San Giovanni d'Asso is a comune in the area known as the Crete Senesi. The hamlet is overlooked by a large Castle.
Also interesting in the historical centre are the churches of San Giovanni Battista (pieve) and San Pietro in Villore, both of medieval origin.
The Castle of San Giovanni d'Asso is located in the higher part of town, called Borghetto. The origins of the Castle of San Giovanni d'Asso date back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when the castle was erected by the Sienese architects Agostino and Agnolo di Ventura.
Agostino da Siena or Agostino di Giovanni (c. 1285 – c. 1347) was an Italian architect and sculptor, active between 1310 and 1347.
According to the Italian Renaissance biographer Giorgio Vasari, Agostino was born into a Sienese family of sculptors and architects, and studied in the workshop of Giovanni Pisano.
Vasari mentions Agnolo and Agostino in several commissions from the commune of Siena, including the Porta Romana and the Torre del Mangia. The collaboration at the construction is documented in 1339.
Worth visiting are the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista and, lower down, the church of San Pietro in Villore (11th - 12th century).
San Pietro in Villore is in the lower part of San Giovanni d’Asso and is surrounded by some beautiful cypress trees.
The Church San Pietro in Villore has an underground crypt, divided into 4 small naves of three spans.
The entrance is inside the Church where an open door in the pavement of the church leads you down to the crypt.
Il Diamante delle Crete Senesi
San Giovanni d'Asso is a renowned center for the production and commercialization of white truffles and the annual festival is one of the most important in Italy. There is a festival the second and third weekends of November, celebrating the rare and fragrant tuber each year. The Castle houses the Museo del Tartufo.
Within the municipal territory is the picturesque village of Montisi, a small, peaceful yet vibrant small town with its Chiesa dell'Annunziata and its historical grain tower.
The most important festival in Montisi is the Giostra di Simone and takes place on the Sunday closest to the 5th August, to celebrate the Madonna delle Nevi, the patron saint of Montisi. The Giostra di Simone festival involves processions in medieval costume, contrade dinners, ‘pop-up’ stands serving food and wine and most of all the knights’ tournament between the four contrade or neighborhoods of Montisi.
Strada bianca di Pieve a Salti
The Strada bianca di Pieve a Salti leads from San Giovanni d’Asso to Buonconvento through the hills comprised between the rivers Ombrone and Asso. Along the way you will find the località of Pieve a Salti, in the municipality of Montalcino, and Percenna, in the territory of Buonconvento.
From January 1, the municipalities of San Giovanni d'Asso and Montalcino were united into one comune.
Before the fusion, the comune San Giovanni d'Asso included the hamlets of Montisi, Lucignano d'Asso, Monterongriffoli, Vergelle and Pieve a Salti.
San Giovanni d'Asso