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Val D\'Orcia

SAN QUIRICO D’ORCIA On the northern edge of Val d’Orcia, San Quirico d’Orcia has grown up on the site of the medieval village of Osenna. In 1256 it became part of Siena’s territory, and today it still appears to us with its original medieval street plan. In its town centre, encircled by fortified walls, a stop should be made at the Collegiata dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta with its magnificent Romanesque-Gothic doorways as well as at the Misericordia and Santa Maria di Vitaleta churches, at the Palazzo Pretorio (town hall) and at Palazzo Chigi. The Horti Leonini gardens are a splendid example of giardini all’italiana: they were designed in about 1540 by Diomede Leoni and periodically host temporary exhibits of contemporary sculpture. A final stop should be made to admire the Santa Maria Assunta church, the Giardino delle Rose (rose garden) and the centuries-old Scala hospital. To the south along the Cassia road lies Bagno Vignoni, a hot spring resort famous since medieval times for its “water-filled town square”. The slope that descends toward the river is home to the water mill park, a fascinating reminder of the constructions and technology that made use of these waters even in medieval times. Palazzo Chigi Designed by Carlo Fontana for Cardinal Flavio Chigi and built from 1679 onwards, this noble residence is full of paintings by Roman artists. It has recently been restored and now also hosts temporary exhibits. 33 San Quirico d’Orcia, la Collegiata VALDORCIA_INT_ING 30-07-2009 18:49 Pagina 33

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