In the plain below Sovicille, there is the oldest church (perhaps) of the Sienese diocese. Everyone calls it Ponte allo Spino because of the stream of the same name but, in reality, it is the parish church of S. John the Baptist.
Like all churches, it stood on important communication routes: the Roman road that connected the Via Cassia to the Aurelia, which started from San Marco Gate in Siena and reached the sea in Populonia.
Here there was an important chapter of the canons who used to walk along the cloister of which only a small stretch remains, with all original 12th-century architectural elements.
Below the courtyard and the church, they were found fragments of Roman mosaics from the imperial age that belonged to a large villa.
The Gothic palace, which overlooks the cloister, used to house the Sienese bishops during the summer.
Instead, in the outer wall of the cloister, there are slits for the harquebus, a sign that the complex was fortified.
The external decorations have an antique flavor and they take you back in a fantastic and mysterious way.
I went there two years ago. They opened it especially for us. It pleasantly reminded me of the atmosphere of peace and serenity of S. Antimo abbey.
I was fascinated by the various traces of truly ancient history, traces which are all concentrated in a small but welcoming place!
I love to know such suggestive places with this almost surreal atmosphere…Do you know other places like that?