Santa Fiora, Province of Grosseto, in the Maremma area of Tuscany


Santa Fiora, Grosseto

Santa Fiora

Santa Fiora, Province of Grosseto, in the Maremma area of Tuscany

Santa Fiora in the Maremma area of Tuscany
Santa Fiora in the Maremma area of Tuscany

The charming little town of Santa Fiora is located in the eastern extreme of the Maremma on the slopes of Monte Amiata and, along with Arcidosso, is well worth a visit by anyone visiting this area. Santa Fiora is located about 40 km east of the provincial capital Grosseto and about 110 south of Florence, on the river Fiora and in close proximity to Monte Calvo, to Monte Labbro in the west and to Monte Amiata in the north.

The main town is divided into three terzieri. The highest and oldest terziere is Castello, location of the Rocca (castle) which has been incorporated into the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini. The Terziere Castello is connected to the Terziere Borgo by the Via Carolina and the city gate, the Porticciola. The city gate of San Michele (Porta di Borgo) leads to Montecatino, the most recent terziere of the Santa Fiora. It is in Montecatino that you may visit the most interesting sight of Santa Fiora, namely the Peschiera, a large reservoir that supplies the town with water. Nearby is the Church of the Madonna della Neve, commonly known as “della Pescina”, which contains frescoes by Francesco Nasini and a glass floor through which the spring of the Fiora, flowing just below foot level, may be observed.

Peschiera of Santa Fiora
Peschiera of Santa Fiora

History of Santa Fiora

Santa Fioras was mentioned for the first time in 890 in a document which deals with border issues with Abbadia San Salvatore. Finds from the Neolithic and the Etruscan and Roman periods suggest an earlier settlement. Fortification work by the Aldobrandeschi is documented from 1082 and documents refer to the Castello Santa Flore from 1141 onwards. In 1274, the Aldobrandeschi family split into two branches. One remained with headquarters in Santa Fiora, the other resided in Sovana and Pitigliano. Arcidosso, Castiglione d’Orcia, Roccastrada, Selvena and Semproniano also belonged to the county of Ildebrandino di Bonifazio at that time. In the middle of the 14 C, Santa Fiora came under the control of the Republic of Sienna, when Guidoriccio da Fogliano captured several strongholds in the area. The peace treaty between Santa Fiora and Sienna was signed in Sienna on 18 November, 1331. From 1380 to 1384, Santa Fiora place was occupied by Sienna. Through the marriage of Cecilia Aldobrandeschi with Bosio Sforza in 1439, the Santa Fiora came under the control of the Sforza, after 1673 that of the Cesarini Sforza. In the 19 C and 20 C, mining, which produced mainly mercury, was important economically.

Sights of Santa Fiora

  • Pieve delle Sante Flora e Lucilla, mentioned in a document dated 1142. The Aldobrandeschi coat of arms can be seen under the rose window which is made of travertine. This parish church contains the works Il battesimo di Gesù, Ultima cena and a triptych (Incoronazione della Vergine, Stimmate di San Francesco and San Girolamo penitente, and the predella consists of the works Annunciazione, Natività e Adorazione dei Magi) by Andrea della Robbia.
  • Chiesa della Madonna della Neve (also called della Piscina), church in the Terziere Montecatino next to the Peschiera, built before 1640, contains the fresco Guglielmo, Monica, Agostino e Nicola da Tolentino (1640) by Francesco Nasini.
  • Chiesa del Suffragio, located in Piazza Carducci and constructed from 1716 to 1726.
  • Chiesa di San Giuseppe, constructed in 1872.
  • Chiesa di Santa Chiara, located in Via delle Monache and built in 1705.
  • Chiesa di Sant’Agostino, built in 1146 as the Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, with a campanile from the 14 C. This church has been assigned to the Augustinian order since 1309 and was restored and modified several times until 1681, when the present facade was built. The church contains works from the school of Jacopo della Quercia (Madonna con il Bambino, a carved wooden figure). The other wooden figures Sant’Antonio Abate and San Nicola da Tolentino are of unknown origin. In the sacristy aree paintings of the Annunziata and Angelo annunziante as well as the altar painting Madonna in trono con il bambino e Santi (16 C) and a wooden panel painting Madonna e il Bambino tra Angeli from the 15 C. Further works in the sacristy are two gold-bronze reliquary busts of Monika von Tagaste from 1765 and 1773 and two canvas paintings of Monika, probably from the 17 C.
  • Chiesa di Sant’Antonio in the Terziere Borgo on Piazza Sant’Antonio, former church from the 16 C. This church destroyed during the occupation of Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops. Today only the facade is preserved.
  • Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio del Monte Amiata, mining museum in the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini.
  • Palazzo Sforza Cesarini in Terziere Castello, built in 1575 on the remains of the Rocca aldobrandesca, from which the two towers (Torre degli Aldobrandeschi and Torre dell’Orologio) were integrated into the building. The Mercury Museum (Museo delle Miniere di Mercurio del Monte Amiata) has been located here since 2002.
  • Palazzo Pretorio, adjacent to the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini on the right. Restored in the 19 C.
  • Peschiera, a reservoir and now a fish farm in Terziere Montecatino, built around 1450 and expanded in 1851 by Lorenzo Sforza-Cesarini.
  • Convento della Santissima Trinità alla Selva contains an altarpiece Assunzione della Vergine coi Santi Girolamo, Tommaso e Francesco by Girolamo di Benvenuto.
  • Chiesa di San Rocco, built in 1529 and located near Marroneto.
  • Chiesa della Madonna Addolorata, terziere of Bagnolo, constructed 1828.
Santa Fiora in Tuscany
Santa Fiora in Tuscany