Italy in Photos
Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia
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Welcome to Italy in Photos where we will showcase the best of the fascinating town of Asciano: – Asciano is a hill town located in the province of Siena, in the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany. This small town is nestled in the heart of the Crete Senesi, between the river Ombrone and the torrent Copra. It’s about 30 kilometres southeast of Siena and is one of the main centres of the Crete Senesi. Asciano has a rich history that dates to ancient times. Evidence of its Etruscan past can be seen in the discovered necropolis. A large mosaic floor fragment from the 4th century AD, found in the heart of the historic centre, stands as a testament to Roman times. The town was a point of contention between Siena and Florence during the Battle of Montaperti until 1285. It was then conquered by Siena and surrounded by boundary walls in 1351 to protect it from further invasions. Today, Asciano is a treasure trove of medieval art. It’s worth stopping to explore its medieval centre as you traverse the unusual landscapes of the Crete Senesi region. The Romanesque collegiate church of St Agata is a notable attraction. The town also houses an Archaeology Museum with artifacts from local Etruscan tombs. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a lover of natural beauty, Asciano offers a unique blend of both. Its location in the picturesque Crete Senesi makes it an ideal stop for those exploring Tuscany.
The Chiesa di Sant’Agostino is a church in Asciano, Italy, that dates back to the 13th century. It is located in Vicolo San Agostino, a narrow street near the main road of Corso Matteotti. Here are some details about the church that you might find interesting:- The church was built with the adjacent convent by the Augustinian order, who settled in Asciano in 1259. It was enlarged in the second half of the 15th century and given a brick facade1. It has a single nave with a wooden ceiling and a polygonal apse. The church contains several artworks of historical and artistic value, such as the tombstone of Jacopo Scotti, a sculpted marble slab by Urbano da Cortona from around 1470. The tombstone depicts Scotti, a prominent citizen of Asciano, kneeling before the Virgin and Child, with saints Augustine and Nicholas on the sides. It also houses a wooden crucifix attributed to Giovanni Pisano, a Madonna and Child with four saints by Matteo di Giovanni, and a predella with scenes from the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria by the same artist. These works were originally part of a larger altarpiece that was dismantled and partly moved to the Museo di Palazzo Corboli1. (Photos 1-2-3)
Corso Giacomo Matteotti is a street in Asciano, that runs through the historic center of the town. It is one of the main streets where you can find shops, restaurants, cafes, and other services. Here are some details about Corso Giacomo Matteotti that you might find interesting: – Corso Giacomo Matteotti is named after Giacomo Matteotti, an Italian socialist politician who was assassinated by fascists in 1924. The street was formerly called Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, after the first king of unified Italy. It is home to some of the most important buildings and monuments in Asciano, such as the Palazzo Corboli, the Museo d’Arte Sacra, the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, and the Torre e Fonte della Mencia. You can also admire the architecture and the atmosphere of the medieval town along the street. Corso Giacomo Matteotti is also a lively place where you can enjoy the local cuisine and culture. (Photos 4-5-6-7-8-9-10) – Piazza Garibaldi is a square in Asciano, that is located near the main street of Corso Matteotti. It is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and nationalist who played a major role in the unification of Italy in the 19th century. Piazza Garibaldi is a small and cozy square that has a fountain in the center and some benches and trees around it. It is a nice place to relax and enjoy the view of the surrounding hills and buildings. Piazza Garibaldi is also a place where you can find some historical and cultural attractions.It is also a place where you can experience some of the local traditions and events that take place in Asciano throughout the year. For example, you can visit the Mercatino dell’Antiquariato, an antique market that is held every third Sunday of the month. You can also join the Festa di San Giuseppe, a religious festival that celebrates Saint Joseph on March 19. (Photos 11-12)
The Basilica di Sant’Agata is a beautiful and historic church in Asciano, Italy. It was built in the 11th century and has a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is the main place of Catholic worship in the town and it is dedicated to Saint Agatha, a martyr from Catania. The church has a travertine facade with three pointed arches and a circular rose window. The interior has a Greek cross plan with three apses and a dome. The nave was added in the 13th century and has some fine artworks, such as the Descent from the Cross by Il Sodoma and the Virgin and Child by an unknown artist. The church also has a bell tower that dates back to the 12th century. It has a square base and a crenellated top with four large arches. The tower is made of travertine blocks and bricks. The basilica was elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1991. It is open to visitors and it is located in Corso Matteotti, near the town center. (Photos 13-14-15-16) – Via delle Fonti is a street in Asciano, Italy, that leads to the Basilica di Sant’Agata. The street is named after the natural springs that are located nearby and that provide water to the town. The street is also known for its panoramic views of the Crete Senesi, a stunning landscape of rolling hills and clay formations. (Photos 17-20)
Parco delle Rimembranze Asciano is a park, that commemorates the fallen soldiers of the two world wars. It is located near the Basilica di Sant’Agata, a beautiful and historic church that dates back to the 11th century. The park has a large green area with trees, flowers, benches and a fountain. There is also a monument with the names of the victims and a plaque with a poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti, a famous Italian poet who fought in the First World War. The park is a peaceful and relaxing place to visit, especially in spring and summer when the nature is in full bloom. You can enjoy the fresh air and the view of the surrounding hills and countryside. The park is also a place of memory and reflection, where you can pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country. (Photos 18-19) -Via Bartolenga is a street in Asciano which runs from Piazza della Pace to Piazza del Grano. (Photos 21-22-23)
Piazza del Grano is a square in Asciano, Italy, where the grain market used to take place in the past. The square is famous for its fountain, which was financed by the Republic of Siena in 1470. The fountain is made of travertine stone and is decorated with bas-reliefs, allegories, plants and sea creatures. It also has various coats of arms, including the one of the Municipality of Asciano. The square is a charming and picturesque place to visit, especially in the evening when the fountain is illuminated. You can admire the architecture and the art of the fountain, as well as enjoy the view of the Crete Senesi, a stunning landscape of rolling hills and clay formations. The square is also a lively spot where you can find some shops, cafes and restaurants. (Photo 24)
Asciano Cuisine:- Asciano has a rich culinary tradition, influenced by the local products and the seasons. Some of the special food of Asciano cuisine are: – Pici:- A type of thick, hand-rolled pasta made with flour, water and salt. Pici are typically served with different sauces, such as ragù (meat sauce), aglione (garlic and tomato sauce), cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or nana (duck sauce). Pici are a typical dish of the Sienese countryside and are often eaten during festivals and celebrations. – Cinta senese:- A breed of pig native to the Sienese territory, characterized by a black coat and a white belt around its chest. Cinta senese pigs are raised in a semi-wild state, feeding on acorns, chestnuts and other natural products. Their meat is tender, flavorful and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Cinta senese can be prepared in various ways, such as salami, ham, sausages, chops or roasts. – Tartufo bianco delle Crete Senesi:- A variety of white truffle that grows in the clay soil of the Crete Senesi. Tartufo bianco delle Crete Senesi is highly prized for its intense aroma and delicate taste. It can be shaved over pasta, eggs, cheese or meat dishes, or used to make sauces, creams or oils. Tartufo bianco delle Crete Senesi is harvested from October to December and is celebrated with a festival in San Giovanni d’Asso, a village near Asciano. – Pecorino di Pienza:- A cheese made from sheep’s milk produced in the area of Pienza, a town near Asciano. Pecorino di Pienza has a cylindrical shape and a yellow rind. It can be aged for different periods of time, from fresh to mature, resulting in different textures and flavors. Pecorino di Pienza can be eaten plain or with honey, jam or truffle. It can also be used to make soups, salads or pies. – Cantucci e vin santo:- A dessert consisting of cantucci (almond biscuits) and vin santo (sweet wine). Cantucci are crunchy cookies made with flour, sugar, eggs, almonds and sometimes other nuts or dried fruits. Vin santo is a dessert wine made from white grapes that are dried on straw mats before being fermented and aged in wooden barrels. Cantucci e vin santo are served together at the end of a meal, by dipping the biscuits into the wine.
Photo Gallery of Walk – Via delle Fonti to Piazza del Grano
Approximately 1.23 km – 0.76 miles
The walk starts in Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, Vicolo San Agostino – Corso Giacomo Matteotti – Piazza della Basilica – Parco delle Rimembranze – Via S. Francesco – return to Piazza della Basilica – Via Bartolenga – Piazza del Grano.