Located on the southern slope of Monte Amiata and surrounded by chestnut trees, Santa Fiora’s extensive historic centre is spread over a trachyte hill and is split into three neighbourhoods: Castello, Borgo and Montecatino.
Once in the Castello district, the impressive Sforza Cesarini’s Palazzo del Conte, now the offices of the town hall, will grab your attention. Inside the Palazzo is the intriguing Monte Amiata Museum of Mining, dedicated to the history and techniques of mercury extraction that heavily defined the area between the 19th and 20th centuries.
Once you’ve had a look around the Palazzo or passed by through an archway, you’ll find yourself in the square that’s the beating heart of the town. From here you can continue discovering Santa Fiora along Via Carolina, which leads to the Suffragio Church of 1716, then head to the Parish Church of Santa Flora and Lucilla, the most important of the town’s monuments.
The Parish Church, built before the year 1000, was rebuilt in the 13th century and enlarged in 1792 when the side aisles were added. The inside of the church is home to a collection of incredible terracottas attributed to Andrea della Robbia.
Moving on from Castello, the Borgo district is the part of Santa Fiora that’s surrounded by walls. The Church of Sant’Agostino is in this district, founded in 1309 and also comprising a convent, of which only an archway from 1473 remains. The Cappuccine Convent is also in the historic centre, founded in 1601 and closed in 1991, linked to the Miraculous Crucifix cult and the Procession of Trunks.
Head to the Montecatino district through the Porta del Borgo, and from here take a visit to the Peschiera, a stunning lake that collects the Fiora’s waters. Nearby is the small Church of the Madonna della Neve, better known as “della Pescina”, perhaps more modest in appearances but rich in discreetly preserved frescoes credited to Francesco Nasini. This church’s peculiarity comes from its floor, which consists of a glass covering through which you can watch the spring of the Fiora flowing just below walking level. Near the Peschiera is the Gallery of the Fiora River Springs which anyone who has ever visited Santa Fiora, without exception, will tell you are fascinatingly striking.