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Radicondoli

Since XIII century many open villages, sites of churches and some castles were left and people moved into Radicondoli and Belforte.


RadicondoliHistory
Since XIII century many open villages, sites of churches and some castles were left and people moved into Radicondoli and Belforte, which had already from the first decades of XIII century administrative and religious buildings inside their walls and were rich thanks to the wool fabrics.
Probably the castle of Radicondoli was built ex-novo between 1209 and 1213 and it knew its best and richest period between the first half of 1200 and the first half of 1300.
Originally Radicondoli belonged to the counts Aldobrandeschi. Then, in 1230, it passed to the Republic of Siena and, notwithstanding many battles for its possession, in 1301 was definetively inglobed in the Siena territory.
After the battle of Siena, Radicondoli became possession of Granducato di Toscana.
After a long period of downfall (in 1656 Radicondoli counted only 364 inhabitants!), in XVIII-XIX century Radicondoli lived a moderate improvement and, indeed, many buildings in town date back to this period.
Of the original town walls, built beginning XIII century, the elliptic perimeter is almost entirely preserved while, because of the many reconstructions, very little remains of the original wall structure.
The Radicondoli castle knew its most florid period between the first half of 1200 and the first half of 1300. The village gravited around a principal axis, "strada maestra", today called via Tiberio Gazzei, linked to the no more existing two doors of San Martino and San Pietro, and on the perpendicular street, via Sedice, ending southly with the only door nowadays preserved, porta Olla. Opposite to it, onother door must have been existing, maybe linked to the San Simone Pieve.
Along the main street, via Tiberio Gazzei, many romanic tower-houses are still preserved, giving the town the typical features of tuscan medioeval villages. Also Palazzo del Capitano (Via T.Gazzei n. 85) dates back to 1200/1300.

Radicondoli, Collegiata dei Santi Simone e Giuda Visiting Radicondoli
Of the original town walls, built beginning XIII century, the elliptic perimeter is almost entirely preserved while, because of the many reconstructions, very little remains of the original wall structure.
The Radicondoli castle knew its most florid period between the first half of 1200 and the first half of 1300. The village gravited around a principal axis, "strada maestra", today called via Tiberio Gazzei, linked to the no more existing two doors of San Martino and San Pietro, and on the perpendicular street, via Sedice, ending southly with the only door nowadays preserved, porta Olla. Opposite to it, onother door must have been existing, maybe linked to the San Simone Pieve.
Along the main street, via Tiberio Gazzei, many romanic tower-houses are still preserved, giving the town the typical features of tuscan medioeval villages. Also Palazzo del Capitano (Via T.Gazzei n. 85) dates back to 1200/1300.

RadicondoliPalaces
Along the main street of Radicondoli, via Tiberio Gazzei, you can see some late rinascimental palaces mostly of XVI secolo.
Between these: the Palazzo d'Elci, called Poggiarello, at n.90; of impressive dimensions, continuiing the Santa Caterina monastery, and whose facade follows late rinascimental architectural style and developes on three floors; the actual Municipal Palace already Berlinghieri at n. 89, having inside a wide entrance covered with pavilion vault, doors with stone jambs and architraves and a worthy shaft in travertine placed against the wall; the Bizzarrini Palace, at n. 24, a brown little palace made of bricks, of XVI century, belonged to Michelangelo Bizzarrini; also the Lolini Palace, at nn. 67-69, of XVI century, belonged to the Bizzarrini family, got through the Noferi family, to the Borghi family and finally to the Lolini family, the actual owners. Inside some settings and a ball room with orchestra orchestra supported by columns and some decorations made by the Siena painter Luigi Cinatti are of late neoclassicism style Luigi Cinatti.
Of XIX century are the Palazzetto Baronti Marchiola, at n. 43, with double arc access gate with a balcony above and, next to it, the People House at nn.55-59, made of bricks, with a stone on the facade remembering Garibaldi

Churches and sacred places in Radicondoli
At the beginning of Radicondoli lies the actual Chiesa del Crocifisso (crucifix church), dating back to 1724 which anciently lies the San Giovanni Battista hospital, hosting poor people and pilgrims.
The Collegiata dei Santi Simone e Giuda (saint Simone and Giuda collegiate church)is the old San Simone Parish, built in the same period of the castle (1209-1213). You find it in the square at the intersection point between the main street and the Sedice street. Developed on the latin cross model, with marble facade, contains inside important pictorial works.
Along the main street Tiberio Gazzei lies also the agostinian monastery with the annexed chiesa di Santa Caterina (Santa Caterina church) . The church, opening on the main street, presents a late mannerist structure. Its walls are of cooked bricks and at the entrance portal you find a little cooked statue of Santa Caterina delle Ruote. Inside the church, above the major altar is contained the great canvas portraying Santa Caterina of Alessandria martyrdom painted by Sebastiano Folli in 1607.Belforte
From Belforte came the powerful family of Belforti in Volterra and of Belforte we do not have information before the XII century. In 1208 it is cited in the Ildebrando Aldobrandesco's testament, infact he assigned it to his son Ildebrandino together with other lands and castles.
In 1221 it counted 260 heads of the family and, together with Radicondoli, sware fidelity to the Siena Republic. From that moment on followed a period of battles between Siena and the Aldobrandeschi for its possession, but in 1301 the definitive possession of Belforte by Siena was reached. It followed the destiny of Radicondoli and in 1555 -as Radicondoli- it became member of granducato dei Medici. In 1676 as written by the auditor Gherardini, Belforte had the principal road, partly with bricks and partly with paving, unifying the town-walls doors. Between the public contructions were the Justice palace, a reservoir, a font with public washhouse and drinking trough, a furnace, the schoolmaster's house, a room for the hospital pilgrims, a house for the hospital man, the "pieve" and the church of Santa Croce.

Radicondoli : Belforte castleCastles
Many castles took power and captured people in the same period in which ecclesiastic places had the same role. Castles were built in the territory of Radicondoli, produced both the fortification of already existing places and new structures. Between the X° and XIII centuries we can count even up to eleven castles, governed by families detenting feudal rights. These castles were normally on the hills top and their distribution centred in the Belforte area. All castles presented a similar defensive structure consisting in fortified walls all around the top of the hill and a further fortification inside them with a controlling tower. Inside the walls not just the lord's residence but also a whole real "village" was there, with much people living inside the castle fortification and depending from the castle Lord.

Villas
The lordly villas in the country-side of Radicondoli inspires normally to the town palaces, where they are not built on previous farmhouses. Their access is normally through a masted boulevard and enriched by annexes edifices suche as a chapel, the garden and often a wood too.
These houses were usually lived occasionally by the owner. He usually went there during the main moments of agriculture (vintage or crop) or for his vacation, during wich he practiced ludic activities, hunting, bird hunting, etc.
In the area of Radicondoli such kind of villas are not many. Just the Anqua villa of the Pannocchieschi d'Elci family and the Solaio villa of the Marescotti family. Other settlements such as Palazzone, Cornocchia, Tegoni, Sesta refer to former rural settlements.
Villas around Radicondoli:
- Anqua
- Solaio
- Olli

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