TWO TOWNS IN THE GREEN HEART OF THE VAL D’ELSA AND THE VAL DI PESA
Barberino Tavarnelle is a municipality composed of two main towns: Barberino Val D’Elsa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, joined to form a single metropolitan area while about two kilometres apart. The towns are at the centre of the Val d’Elsa and the Val di Pesa, a marvelous territory that offers up a view of verdant nature filled with vineyards and olive groves.
You come into Barberino Val D’Elsa by either of two ancient entryways, one facing towards Florence, the other Siena, that together with the city walls enclose the historic centre. The strategic position of the town gave it great commercial and military status, in addition to making it a landmark for travellers. In fact, still to be seen is the Ospedale dei Pellegrini (Pilgrims’ Hospital), built in the mid-1300s. You will recognize the Palazzo Pretorio (Praetorian Palace) by its façade full of coats of arms, while the Church of San Bartolomeo (Saint Bartholomew) faces a beautiful terrace with a view of the harmonious hills of Tuscany.
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, on the other hand, boasts both within the town and just outside it many large and small churches of great artistic merit. As you stroll through the streets of the town centre, you’ll find the Church of Santa Lucia al Borghetto, an ancient Franciscan convent, while just outside the town, you’ll find the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine and the Romanesque parish church of San Pietro in Bossolo with San Donato in Poggio inside.
"A charming corner of Chianti just a stone’s throw from Florence"
The territory of Barberino Tavarnelle holds pearls of inestimable value. Among them is Badia a Passignano, an estate dating from the year 1000, with a monastery resembling a castle enhanced by cypresses and the splendid valley that surrounds it. Not to be missed is the parish church of Sant’Appiano, Etruscan in origin but now characterized by the Romanesque style, impressive also for the pillars standing on the lawn in front. Among medieval towns, San Donato in Poggio stands out with its perfectly preserved walls, its impressive “Torrino” (Guard Tower), and its monumental entrances: Porta Fiorentina and Porta Senese.
A visit to Semifonte, the legendary city destroyed by its rival, the Republic of Florence, is a trip back in time. In its place was built, and can still be seen, the Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo (Saint Michael the Archangel), its form inspired by that of Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence.
In the green heart of Tuscany, you can find a territory known all over the world for its beauty. Let’s talk about Chianti, a region rich in vineyards and olive groves, where slow living has become a universal keyword.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
Agritourism farms, emblems of sustainability, are the type of accommodation that most distinguishes this land of rural farmhouses scattered throughout the silence of the countryside. The castles, villas, and historic homes are immersed in a noble atmosphere that evokes times gone by. Awakening in Chianti is a unique experience.