There are villages that do not exist … yes, this sentence made me laugh but unfortunately it has something of reality.
While looking for a village to combine with a guided tour while going to San Gimignano I found Colle Val d’Elsa, one of these jewel-like villages only for true connoisseurs, unknown to those who are not from the area.
Leaving the car in a parking lot, we arrive in Piazza Arnolfo di Cambio and you immediately feel on vacation. Open square surrounded by loggias full of shops and various cafes where you can have an aperitif or an ice cream.
This is the new part of the city simply called “Colle”.
Entering the path to get to “Colle Alta” is well signposted and can be accessed from various points in the city. Just take a few steps which I highly recommend (all uphill though) because the public lift is currently closed for repairs and there is no certain opening date.
You can also drive and park on.
The curtain opens and an almost unexpected medieval city appears.
Birthplace of Arnolfo di Cambio (we can see his tower house with a beautiful plaque) Colle Val d ‘Elsa has been the crystal capital for centuries, so much so that it has been nicknamed the Bohemia of Italy.
The Crystal Museum is temporarily closed but near the tourist office there is an exhibition with many specimens (for the month of July open only Fri-Sat-Sun)
Continuing through the medieval streets, you will find the Civic and Sacred Art Museum, in the Palazzo dei Priori or the Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli Museum, where archeology speaks for itself. Do not miss the Cathedral and the former Conservatory of San Pietro.
These villages “exist” thanks to all of us who decide to know and live them. Now we just need to leave, then add an aperitif, lunch or dinner there or nearby and that’s it.