Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colle di Val d'Elsa

Colle di Val d'Elsa is a town and comune in TuscanyItaly, in the province of Siena

The oldest part of the town is the "colle alta", the higher part, with a well preserved medieval center. The town developed along the river from the 11th century building an artificial canal to power various industrial activities, such as wheat mills and paper factories.

We stayed at the pilgrim's accomodations of Seminario Vescovile San Cuore.

From alto, the village is entered through the ancient and monumental Porta Nova and winds its long and narrow way in a sequence of fine 16th-17th-century noble houses (notable are Palazzo Usimbardi, Palazzo Buoninsegni and the Town Hall) to the magnificent Palazzo Campana, which marks the entry to the Castle, the oldest part of Colle.
Here, the atmosphere suddenly changes: narrow paved lanes, magnificent 15th and 16th-century noble houses (notable are Palazzo Luci, Palazzo Morozzi, Palazzo Giusti, Palazzo Dini), fascinating tower-houses (notable is the one where Arnolfo di Cambio was born).
The Parco fluviale Alta Val d'elsa was superb.

Also the Museo del Cristallo was worthwhile.
L'Officina della Cucina Popolare serves cibo delizioso.

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