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Discover San Casciano Val di Pesa: The Other Gate into Chianti – About 20 Km Southwest of Florence

Find here some information about San Casciano Val di Pesa, famous for its wine, oil and local specialties, but also for its castles, churches, Etruscan relics and villas. There is another infamous story to tell... Continue reading to discover...

The Parish Church of Santa Cecilia a Decimo
The Parish Church of Santa Cecilia a Decimo
March 8, 2012 - PRLog -- San Casciano, like Greve in Chianti, is situated about 20 km away from Florence and besides being quite famous for the production of wine, olive oil and other local specialties, it boasts many ancient findings, several parish churches, villas and castles really worth visiting. San Casciano's territory in fact, was inhabited since Etruscan times - as evidenced by some archaeological relics in Montefiridolfi and the excavations of Valigondoli - in Roman times instead, it was a staging post located at the tenth mile from Florentia: the toponym “Decimo” (which means tenth) is still attached to the Parish Church of Santa Cecilia a Decimo, mentioned in a document by Charlemagne dated 774.  The large number of parish churches indicates that the town was already densely populated in the Middle Ages, San Pancrazio for instance – located on the hill dividing the valleys of the River Pesa and the Virginio stream -  is known since the 10th century and it is certainly one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the area. Santa Cecilia a Decimo is probably the oldest instead; other interesting buildings you can't miss are undoubtedly the Parish Church of Santo Stefano in Campoli and San Giovanni in Sugana.

Should you prefer castles then you have to look for Castello di Bibbione, erected before the year 1000 and restored in the XI century; in the Sixteenth century it was a property of the Machiavelli family who made it their hunting residence until 1727. Another amazing castle is certainly Castello di Gabbiano, with its rounded towers and its crenellated perimetral walls, built by the Bardi family during the course of the XIII century.

Just 3 km away from San Casciano Val di Pesa, stands the little village of S. Andrea in Percussina, that aside from maintaining its original aspect throughout the centuries it is famous also for having been the residence of Niccolò Machiavelli at the time of his exile. The farm, with its tavern named the Albergaccio is described in one of the most famous letters written by Machiavelli and right here, in his library, the Florentine author wrote The Prince, the work which would give him his present fame. After his death, the house passed to his heirs, now it belongs to the leading Italian wine group Gruppo Italiano Vini who restored it thoroughly. The rooms, the cellars and the tavern are still immersed in their ancient, unique atmosphere.

In 2009, in San Casciano were shot several scenes from the tv serie The Monster of Florence – broadcasted in the same year by Fox Crime. In the countryside of San Casciano Val di Pesa took place the last homicide committed by the perpetrator (or the perpetrators) of a series of eight double murders, that shocked the city of Florence between 1968 and 1985. San Casciano, contrary to other towns, gave the crew the opportunity to film the scenes exactly on the spot where the killings took place.

P.S. The best thing you can do to discover the town and its surroundings, is to rent a car and organize your favourite tour. There are several car rental companies you can contact of course, but Blucar Service is definitely one of the top ones in Tuscany.

Visit http://www.blucarservice.it/ for details

Caterina Pomini

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