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The Crete Senesi is the Tuscan area located just south-east of Siena. Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme and San Giovanni d’Asso are the most known municipalities. The name of the area come from the clays (crete in Italian) covering this land and giving it a unique fascination. The land is recognizable by its eroded, rolling hills which gives the area a “lunar” look. It’s not by chance that during Middle Ages the area was commonly referred to as the Accona’s Desert, mostly because of the difficulties encountered while trying to grow olives and vines which would quickly left their place to sunflowers and wheat, far easier to grow and less demanding as far as soils was concerned.

The Crete Senesi are rich of white truffles and offers their tourists many cultural, gastronomic and environmental opportunities. The municipalities in the area are for the most part of Etruscan origin and still show signs of their glorious past. The area is dotted by the typical Grance, rural buildings dating back to the Middle age where they served as fortified farms, now used as barns, warehouses or even museums. Two wonderful examples are the Grancia di Cuna and the Grancia delle Serre di Rapolano (nowadays an interesting oil museum).

Travertine mining and processing are the main business of the area, while cultivations are made up almost exclusively of grain and sunflowers. If one is an art enthusiast, he cannot ignore the Site Transitoire by Jean-Paul Philippe in Leonina (a permanent sculpture exhibition), the Bosco di Regnaia in San Giovanni d’Asso and the many sacred art masterworks. From a historic perspective, the Via Francigena is without a doubt one of the most interesting landmark, an impressive road connecting the upper France with Rome.

The most important historical event in the Crete Senese was the Battle of Montaperti, fought on September 4 1260 between the Ghibelline troops led by Siena and the Guelphs led by Florence. Recalled in Dante’s Inferno (X) as “the slaughter and great carnage which have with crimson stained the Arbia”, the battle marked the beginning of Siena’s domination over Tuscany, a power bound to last until the rise of the Medici family in Florence and the final defeat of Siena in 1559 (with the signing of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis).

By contacting Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent period villas, estate with villas and farmhouses, Agriturismos, old farms, prestigious apartments, luxury villas and country houses in the most fascinating places of the Crete Senesi.



- Asciano hosts many interesting monuments, among which the beautiful Piazza del Grano, the Etruscan Museum, the Basilica di Sant’Agata and Palazzo Corboli. In the outskirts of the town one can visit numerous abbeys and castles.

- Buonconvento is a beautiful hamlet surrounded by medieval walls. Landmarks worth visiting are the Castello di Bibbiano, Palazzo del Podestà, the Oratorio di San Sebastiano, Castel Rosi, Palazzo Ricci (with the Museum of Sacred Art in Val d’Arbia), the Sienese Door and the municipal tower.

- Monteroni d’Arbia is worth visiting for the beautiful fortified mill (from the 13th century) the Palazzo Comunale and the numerous villas scattered both in the city and outside its walls.

- Rapolano Terme is, as its name implies, a famous thermal centre. Two of the most appreciated plants are the Terme San Giovanni and the Terme Antica Querciolaia. Relevant landmarks are the Dyers’ Door (dating back o the 14th century), the Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista and the Etruscan necropolis outside the walls.

- San Giovanni d’Asso is a small town located along the homonym river where numerous interesting monuments are located: the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, San Pietro in Villore, the castle, the archaeological site of Pieve di Pava, the Bosco della Ragnaia and the Truffle Museum.

Through Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent villas and farmhouses, period villas, Agriturismos, prestigious apartments, luxury villas and old farm in the vicinity of the five main towns of Crete Senesi.



The most appreciated wine produced in this bare land is the Val d’Arbia DOC, which is found in the province of Siena (Asciano, Buonconvento and Monteroni d’Arbia). The grapes used for production are in most cases Trebbiano Toscano (usually around 70%) and Malvasia Chianti (up to 30%). Other white grapes can be used however to have a differently flavored wine. The wine is usually white, but there is also a rosé variety obtained from Sangiovese (50% minimum). Variations can be produced with Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Grechetto, Sauvignon, Trebbiano and Vermentino.

Alternatively, Vinsanto can be produced after three years of ageing.



The following are the main events held in Crete Senesi:

- Asciano. “Sapori delle Crete Senesi” in April and the “Settembre Ascianese” in September.

- Buonconvento. “Festa Patronale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo” in June and the “Trebbiatura sotto le mura” (harvesting under the walls) in July.

- Monteroni d’Arbia. “Festa Patronale dei Santi Giusto e Donato” on February 25.

- San Giovanni d’Asso. “Festa del tartufo marzuolo” (truffle celebration) in March, “Festa dell’olio” in October and the “Mostra mercato del Tartufo Bianco” (white truffle exhibition) in November.

With Romolini Immobiliare – Christie’s International Real Estate it is possible to rent estate with villas and farmhouses, period villas, Agriturismos, prestigious apartments, luxury villas with pool and old farms. 


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