“It’s just the main street,” says Marco at the beginning of Corso Toscana, “yes, but it’s a one-of-a-kind,” responds Silvia, “and from the bottom you can see the all the way up to the Tower.” Walking onwards the elegant Poggiolo Fountain comes into view, made of cast-iron and in a neo-gothic style at the end of the 1800’s. “How beautiful! But what’s it doing right in the middle of this street?” Originally it was in Grosetto before being substituted by the monument built for Canapone. “Legend has it that the Fountain, which was dismantled and left in a corner of the piazza, was transported in the dark of night by the people of Arcidosso and brought here to this spot where ever since it has provided drinking water for the people of the neighborhood.”
Above the small square rises the majestic Aldobrandesca Tower, which stands guard over the Castle and the town below. “We’re here,” says the girl, “we only had to walk a few hundred meters, passing through the Castle gate built around 1100.” The Castle’s awe-inspiring exterior, its imposing structure and sixteenth-century balcony invite you to get to know it and to delve into its mysteries. “Let’s walk past the prison cells towards the “David Lazzaretti” Museum, the Prophet of Amiata” and to the Medieval Landscape Museum.
“What are these things in the display case?” asks Marco. “They’re objects from the Giurisdavidic community, conceived by Lazzaretti at the end of the 1800’s and these panels give you an idea of where it all happened.” The place is Monte Labbro, a bare, rocky peak rising 1,100 meters above the Amiata woodlands — a beautiful mountain and a perfect source of natural spirituality.
“I learned that in 1981 the Merigar Dzogchen Community was founded right here at the foot of Monte Labbro by the master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu,” resumes Marco. Outside the Castle’s gate the doors open to the Museum of Oriental Art and Culture, a place of extraordinary beauty and interest. “This new Museum is amazing, the sounds of Tibet accompany us while the objects on display envelop us in a state of pure spirituality.” The use of augmented reality also allows you to step inside the Gonpa, the Merigar Temple of Contemplation, where awe is guaranteed.
“Let’s continue our journey,” says Silvia, “up to the main floor to admire the Medieval Landscape Museum and the finds from the excavation at Castel Vaiolo where they have dried chestnuts from over a thousand years ago!” The wall panels illustrate the essentials of the time period: the civic and religious buildings and the village walls.
“Can’t we go up the Tower?” asks Marco? This is how the visit to the Castle ends, climbing 28 meters to the top of the Tower for the reward of a breathtaking view that beckons you to venture into a landscape surrounded by nature.