Castel del Piano
Folklore, art and nature
Castel del Piano is situated in a small level area surrounded by chestnut trees and Europe’s biggest beech woodland. Pope Pio II eulogised the town’s beauty and tranquillity as far back as the 15th century. Its more ancient history is hinted at by various archeological finds dating to Paleolithic times and the presence of Apennine and Etruscan-Roman peoples. However, it was the medieval era that left the biggest mark on the town.
Locals are proud and passionate of their Palio: a historic horse race between rival districts that shows off the town’s traditions and colors through costumes and processions. The Pinacoteca gallery is in the 16th century Palazzo Nerucci, boasting an exquisite collection of paintings.
The area around Castel del Piano has many small rural villages which add to the charm of the landscape – such as Montenero d’Orcia with its wonderful panoramic view, and Montegiovi, which is mentioned in a sonnet by Cecco Angiolieri.
The wonderful flavours of the local olive oil and Montecucco DOC wine top off the experience, both being a wonderful accompaniment to any local dish.