venerdì 18 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Casole d'Elsa

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Casole d'Elsa

Placed in the high Val d'Elsa, in a border territory harshly contended during the centuries by Florence and Siena, the castle of Casole is remembered since the 11th century as an important fortification of the bishops of Volterra, but became a free Municipality since 1201.
Entered the range of influence of Siena in 1240, after a short occupation by the Florentines passed definitively undr Siena's domination after the victory of Montaperti (1260).Some epemerals claims of autonomy, supported by one of the main families of Casole, the Del Porrina, forced Siena to rebuild in 1359 the ancient fortress in the typical shapes of te military architecture of Siena.
A similar measure recurred at the end of 15th century when the fortifications were readapted with the intervention of Francesco Di Giorgio; the two circulars towers in the North-East side of the walls date back to this last intervention.

The circle of walls is for most part visible in the elliptical shape characterising the village.
The built-up area seems develope around the central axe connected the two main gateways (nowadays lost) that dei Frati northwards and that al Rivellino southwards near which there is the Rocca Senese (nowadays seat of the Town Hall).

Along the main road nowadays via Casolani, many charming palaces follow one another that peserve meaningful remains of medieval structures (most all brick archivots of doors and windows). Among these stand out the ex Convento dei Serviti, at the northern entrance of the village, the 13th century Palace and Tower dei Porrina, the Palazzo Pretorio with the facade decorated with escutcheons and, finally, the collegiate formerly parish church of Santa Maria Assunta, consacrated in 1161, which preserves the facade and the perimetric walls of the Romanic building from the 12th century.

(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also:
http://www.casole.it/
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/it/localita/Casole-dElsa-00005/
Photo of Casole d'Elsa


Photo of Casole d'Elsa


Photo of Casole d'Elsa


 

lunedì 14 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Tonda

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Tonda and Castelfalfi
 
Tonda
The hamlet of Tonda lies between Montaione and San Vivaldo, about three km east from the Sacro Monte (Holy Mount). Both the village and its castle probably adte back to the beginning of 13th century, when, according to a document, the german emperor Otto IV gave the feud and the castle, the bearby houses and all their inhabitants to some noblemen from Pisa.
Purchased in 1267 by the town of San Miniato and subdued to the Medici family, the Lords of Tuscany and Florence in 1370, the castle of Tonda featured hamlet walls, within which stood a church, a tower, a cistern for rain waterand the Town Hall.
In 1379, after being annexed to the town of Montaione, Tonda included a small hospital and a podesteria (the tenure of Podestà).

Castelfalfi
Situated to the west of Montaione, the hamlet of Castelfalfi stands out among the fortified villages of the region for its dimensions and singularity. It originated in the 8th century, probably taking its name form a certain longobard called Faolfi. In 754 Walfredo of Watgauso della Gherardesca mentions Castelfalfi on the occasion of a gift to the Abbey of Monteverdi. In 1139 the castle was sold by Ranieridella Gherardesca to the Bishop of Volterra. in the 13th century the castle parish church of San Floriano had some thirteen subsidiary churches. In 1475 Giovanni di Francesco Gaetani and his wife Costanza de' Medici restaured the castle and had a noble residence built right in the centre of the village. Castelfalfi was plundered and set on fire by the troops of Piero Strozzi in 1554, at the time when Florence and Siena were at war.
The high medieval settlement was reconstructed at the end of the 14th century, after the original langobard structures had been destroyed.
The mighty defensive buildings are enhaced by the volumes of the round big tower of the walls and by the high quadrangular keep, open on three sides, that rises up close to the short, yet composite, hamlet walls , featuring well-preserved brackets. Inside the castle stands the church of San Floriano, today appearing with late romanesuqe structures, a single nave with a false transept and a rounded archivolt and with a dichromatic white-green facade.

(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also:
http://www.comune.montaione.fi.it/
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/en/town/Montaione/

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi, near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione

Photo of Castelfalfi near Montaione




Photo of Tonda near Montaione in Tuscany


Photo of Tonda near Montaione in Tuscany

Photo of Tonda, near Montaione in Tuscany

Photo of Tonda, near Montaione in Tuscany
Aggiungi didascalia



 

venerdì 11 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Montaione

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Montaione

The walled land of Montaione is placed in the Diocese of Volterra on one of the hills serving as ridge between thevalleys of the Egola and theElsa, on the borderline of the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of Lucca, existing until 1622 on the territory of the near San Miniato.
In the Middle Ageges the castling phenomenon involved this territory too, and among the numerous fortifications that rose here the Castrum of Montaione achived a pre-eminence role starting from the end of the XIII century when it has already become a commune, but depending from the jurisdiction of San Miniato.

In 1268 the people from Montaione, who hardly suffered such obbligation, offered their castle to San Gimignano; from this, started a controversy that to be settled had to be intervene the Republic of Florence who however sentenced that the castle had to return under San Miniato. Montaione was freed from the domination of San Miniato only in 1369 when, taking advantage of he florentine victory on San Miniato, made an act of devotion to the first one, joining the Florentine country land in April 1370 and becoming seat of the Podestà.
As an outpost of the Floretine Republic both towards the territory of Lucca and Pisa, Montaione performed an important role during the recurrent wars between these rivals. The nucleus of Montaione was particularly provided with fortifications, with a circle of walls in which stood several defensive towers and in which opened two main doors, Porta Fiorentina and Porta Guelfa (both lost), and a postern of which only a few traces remain.

In spite of the serious damages undergone during the last World War, when the towers characterising the circle of walls and most part of it were distructed, the centre of Montaione still preserves a few traces that give an idea of its ancient peculiarities.
The most ancient nucleus developes along three parallel axes, united by a central square overlooked by the parish church os San Bartolomeo, suffragan of the nearby parish church of San Regolo , remembered since the XII century, but rearranged in its structures during the XVII century and restaured in the XIX century.
Not far stands the Palazzo del Podestà, whose facade still preserves many noble coat of arms, housing the Communal Museum rich in prehistoric finds.

(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also: http://www.comune.montaione.fi.it/
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/site/en/town/Montaione/


Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione


Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione

Photo by Comune di Montaione




 

giovedì 10 ottobre 2013

Decorazioni e fiori d'autunno

Autunno
 
Calde atmosfere create dai colori brillanti dell'autunno: sposarsi tra melograni e zucche.
 
Nella stagione in cui la natura inizia a riposare dopo le fatiche estive, le giornate diventano sempre più corte e la pioggia spesso ci accompagna durante i nostri giri in macchina, i colori si fanni più intensi, la palette vira verso le sfumature ambrate dei diosperi, o i rossi di melograni e delle bacche, i marroni delle castagne o i viola delle bacche di mirto...
Oltre alle insuperabili chiome di querce, aceri giapponesi, lecci, faggi, ritroviamo le bacche brillanti di viburno, hypericum, corbezzolo. Belli (e buoni!) i melograni, i ciliegi ornamentali, le cascate di vite americana. Tra i fiori, molto ornamentali le dalie.
 
Ecco che se vogliamo fare decorazioni importanti possiamo usare il tizzone di fuoco, o tritoma, una sorta di pannocchia i cui colori sfumano dal marrone all’arancio. Per un bouquet romantico, per centrotavola bassi o per ghirlande e festoni, molto delicata è la nerina, a fiori rosa e rossi con foglie verde lucido. Tra le bacche, belle quelle della nandina, del ribes, delle rose selvatiche, usate da sole o abbinate a foglie di quercia, di croton o di eucalipto. Sempre indicatissima, l’edera; quella variegata è la base ideale per il bouquet e per gli addobbi: nei toni tenui, rischiara e mette in risalto i fiori. Per la tavola, le foglie di quercia con le loro ghiande, le bacche a grappolo della skimmia, i ricci delle castagne, l’uva di buon auspicio, i kiwi tagliati, tutti gli agrumi, dal limone, all'arancio al pompelmo e frutta, e poi verdure come le zucche, dalle forme e colori più svariati, e, perché no, anche i cavolfiori, magari non molto resistenti ma anch'essi dalle forme più disparate e sinceramente molto ornamentali.
 
Facciamo tesoro di tutto ciò che la natura ci mette a disposizione e in ogni stagione riusciremo a creare decorazioni intonate, sempre green, ecologiche e rispettose della natura e dei suoi ritmi.


photo by www.ohpioner.com




Photo by www.stylemepretty.com


Photo by www.stylemepretty.com






 

mercoledì 9 ottobre 2013

Sposarsi all'estero


E' vero, la Toscana è uno dei luoghi più romantici in cui sposarsi: sono toscana e sono innamorata dei magnifici tramonti sul mare, delle dolci colline e dei borghi e città d'arte in cui normalmente siamo abituati a muoverci... Ma se siete amanti di "altri orizzonti" sappiate che sposarsi all'estero è possibile!

Ci sono alcuni luoghi, che io chiamo del cuore, o perché ancora inesplorati ci hanno sempre ispirato sogno e poesia, o perché ci siamo già stati e ci piacerebbe tornare per coronare il nostro sogno di amore...

E' possibile, non è un sogno... Certi luoghi del cuore possono davvero diventare il luogo del vostro matrimonio all'estero, sia essa cerimonia civile, cerimonia religiosa o cerimonia simbolica.
Per organizzare il vostro matrimonio all'estero avremo bisogno inizialmente delle stesse informazioni che ci fornite per organizzare il vostro matrimonio in Italia... E potrete così unire il vostro sogno con una meravigliosa luna di miele...

Possiamo organizzare il vostro matrimonio e luna di miele in:
- Grecia
- Caraibi
- Polinesia
Saremo più che felici di aiutarvi...

Contattateci per avere maggiori informazioni!




 

lunedì 7 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Castelvecchio di San Gimignano

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Castelvecchio di San Gimingano

Situated on a high rock of the western side of Mount Cornocchio and between two deep gorges, Castelvecchio is a today charming place with various medieval remains. These are recognizable signs of most impressive fortifications, houses and of the Romanesque absidal church. The origin of Castelvecchio is the "holy rock" of the Etruscans, the first settlers of the place. The roman period saw the abandonment of the village, being far from the consular roads. Between th 6th and 7th centuries, the hillside was fortified by the Longobards. Documents bear witness to the fact that in 1208 Castelvecchio already had the present features and had set itself  as a free Commune. Its position, half-way between San Gimignano and Volterra, made it a desired stronghold. For this reason, right in 1208fortifications were added and walls reconstructed. In 1308 a cruel conflict between Volterra and San Gimignano made Castelvecchio the main target of the army of Volterra. Besieged, the citadel resisted and became the symbol of endurance and of the victory of San Gimignano, which neverthless represented the beginning of its fall. after loosing its frontier position, the citadel was supplanted by the new fortress of Castel San Gimignano, erected from 1310 to 1320. In 1348 the terrible plague of "black death" mader a small village of Castelvecchio, where only few sheferd and woodcutter families lived. The earthquake of 1452 dealt a heavy blow to the place and, so the rock was completely abandoned early in the 17th century.
 
(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)

See also: http://www.castelvecchioinvaldelsa.org/index.html
http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/intoscana2/export/TurismoRTen/index.html

San Frediano Church

Castelvecchio


Castelvecchio di San Gimignano

 

venerdì 4 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Artimino (Carmignano)


Medieval Villages in Tuscany - Artimino (Carmignano)

On the eastern slopes of the Montalbano, towering over Arno valley, the medieval village of Artimino is a small part of the vast Etruscan settlement existing from the 7th to the 1st century BC, defended by massive walls, considerable traces of which still remain.
The earliest evidence of the medieval centre dates back to 998, when it was donated by Emperor Otto III to the bishop of Pistoia, under whose ecclesiastical jursdiction it would remain until present day.
From a political and military point of view, it was bitterly fought over by the Florentine Republic and the Commune of Pistoia. From 1329 onwards, Florence definitively took control of the village, that in grand-ducal age became the main area of the hunting preserve established by the Medici on the Montalbano and site of one of the last grand Medicean residences, standing on the opposite hill, where the acropolis was supposed to rise in Etruscan times.
The medieval centre is preserved almost intact with the concentric layout of the walled village, whose only access was large, barel vaulted gateway made up of big stone blocks, surmonted by a quadrangular embattled tower.
 
(Source: Bruno Bruchi e Alessandro Naldi, Medieval Villages in Tuscany.)
 
Views of Artimino

View of a farm

San Leonardo Church
 

martedì 1 ottobre 2013

Medieval Villages in Tuscany

Medieval Villages in Tuscany - An unexplored treasure for weddings in Tuscany

The small villages of Tuscany are often a still unexplored treasure, that just few conoisseurs know.
The purpose of this and following posts is to bridge this gap introducing possible places out of the usual destinations for weddings.
The reason of this is our having looked for countryside hamlets that are the real substance of the Tuscan rural territory in order to organizing weddings. So we spotted those small medieval villages that have preserved the layout of their origin or of their reconstructions so well that the medieval mark represents an immediately recognizable feature.
This mark is evident both in the design of the inhabitated area and in the turreted town walls, often still intact, and in their gateways, which are most of the times real miniature monuments.
Medieval mark is also recognizable in the massive fortifications of the rocca and of the keep, which frequently stand next to steeples or Romanesque or Gothic, stone or brick facades of the churches. Finally, the marks of the centuries-old history are to be seen in the facades of civil houses, often tower-houses that have retained some traces in the windows and in the doors, walled and then reopened.
All these are emblematic elements of the events that marked the history of people, real invisible protagonists, who lived here and handed down this incomparable heritage to us.

Francesca

Wedding location in Tuscany near San Gimignano

Wedding location in Tuscany near Volterra