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Sarteano

The origins of Sarteano can be traced back to over 40,000 years ago, but the town himself was founded by the Etruscans. With a 22 minutes-long travel from San Casciano (15.8 kilometres), Sarteano's many archaeological logical sites can be visited. These include the splendid paintings of "the tomb of the Infernal Chariot”, along with the Civic Museum holding the historical finds of the area.

The imposing Fortress, held by the Republic of Siena during the XVth Century, is visible many miles far from the town. At its feet lies the old town, with many important buildings. Among the others, such as Palazzo Fanelli, Cennini, Guelfi, Sarteano is home to the “Todeschini-Piccolomini” palace, the birthplace of Pope Pius III, alias Silvio Piccolomini. Inside the Collegiate (one of the many chuches) it's shown magnificent wooden choir (16th century), a marble tabernacle attributed to Marrina and an Annunciation, made by Girolamo del Pacchia (1514). Another Annunciation, along with a “Madonna and Child” (respectively by Beccafumi and Jacopo di Mino del Pellicciaio), are preserved in the church of San Martino in Foro. The near church of San Francesco is a beautiful mix of both Romanesque and Gothic style, and it's evidence that St. Francio lived in the area for a short time.

In fact, a couple of kilometres away, it is possible to see the cells where the Saint lived. In Sarteano, the splendid Theatre of the Arrischianti has become part of the town's cultural heritage, thanks to a careful restoration. The town of Sarteano is famous for preserving its traditions: one of the most popular is the Joust of the Saracen (15 th August), along with the traditional division of the town into five districts, or "contrade".