Even if it’s a Tuscan hidden gem, Montaione offers a lot to see. Since 2010 the Region of Tuscany has recognised Montaione as part of the Parco Benestare, an area with beautiful landscapes and natural springs that you can easily discover following a map and road signs along the streets of Montaione.
Did you know that there is a Jerusalem in Tuscany? Yes, We are not joking! San Vivaldo, a complex of chapels and churches reproducing the topography of the holy places of Jerusalem, is one of the Holy Mounts that were built in Italy during Medieval times in order to let the pilgrims virtually visit Jerusalem, as it was impossible to reach the Holy Land for most of them. Nowadays, in San Vivaldo you can see how the monks live, visit the church and the 18 chapels that date back to the 16th century, with their statuary groups in terracotta that represent different episodes of Jesus Christ’s life and passion. The statues were built by many anonymous artisans - whose workshops were diffused at that time in Tuscany as followers of Della Robbia's family - with their own different professional skills that characterize each statue. Moreover, there is a picturesque restaurant that lets you have your meal inside the garden of the monastery: absolutely out of sight!
Pietrina is a picturesque church flanked by a medieval tower over the highest hill of Montaione from which you can admire the charming and magic landscape of the surrounding Tuscan countryside and the town of Volterra nearby. You can reach the Pietrina Sancturay following the directions to Iano, a pretty village near Montaione, famous for its Christmas Nativity rapresentations.
Montaione’s Roman Cistern was discovered in the '60's in the area called "Il Muraccio". It consists of three separate -but communicating- water basins that date back to the II century before Christ. It's possible to observe the building technique of this structure, called “opus caementicum”, made by a wall without mortar with a mix of hydraulic lime and small pieces of limestone. The Cistern was used as a water reservoir by the inhabitants of the valley.
Another place near Montaione you must visit is the hamlet of Catelfalfi, with its medieval castle. Have a walk down the street of this picturesque stronghold and look at the new Golf club down the hill! If you love Golf, Castelfalfi’s Golf club is the perfect location for you! Imagine being surrounded by the amazing Tuscan landascape while you’re playing your favourite sport: isn’t it a dream?!
This guest post was written by Lauro Lotti, owner of the "Agriturismo Belmonte" farmhouse.