Radicondoli is a charming, medieval, small town set in the northern part of the Metalliferous hills in the central-western part of Tuscany in the province of Siena. At an altitude of 510 metres, it is located in an area of natural beauty with 360 degrees panoramic views of rolling hills and mountains as well as historic towns and villages.
Steeped in tradition, Radicondoli's architectural heyday was in the thirteenth century when it was a complete fortified town, elliptical in shape. The vast majority of its original footprint has been preserved and there remain three churches, several renaissance town houses of interest and a pretty piazza. Compared to say, Chianti, this part of Tuscany is relatively undiscovered by tourists but English is spoken by most of the friendly shop-owners and restaurant staff.
The town is self sufficient in terms of shops, restaurants and other amenities. There are three excellent restaurants; all of which one can just have a relaxing drink at. Shops include; a pharmacy, two small grocery stores, a butcher, a patisserie, an electrical store, a tobacconist and a hairdresser. In addition, there is a bank that has an ATM and provides other services. For all your needs, Colle Di Val D'Elsa is only 28km away.
The owners have compiled detailed notes of where to eat and shop and what to do, both in and around Radicondoli. These are sent to guests before occupancy and are also available at the property.
Colle di Val D'Elsa: 28km
San Gimignano: 41km
Heart of Chianti: 54km
The Tuscan Coast: 61km
It's almost impossible to summarise the allure of Tuscany in a few words; whether it's the magnificent scenery, cultural richness, historical heritage or climate. For some, it's the charm of the coast while for others it's the rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards. The seemingly timeless city states will excite history buffs whereas foodies will be enchanted by the cuisine and vintage wines. Of course, whatever your perspective, this is one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of Europe to visit and at the heart of The Renaissance.
The scenic drives from Radicondoli are breathtaking and diverse. Chianti, to the north east, is forested and full of dark woods, spectacular vineyards and charming towns. The Crete and Val d'Orcia, to the south east, is "big country" and both volcanic and agricultural in nature but also includes hot springs and thermal baths. In the southern and eastern parts of this area lie the towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano, home of two of the finest Italian wine vintages; Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. To the south west, is the Maremma and beautiful Tuscan coast, including the picturesque fishing villages of Talamone and Porte Ercole. From the coast, one can access Elba, a delightful island where Napoleon was exiled for ten months in 1814. To the north west, is the ancient Etruscan city of Volterra, set on a ridge 550 metres above sea level and described by D H Lawrence as the city of "wind and stone". Further to the north and west but still within easy access (100 minutes), are Pisa and Lucca, two of the most important cities in the plains. Pisa is notable for it's Duomo and of course, its leaning bell tower whereas the stunning city of Lucca is one of few cities within Italy that still has a set of defensive walls that are perfectly intact. A short trip to the north from Radicondoli is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano, otherwise known as "The town of fine towers" and home of the delightful white wine, Vernaccia. To the immediate east, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site - the city of Siena that legend states was founded by Senius, the son of Remus. The Duomo and the Piazza del Campo (where The Palio is held) are two of the highlights and the fact that traffic is not permitted in its ancient centre makes this a great city to walk.
A synopsis of Tuscany would not be complete without highlighting Florence, one of the world's greatest cities. To the north east of Radicondoli, it's only an hour's drive. One certainly can't do it justice in a day and it is best visited outside the months of July and August. For the most part, Florence is flat and easily walkable with most of the major sights contained within an area on the north bank that can be covered within an hour. Less touristy, however, is the quarter of Oltrarno on the south bank where there are also great bars, cafes and restaurants and a myriad of quieter streets where one can find artisans' workshops and antique stores. Must sees are The Duomo, The Uffizi. the view from Piazzale Michelangelo, the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce, the Palazzo Pitti and the Giardino di Boboli.