Castel del Piano
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The town of Montenero díOrcia is positioned half way between Mount Amiata and the upper Maremma region, on an isolated hillside 388 m (1.200 ft) above sea level. Since 1956, it is part of the municipality of Casteldelpiano. The first evidence concerning the origins of Montenero goes back to the II century B.C. when it was part of the state of Roselle. In the year 1000, the counts Aldobrandini of Santa Fiora had a castle built there to function as a sentinel over the river Orcia, owing to the threat of Sienaís increasing expansion. Still today, it is possible to admire the ancient castle-village with its gates (Porta Leone and Porta Medici), with its interesting piazzas: that of Poggio Valente where you can see the remains of the battlements of the old castle, and that of the well which was constructed by the Medici family, with the church of S. Lucia which houses the very well known Ambrogio Lorenzetti crucifix, now restored. Not far from the ancient castle, close to the farmland of Santa Lucia, you can find the spring of the same name, together with a washing-trough. This is a town which is undeniably charming, from which it is possible to enjoy splendid panoramas over the gentle surrounding hills: fascinating for the colours which change according to the season, going from the yellow of the wheat to the brown-grey of the newly ploughed fields, from the green of the fields of wheat in the spring to the yellow of the sunflowers alongside the river Orcia. Oneís view sweeps over to Mount Amiata in the distance and over the towns of Montegiovi and Casteldelpiano.
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