Visit Santa Fiora

Chi va a Santa Fiora,se ne innamora” (Who goes to Santa Fiora, falls in love with it.)
This is an ancient saying of the area of Mount Amiata and we cannot disagree. This village, suspended between water and music, is considered as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and in 2016 obtained the orange flag for tourism thanks to its history, nature, culture, and environment.

The town is even mentioned in the Divine Comedy, not because of its beauty as one might imagine, but because of its decadence and gloom. Just in the darkest moment of its history (15th century), thanks to the Sforza family, the village begins its re-flourishing and will thus become one of the most economically relevant towns in the Amiata area. Take for example the source, the Fiora aqueduct which supplies water to a vast territory and the cinnabar mine.

Things to do in Santa Fiora

Let us know talk about the ancient medieval village, the most characteristic part of the town. We can only start from the terziere di Castello where we find the remains of the imposing Aldobrandeschi Castle. In the medieval Piazza Garibaldi, you can see the majestic clock tower and the Sforza Cesarini palace. To date, part of it is used as a municipal seat and another as a mining museum.

Continuing our walk through history and art, we stop in Piazza San Michele where a life-size and peperino statue of the saint himself tramples on the devil. The Pieve delle Sante Flora e Lucilla is embellished not only for the travertine rose window, but above all for the presence of the glazed terracotta works of Luca and Andrea della Robbia.

From here on we will meet many other religious and historical places in the Santafiorese village, starting right from the Santuario del Santissimo Crocifisso. Continuing the itinerary, we come across the church of Sant’Agostino where there is a 15th century wooden crucifix, the convent of the Poor Clares and the area of the Jewish ghetto. One thing very particular is the Church of the Madonna delle nevi where, thanks to the glass floor, you can admire the springs.

Along our walk through the medieval streets, we stop in some breathtaking panoramic views from which we have noticed the wonders of nature. The points that attract our attention are: the convent of the S.S. Trinità, the Petorsola stone and Mount Labro. Everything is surrounded by unspoiled nature. From these viewpoints, if we move our gaze downwards, we can see a very large pool fed by the sources of the Fiora: this is the so-called Peschiera.

La Peschiera

It is an original structure created by the Aldobrandeschi. In the beginning it was designed as a trout hatchery and later as a park-garden. To date, both activities are carried out, as it is both a macrostigma trout hatchery, in extinction, and a well-kept park, open especially during the summer months. At the beginning of our trip, we talked about a town suspended between water and music, so far we have expressed ourselves on the water but what about the music?

Santa Fiora and music

Music is a key element for the culture of the village and one of the most characteristic events takes place mainly in the Peschiera: it is “Santa Fiora in musica”. It is an international music festival, celebrated in the summer months, which connects classical and jazz music. In S. Fiora, during the year, there are also other musical evenings where it is possible to attend the live performances of the choir and the Santafiorese band. In short, the musical footprint flows in the artistic veins of citizens.

Festivals, reviews, and events

In summertime, Santa Fiora and the towns that are part of the municipality, like the rest of Mount Amiata, are populated with events and festivals (sagre). This is the right time for fun, have dinner with friends, drink a good wine and get lost in the starry sky. The festivals that attract the most are: the sagra dell’acquacotta (Acquacotta festival), the sagra del fungo e del marrone (mushroom and brown festival), sagra del Drago (the Dragon festival) and the sagra della Madonna delle Nevi (Madonna delle Nevi festival). The medieval village is active throughout the year and there are some peculiar events, among others, that deserve to be narrated to better understand the country’s roots and history.

On the evening of January 5th, there are the traditional songs of the Epiphany, where the villagers go from door to door singing typical verses and warming up with a few glasses of wine. Very special is the festa delle Croci (Festival of the Crosses), May 3rd , where the miraculous crucifix guides the procession through the town. The Festival of the Patrone Flora and Lucilla takes place on July 29th and you can attend the popular parade with medieval costumes. Lastly, on December 30th the end of the year is celebrated with the famous torchlight procession, where stacks of wood are burned throughout the country.

Thus ended our journey through the history and culture of one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. If there is an image that can summarize what Santa Fiora can transmit, it must be identified within the Peschiera. On clear summer nights, defended by a medieval structure, wrapped in trees and supported by rocks, the echo of the notes is reflected in the body of water, forming a unique synergy that is able to enter the soul of the spectator thanks to “the love that moves the sun and the other stars”.

Useful links

Tourist promotion office

Municipality website

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The Robbiane of Santa Fiora

Della Robbia’s works in Santa Fiora

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Feast of the crosses

The feast of the crosses in Santa Fiora