An exploration of Crete, a beautiful healing centre, rich with history and monuments.
In the land where the golden waves of Siena's Crete break upon the borders of Valdichiana stands Rapolano, ensconced in his white marble walls and hiding a boiling heart of steam.
Springs of sulphurous waters, the main reason of the presence of white limestone, pop up from the ground, rich with healing properties, offering healing baths, mud, and inhalations. They were already knows in the Roman age and very popular under the Republic of Siena, and now they feed two bath establishments at the edges of town.
Those who love watching strange natural phenomena will love what they will find near the Baths of S. Giovanni the Baptist: mounds of marble in the middle of wood and a basin filled with toxic steam which prevents the growth of the surrounding plants.
The town centre also features many interesting views, monuments symbolizing the importance of the local quarries. The marble industry (the pietra of Rapolano) is flourishing now as it was in past; it provided solid matter used in the construction of defensive structures and a noble covering for the facades of many buildings. Imposing remains of the XIVth century battlements are still standing along the city walls and near the towers, while the road that leads to the castle is ideal to enjoy a beautiful vista of the surrounding hills and of the nearby oak woods. Many prized artworks are hosted in the town churches, such as the Virgin's tableau ascribed to the Salimbeni workshop and displayed in the Church of Brotherhood.
We will also mention the ancient gate of Tintori (XIV century) ant the Romanesque church of S. Vittore, near the railway.
Rapolano is a little town in Tuscany not far from Siena.
Church of S. Maria Assunta
Church of S. Bartolomeo
Church of the Brotherhood
Church of S. Vittore
Remains of towers and walls
Gate of Tintori
Baths of S. Giovanni Battista (near the town)
Baths of Antica Querciolaia (near the town)