This was an important agricultural centre on the softer side of the Crete senesi, and it thrived way back in ancient times thanks to its particular and favourable geographical position: the confluence between the rivers Arbia and Ombrone, and its position on the Via Francigena route. The emperor Arrigo VII died here in 1313 after having conquered it: it is from this period that the saying “Buon convento, cattivi frati” springs (good convent, bad friars). The village still maintains the monumental portal facing North, on the town hall façade there are 25 coat of arms from the ancient podestà. The most interesting tourist attraction is the sacred art museum which exhibits objects from the local churches, among which the paintings by Matteo di Giovanni. There are many castles in the neighbouring area: the Bibbiano Guiglieschi fort which is more than a thousand years old , the Bibbiano tower and the great architectonic complex Castelnuovo Tancredi. Just out of San Giovanni d’Asso, at 6 km from Fattoria del Colle one can visit Ragnaia. This is a wood where a couple of American artists have created a route which helps to meditate on nature and on man’s destiny (open from 10 am to 12 midday and from 2 to 4 pm).
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