Crete Senesi is the area not far from Siena, in the valley of rivers Arbia, Ombrone, and Asso. The area includes the towns like Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, Rapolano Terme and San Giovanni d’Asso.
Crete Senesi means clay of Siena. And right this very unusual composition of the local soil is responsible for the enchanting harmony of colors, which is so typical for this area. It’s a real paradise for every photographer. The medieval towns are spread over the hilltops.
The largest town in Crete Senesi, Asciano, has retained its medieval atmosphere. It is felt everywhere, even in the narrow streets, or in ancient churches. Of all these churches you should visit at least Basilica Sant’Agata, which construction began in the 11th century, then churches San Francesco and San Bernardino. The best time for your visit to Asciano, is september, when the town hold a historic celebration – Palio dei Ciuchi. Palio dei Ciuchi includes a donkey race and parade, in which the local residents perform in medieval costumes.
On the outskirts of town lies the most important monastery in the province of Siena – Monte Oliveto Maggiore.
At the south of monastery there is the favorite fortified village – Buonconvento.
Another interesting point is Monteroni d’Arbia, the town at whose center lies an impressive mill dates from 1322. The building of mill has been preserved almost complete, including the brick tower and a mill-race.
The best place for relax is Rapolano – wonderful town with spa that served already to Old Etruscans. There are several swimming pools with thermal water in different temperatures.
Crete Senesi is ideal for growing corn and vine. E.g. Brunello di Montalcino comes from this area.