The town of Iano dates back many centuries to the early 11th Century in-fact when Count Ildebrando Aldobrandeschi refused to give the church of Saint Andrea in Alliano to the bishop of Volterra. However, there are several signs to indicate that the town has Etruscan ancestors that existed around the 5th Century BC, and the many fossil and mineral finds in the area suggest even an even older origin still.
Today, when you walk around the streets, you will find that little has changed since Ildebrandos time. The picturesque old houses are built of brick and travertine, as this area is so rich in these supplies. Another known mineral in these parts is onyx, which is both mined and processed in these parts.
Apart from the cosy buildings, there is not much to look at in Iano, but there is a restaurant (that also makes good pizzas) and a mini-market, and there is still a single craftsman who continues to sculpt with hard rock. The town is located in the Montaione area in an important forest area between Valdelsa and Caldera.
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Festivals: Festival are held all year round and include everything from racing to market days to fashion shows and concerts during the summer.
Activities: While staying in Iano, the more obvious activities are cycling and golf. Thanks to the soft hills it is possible to explore the nature and territory through an extensive network of trails that can be used by both mountain bikes and pedestrians. For about 3 euros you can buy a guide that details the severity of the various routes and it is available from the tourist office in Montaione.
For golfers, about 9 km. from Iano you will find Gold Club Castelfalfi, an 18-hole course with a length of 6,645 meters. If you love horses, rides are arranged in the area. Head to Gelsomino Ranch or Pistolese Ranch, both located in Montaione municipality.
Proposal for excursions:
- Montaione is perfectly located for excursions in the surrounding area and it's easy to do so because of the good road network, fast motorways and nearby train stations. You can reach the famous cities of Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca in an hour by car and not forgetting San Gimignano and Volterra which are only 30 minutes away.
- There are many historical destinations to visit in the area, one in particular is Villa Filicaja located in Sant'Antonio, which was donated by the family Medici to the poet Vincenzo in the 14th Century. Two kilometers away is a Roman cistern from the second century which is 27 feet long and divided into three vessels that could accommodate upto 400 litres of water. Of religious interest include Sacro Monte di Gerusalemme in San Vivaldo, which is a collection of chapels built by Father Tommaso of Florence in 1500.
For more information, visit: www.sanvivaldointoscana.com