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San Donato in Poggio

San Donato in Poggio is set in one of the prettiest patches of the Chianti. The hilltop medieval village dominates a ridge separating the Val di Pesa from the Val d’Elsa and enjoys views of olive groves and vineyard-clad hills. This walled, stone-and-brick-built hamlet is tucked into its medieval fortifications. Even if only stretches survive, including two gateways, the street plan remains medieval. A remaining watchtower on the western edge of the hamlet leads to a bell-tower and the atmospheric main square, along with the Gothic church of Santa Maria della Neve and an octagonal well. Given its position as a pawn in the long-running battles between Siena and Florence, San Donato often depended on this well for survival. The Florentine-Romanesque church of San Donato stands by the Porta Senese, the Sienese gateway, a reminder that medieval peace treaties between Siena and Florence were twice signed in this former citadel.

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