CASTEL SAN NICCOLÒ - AREZZO TRAVEL GUIDE & HOTEL
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CASTEL SAN NICCOLÒ TRAVEL GUIDE
Castel San Niccolò is a small municipality of 2.662 inhabitants, in the province of Arezzo, in the heart of Casentino. Its origins are very ancient and even appear to date from Roman domination. Its name derives from the 13th-century Conti Guidi Castle, which overlooks the village of Strada in Casentino (the largest in the municipality and its capital), and is one of the most beautiful castles in the Casentino area. Considered one of the castles-residence of the region, Castel San Niccolò underwent various changes when it became the residence of the Podestà of Florence.
where is and how to get there
what to see and what to do
After a long period of decline, the castle was restored by its current owner, who brought it back to its former splendor, and is willing to make a guide to visitors (after a telephone appointment - 0575.572961) to show the Keep with the tower, enriched by two 14th century mullioned windows, a small lodge, a cistern and the walkway of the guard walls.
As you descend from the castle, you will find the medieval village of Strada in Casentino, which is a little gem: the central square is surrounded by two picturesque palaces (Vettori and Vettori-Tommasi) and by Logge del Grano, with five spans made by round arches. Along the Logge, the old palace of the Podestà has been recently refurbished and used as a library. Interesting is also the door that opens in the defensive walls and is dominated by a tower (today the Clock Tower).
Very beautiful the Pieve of S. Martino in Vado (early 11th century), one of the most important Romanesque churches in Casentino, which seems to have been made by Countess Matilde of Canossa and is the only one to have preserved the original façade.
It is worthwhile visiting the little village of Borgo alla Collina, with its intricate, narrow streets typical of the medieval period, and with the castle surmounted by a square Tower (probably for the sightings) that allows, with only one glance, to admire the whole Casentino, with ridges lined with ancient castles and churches.
For the bath lovers, Bagno di Cetica has some very cold and very well known water since Roman times, and this water have always been regarded as therapeutic properties. Next to the thermal baths is Albergo Ristorante San Romolo, where you can enjoy typical Tuscan dishes prepared according to tradition and accompanied by the wines of the area.
Events in CASTEL SAN NICCOLÒ
There are plenty of events and festivals in this area:
- the “Antica Battitura del Grano” (ancient corn shucking), at Borgo alla Collina, held every year in the first days of August. For three days, the participants will be able to relive the grain bar tradition, and in the evenings they will enjoy the typical dishes of the peasant tradition, such as “ocio” (goose), black croutons with vinsanto and good wine.
- Very interesting is the Biennial of worked stone, ad the end of August, (now at its 25th edition), with a display of artifacts made by artists and masters of stoneworkers. In 2012, the Museum of Worked Stone was inaugurated,, in the ex Salesian College; the museum can be visited by reservation.
- Typical of the area is the Cherry Festival, always at Borgo alla Collina, with tastings of cherries and typical dishes, at the end of June;
- in autumn, that of porcini mushroom in early September and that of chestnut in early November, as well as the Christmas Tree Fair, at the beginning of December, as the area is known for the local production of fir trees for Christmas purposes.
The typical products of the area of Castel San Niccolò are red potatoes, porcini mushroom, chestnut and sanbudello, a type of sausage with a very strong flavor as it is also made with lung, heart and spleen typical of neighboring countries (eg Castel Focognano).