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sant appiano

The historic village of San Donato in Poggio is situated in the beautiful Chianti countryside. This medieval fortification has intact access gates and protective walls.

san donato in poggio abside

The little roads inside the village are narrow between the beautiful houses made of stone. The heart of San Donato is the square that hosts events and markets especially during the summer. Here stands the Malaspina Palace, which is a late-Renaissance, multi-storey building with an aristocratic look and used as a venue for meetings and exhibitions.

The square shows the typical features of medieval villages: the praetorian palace, the Church and the well, with its octagonal shape, which became extremely important for the citizens in the event of a siege.

Seen from above, San Donato shows its city structure, organized around a central road axis from gate to gate with two secondary roads running parallel to the central road, which they rejoin near the gates.


The houses also comply with the subdivision of space in a hierarchical way with the noble houses located on the central road and the most modest ones along the narrow parallel road. The castle is completely surrounded by walls built between the thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries, interspersed with a few towers, including a tall, slender tower, which has a protruding part and is very picturesque. The castle belongs to the Guidi family and it was a free commune (medieval city-state) for a short period of time. Its fortification is due to its strategic position between Siena and Florence in a border area, always disputed between the two rival cities.

As visitors walk outside this historic village, they can enjoy the spectacular view of the soft surrounding countryside. The village owes its name to the parish church of San Donato, situated among the olive trees outside the residential centre. The Romanesque-style parish church of San Donato may date back to the year 989, as shown in some documents. Inside, its ceramic baptismal font glazed by Giovanni della Robbia dates back to 1513 instead.





Published: 15/7/2014

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