Six of the nine castles in the big fresco in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico, painted by Lippo Vanni to commemorate the “Battle of Valdichiana” of 1363, are found near Sinalunga. Today, the towns and villages have changed a little, but the calm atmosphere that pervades remains much the same: Sinalunga, Scrofiano, Farnetella, Rigomagno, L’Amorosa and Bettolle are even more at one with the surrounding landscape, gently discreet.
Important routes in the Sinalunga area, beginning with the Romanesque church of San Pietro “ad Mensulas”, which tradition has it was established by the apostle Peter and which stands on the foundations on a Roman “Mansio” along the consular road Via Cassia. The Francescan monastery of Poggio Baldino, home to the icon of the Madonna of Refuge, patron saint of the diocese. The pretty little churches on the ground of historic farms. And the plenitude of churches within the walls of the centuries-old villages.
The hills that rise up in the Siena part of the Valdichiana are marked with olive and cypress trees as well as farmsteads at one with their surroundings. It’s a moving landscape at sunrise and sunset, and pleasantly relaxing whatever the time of day and weather.
Where the Etruscan river “Clanis” once flowed, now we find the Canale Maestro della Chiana, the most ostentatious and interesting testimony to Medici and Lorraine reclamation. Of evident interest are also the old farmhouses (known as “poderi leopoldini” since they were erected by Leopoldo of Lorraine and designed by leading architects of the time), little churches, canals and reclamation structures. Take a relaxing stroll or cycle along the myriad paths through the fields.
The local area offers the best gastronomy with certain fine ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, Chianina beef (which originates from here) and pork cold cuts and Cinta Senese. Thanks to the Historic Farms initiative flavours have been saved that would destined to disappear, such as Aglione della Valdichiana, without which we would have not “Pici all’aglione". Last but not least, we have to mention a special Easter cake: Ciambellino di Rigomagno. Plus, there’s the boiled meats of Sinalunga known as "l'incotto".