Colle di Val d'Elsa - a dreamy town


There is much more to Colle than just a starting point.

The small town of Colle di Val d'Elsa is beautifully situated in the middle of green valleys and offers many opportunities to get to know Tuscany, as it is not too far from the blue sea and not too far from the beautiful, proud city of Florence. The small town is located in Tuscany Province of SienaIt is around 30 km by car to the much-vaunted medieval city of Siena with its fabulous art treasures.

But now to Colle itself, which lies in the Elsa valley. The city became known for the production of its beautiful crystal glasses, which were blown especially for their noble contents, the Chianti. The printing press and its most famous architect, Arnolfo di Cambio, who was born in Colle in the 12th century, also made the city famous far beyond Italy.

Another famous son of the city, because even today the children still love, whether his orderer Pinocchio, is Carlo Lorenzini, better known by the name Carlo Collodi.

Visitors enter the old town through the stone gate Porta Nova, and continue on an old medieval path past the venerable cathedral to the elevator to the modern lower town. We recommend a hike through the Santa Caterina district to the old part of the city, which leads through the Palazzo Campana and Via di Castello. Here memories of bygone traditions come alive, as the path leads past historic buildings and important people who lived in them.

The cathedral from 1603 with its 12th century chapel should not be overlooked. The upper town of Alta can be reached by a glass elevator from the lower town. Il Baluardo overcomes an impressive 40 meters. The best thing to do is to take the glass elevator up and then walk back down. The reward for the climb is the great panoramic view of the entire city and the green, hilly surroundings. When the weather is nice, you can even see the glitter of the blue sea. A bit of horror comes up on the way back, because the lower town can only be reached through a long dark tunnel.

At the Piazza Arnolfo di Cambio, excellent bars and restaurants in old walls await the guests. If a man or woman still fancy a walk or a refreshment before dinner, then a short detour to the Elsa River is worthwhile, because it is easy to dream there.

The Elsa river meanders from Colle to the Gracciano mineral spring, where you can also bathe. The water is turquoise, crystal clear and rich in minerals, and on top of that it is very healthy for the skin. The beautiful water basin with its springs is located in the old walls of the old thermal bath, access is via a ladder.

Turquoise - The Elsa River
Turquoise - The Elsa River

There's a lot to see nearby

After exploring the town of Colle di Val d'Elsa, which is well worth seeing, visitors can swim in the sea when the weather is sunny and visit the much-praised buildings in Pisa, Livorno, Siena and when the weather is less pleasant Florence visit.

The way to the sea or to the famous cities of Tuscany is always beautiful, because the landscape is dominated by holm oak forests, olive groves, vineyards and magnificent, old villas and bold castles. Many small towns are reminiscent of the Middle Ages, enchanted castles, fabulous monasteries and beautiful churches are connected by many winding paths and streets, surrounded by weathered stone walls, with small cafes in between and chic shops with Italian fashion. Each of the villages presents itself from the most beautiful side along the path that winds through it.

Many streets lead through cypress groves and beautiful gardens. It's worth stopping at a winery, like the Castello di Fonterutoli or the Castellina in Chiantito marvel and, above all, to taste the good red wine. Often there is also the possibility of staying overnight or visiting an excellent restaurant.

Those who love hiking can visit the high valley of Arezzo visit, 600 km lead through the enchanted forest of the Casentino National Park.

Enjoy a good meal at sunset

There is accommodation in the town of Colle di Val d'Elsa in some very nice hotels that appear to have fallen out of time. Colle has six smaller hotels that combine the dreamy Middle Ages with modern comfort. They are all just a few steps away from the round Piazza Arnolfo di Cambio, which in the evening comes to life with its four-storey fountain.

In the restaurants and bars around, people eat and laugh, while the children have space to play in the large open space, while the old people gossip on the benches. Nice restaurants like Luna di Saturno or the rustic Molino Il Moro with roof terrace invite you to enjoy the many delicacies with a fine drop.

The area has some of the best wine and the most delicious pizza in Tuscany.

When is the market in Colle di Val d'Elsa?

A visit to the weekly market, which takes place every Friday, is recommended. On the Markt There is fresh fruit and vegetables from the region, homemade olive oil and wine from the surrounding wineries, as well as all sorts of casual things such as cheese and spices.

It is worth shopping here for a picnic, and then hike by Perdes over the old disused railway line to the Colle Val d'Elsa with Poggibonsi. Here the eyes only get to see colorful flowers and lots of green. On hot days it makes sense to take a trip to the sea, before visiting the best ice cream parlor in Tuscany. The Buekke in the city center offers delicious ice cream.

Why it is worth staying in Collo

Those who stay overnight in the town will find good, inexpensive accommodation and are close to famous sights such as San Gimignano, the most beautiful square in Italy and the Plaza del Campo in Siena, the Etruscan town of Cortona or one of the most beautiful picture cycles in art history in the Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo. The beautiful town is located in the middle of Tuscany and offers its visitors something of all.

The sea is close, beautiful old cities with a great history of art are never far, plus many opportunities to stop for a break, because the ice cream, pizza, truffle pagetti and much more are delicious and taste even better with a glass of fine wine in the company of friendly Italians Well.

Last updated: 06.02.2024

Image courtesy of DanielWanke on Pixabay

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