Colle Val d'Elsa

Mentioned from the early 11th century, Colle Val d'Elsa was an important fortification of the Bishops of Volterra. The castle apparently stood near the Parish Church, on the site of the keep, now Palazzo Comunale (1360), in typical Sienese military architecture. Its position on the border between Florence and Siena and on the Via Francigena, contributed towards the town's development, also after it was finally conquered by Siena after the battle of Montaperti. New fortifications were built, including the keep, though only two circular towers remain today at the north-western end of the walls. Many houses in Casole still show traces of their mediaeval architecture. To get there: Florence-Siena motorway, Colle Val d'Elsa south exit; follow indications for Casole.