Sarteano

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A 10th century castle stands on the summit of a spur running through the town, yet the history of Sarteano starts very much earlier. From an ancient, pre- Etruscan settlement, it became a Roman then a medieval town and other than the fortress Sarteano has been able to save the San Lorenzo and Apollinare cathedral which was built in the 12th century using reclaimed Etruscan and Roman materials and extended in 1723. Of special importance is the San Francesco church, 13th century Renaissance Facade and remains of a cloister with mullioned windows and inside a triptych with Madonna and child with saints by Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio.
Another church to visit is San Martino in Foro which, transferred from its original position on the town square to its present one, was redesigned in neoclassical style in 1841. Here can be seen two paintings of Madonna with child (attributed to Andrea di Niccol (1450-1529) and Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio) as well as an annunciation by Domenico Beccafumi (1486-1551). Other historical monuments include the town hall, the Arrischianti theatre, Palazzo Piccolomini, Palazzo Goti-Fanelli, Palazzo Cennini and Palazzo del Podest. As we leave Sarteano to the west it is possibile to reach Castiglioncello Sul Trinoro and enjoy a healthy walk through the coppice and pine woods.
To the south, towards Radicofani, we find the ancient fortified abbey of Spineta with romanesque church annex and then continuing on towards the slopes of Mount Cetona the villages of Fontevetriana and Casa Bebi. A short way from the Sarteano centre, in a luscious green park, are the mineral springs of Bagno Santo, which are used to fill the village's swimming pool. Every August 15th Sarteano attracts hundreds of people to its town square for the traditional " Giostra del Saracino", a procession in historical costume followed by in contest on horseback between the ancient rivals from the five Contrade.


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