Let´s visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena?
In the small town of San Quirico d’Orcia is the wonderful Capela della Madonna di Vitaleta (Our Lady of Vitaleta Chapel), located in the Siena area. Today we will get to know a little more about this charming little town and its famous Chapel. Stay with us and make the best of Italy! Make your dream trip here! Now let’s go to our Special Post of the day: Are we going to visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena? Also visit our section: Examples of Tourist Itineraries in Italy! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
San Quirico d’Orcia is a small town that was built on top of a small hill, above the remains of the old village of Osanna. The small village is halfway between Montalcino and Pienza. With its privileged position, the panorama from the top is cinematic. In fact, here are the most photographed trees in Tuscany, which form delirious landscapes! San Quirico is an important stop on the long route of Via Francigena, where pilgrims travelling to the Eternal City found restaurants and rest points. How about a tour in Montalcino, Montepulciano and Pienza? Click here to learn more!
1) Let´s visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena? GET TO KNOW THE CHURCHES, PALACE AND SQUARE
The village still preserves its original medieval structure and is located within a wall, which is divided by the main street, Dante Alighieri Street. The entrances, properly speaking, to the city are four gates; the best of them is the Northwest entrance, which takes us to the Collegial Church of San Quirico e Giulitta. The Church is splendid! In the Christian tradition, Quirico was the name of the child who, along with his mother Giulitta, died a martyr at the time of Emperor Diocletian, in 304. Inside the church there are splendid paintings and painted panels.! In the Romanesque style with Gothic and Baroque elements, it is characterized by three beautiful entries with sculptures of lions, one different from the other.
Chigi Palace, Piazza della Libertà (Freedom Square) and St Francis’ Church
Behind the Church and next to the collegiate is Chigi Palace, which is a beautiful building that today houses the city hall. Following, also, via Dante Alighieri Street, you arrive at Piazza della Libertà (Freedom Square), which is the nerve center of San Quirico. Saint Francis’ Church, also known as the Church of the Madonna, is noteworthy and is home to the terracotta statue of Our Lady, made by Andrea della Robbia in 1870; the image used to be in the Vitaleta Chapel. Proceeding, you will find shops and restaurants. Be sure to try the local cheese, Pecorino de Pienza, and the wines of Montalcino and Montepulciano.
2) Let´s visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena? GET TO KNOW SAINT MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION CHURCH
At the end of the city you can visit the Saint Mary of Assumption Church, another splendid example of the Romanesque style. The church looks simple and does not immediately attract our attention, but it is full of attractions, starting with the main portal that is adorned with small animal sculptures.
Horti Leonini Garden and Torre del Cassero (Quarterdeck’s Tower)
Taking advantage of being there, pay a visit to the beautiful Horti Leonini Garden, which is accessible from Piazza della Libertà (Freedom Square), there, to the right of the Saint Mary of Assumption Church, the path is well indicated! Designed in 1540 by Diomede Leoni, the gardens have a beautiful statue of Cosimo de Medici III. Here are also the remains of the Torre del Cassero (Quarterdeck’s Tower), an ancient medieval tower over 39 meters high, the Tower was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. From the fortified walls surrounding Horti, you can enjoy a fascinating view of Valdorcia, from Amiata Hill and covering the mountain towns of Pienza and Montepulciano.
3) Let´s visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena? GET TO KNOW CAPPUCINI DOOR AND VITALETA CHAPEL
If you want to “get lost” in the small streets next to Via Alighieri, you will find the other doors that give access to the city, including Cappuccini Door, which is a polygonal austere bastion. Heading east from San Quirico d ‘Orcia, on the panoramic road that leads to Pienza, there is one of the most beautiful, important and famous spots in the entire D’Orcia Valley: Vitaleta Chapel.
About Vitaleta Chapel
The Chapel is at the top of a beautiful hill, and is surrounded by an almost surreal landscape. Once there, you will surely recognize one of Tuscany’s most famous postcards. Our Lady of Vitaleta Chapel is a sacred and privately owned building, but it can be visited. The church probably has its origins in the Renaissance and was first mentioned in a document dating from 1590.
The religious building was later completely redone by the architect Giuseppe Partini, in 1884, as inspiration he used 16th century models. It was here that the aforementioned image of Our Lady, by Andrea della Robbia, was. A curiosity: some experts say that the statue was actually bought in 1553, in an antique market in Florence, until today, there has been no confirmation as to whether or not it is true! The truth is: Vitaleta Chapel is located on an unpaved road that leads from Pienza to San Quirico d’Orcia and is protected by UNESCO.
The Chapel has a simple entrance, a unique hall and the main façade covered in Rapolano stone, and is characterized by a small rose window that opens on the portal. Laterally, the same façade is delimited by pilasters: one on the right and one on the left, on which the pediment of the summit rests, where a coat of arms is. The side façades are also covered with stone, as is the back, where there is a bell tower with two rounded steeples. Outside, cypress trees serve as a “frame” for this place, really, very special!
The worship of Our Lady takes place every first Sunday of September. The Chapel, by itself, is already an attraction in itself, but its location gives us an immense sense of peace and tranquility. The landscapes it offers us, from different angles, are the main attraction, but once there you will understand why this chapel is so important for the residents of that region. It is worth visiting!
Let´s visit San Quirico d’Orcia in Siena? San Quirico is not always one of the cities chosen on the Tuscan wine route, but it is definitely a magical place to consider when setting up your itinerary. If you prefer quiet places, without the large tourist mass that flocks in front of the main points of a city, your place is here! The Chapel serves to crown this incredible experience, which is to visit an area so underestimated, but that does us so well in a matter of minutes!
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