Immersed within the Valdelsa hills, Montaione is just a short distance from the via Francigena and is the ideal location for an unforgettable holiday.
The historic centre is arranged around the central square. The Palazzo Pretorio and the ancient Pieve di San Regolo (housing a Madonna with Child from the school of Cimabue) remind us of the development of the castle of Montaione during Medieval times, when thanks to the Via Francigena, hundreds of pilgrims passed through the area on their way to Rome and the Holy Land. At the same time the Civic Museum, located near the Palazzo Pretorio, recalls the oldest traces of ancient settlers and houses many artefacts dating from Prehistoric and Medieval times as well as a unique fossilised whale skeleton dating back to the Pliocene period, found in the Montaione countryside.
The unique Jerusalem of San Vivaldo shrine, just a few kilometres from Montaione can still be visited today. In this extraordinary place, you get the feeling you are stepping back in time. Here, during the 14th Century, Friar Vivaldo Stricchi of San Gimignano retreated to the life of a hermit choosing to live in the hollow of a chestnut tree. In 1515, Fra Tommaso da Firenze ordered the construction of a series of chapels decorated with multi-coloured terracotta tiles inspired by the life and Passion of Christ. In 1516, he granted indulgence to those who visited this shrine, confirming it as a true place of pilgrimage.
As you follow the secondary roads or stroll along the sign-posted trails, among the hills and forests of Montaione, you come across villages such as Castelfalfi as well as impressive villas with a rich history. You can also sample excellent local bread and other typical products from the various stores and markets.