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Around Siena

The owner of our Sienese pensione, Laura Bencini, talked with great enthusiasm of the area to the East of Siena, called Le Crete, and the village of Cuna, where she and her husband were engrossed in restoring an old farmhouse. Thanks to her we decided to explore this area.

Le Crete

This turned out to be a region of rolling hills, with the odd ancient farmhouse or cypress perched on a ridge. In spring it was a green landscape – endless fields planted with young wheat. Very picturesque, very much one of the visions of Tuscany that we had imagined.


On impulse we followed the signs to Cuna, and found a lovely old village. In the centre was an old castle, with people living in various parts of it, approached by a labrynth of entrances and steps.

Ity helped that the sun had at last arrived, but this was a lovely day pottering around a region we will explore again in future visits.

San Galgano

The ruined abbey of San Galgano lies a few kilometres to the south west of Siena. Built in the 13th century, by the 16th century the Cistercian monks could no longer afford to maintain its fabric and the slow process of collapse started. The huge gothic abbey and the monastery are still an impressive and beautiful sight. Above the abbey is the Capella di Mote Siepi, a charming little Romanesque chapel predating the monastery.

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