Beautifully located in enchanting surroundings Castiglion d’Orcia lies between Siena and Orvieto. Mount Amiata, Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano are not far away and they are all worth a visit.
The town was first mentioned in 714 AD when it was owned by the noble family Aldobrandeschi. It became an independent district in 1252 and in the 14th century it was conquered by Siena. It is lovely to walk around the old streets in the centre of town. Piazza Il Vecchietta is particularly charismatic with its sloping angle and the old well in the middle.
The medieval church dedicated to Maria Magdalene is an elegant example of Roman architecture. The facade is 13th century but the apse is a hundred years older. That and the nearby bell tower were recently restored.
A collection of Castiglione’s works of art is housed in the main church in the town, Chiesa dei Santi Stefano e Degna. The facade is 16th century. Some of the paintings have been removed and sent for restoration, including works by the great Sienese masters Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. On their return they will form the beginning of a new town museum.
The road leading up to the Aldobrandesci castle is on a slight incline. The castle, also known as Rocca a Tentennano, controlled the town. The walls on its northern side are still standing. On top of the hill there is a big flat area, now a park commanding an outstanding view of mount Amiata, the town and the castle itself.