “the beauty of the place, the convenience of the location and the amenity of the town”, qualities which still to this day are appreciated by travellers visiting the village and its surrounding area. Since 890, the town is recalled as belonging to the Abbey of Abbadia San Salvatore, remaining a part of its assets for over three centuries. Consequently, it passed onto the Aldobrandeschi family, then to Siena in 1332 and after the fall of the Sienese Republic in 1559, to Florence. Castel del Piano was also the hometown of the Nasini family, a group of painters active between the middle of the 17th century and the middle of the 18th century and the creators of artworks conserved in every town in the Amiata region.
In the heart of the village, in the piazza referred to as “of the Madonna”, sits the Church of the Opera (or the Parish Church of San Niccolò e Santa Lucia), a Baroque temple which was only completed in 1870. Inside the church, which is shaped as a Latin Cross and boasts ten chapels, is a true Nasini museum. Among other artworks, those which stand out are the Nativity of Mary and the Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, both by Giuseppe Nicolai. Other noteworthy mentions are its wooden crucifix and the 16th-century font. On the corner with the Church of the Opera is the Church of Madonna delle Grazie, also rich with canvas paintings, while on the right-hand side is the Municipal Palace.
Ascending towards the oldest part of the village, you are compelled to pass under the archway supporting the beautiful Clock Tower. Beyond which, it’s worth lingering in the picturesque piazzetta degli Ortaggi, equipped with a beautiful 16th-century loggia, with the austere Parish Church of San Leonardo also deserving a visit. At the opposite end of the village is the “Chiesa Piccina”, or Church of the Holy Sacrament. In the centre of piazza Garibaldi (better known as piazza Tonda or “delle Storte”) is an intriguing fountain, but the most appealing aspect for its inhabitants is that the highly beloved Palio takes place here every September 8th.
In the town’s surroundings, it’s worth visiting the small but evocative Benedictine churches of Santa Lucia and San Biagio, which could be the ideal destination for a peaceful stroll in the direction of Amiata, as well as the Church of Santa Flora a Noceto and the ruins of the Franciscan convent of San Processo. Recent restorations have also given back life to the beautiful Palazzo Nerucci, first constructed in 1554, which hosts the Civic Museum of Castel del Piano.