One of the villages that I like most that I can admire from Casa Bellavista, by turning my gaze to the west, is the town of Lucignano, which has its own particular elegance. It is a small village in southern Tuscany, and is one of the most extraordinary examples of medieval town planning , due to its elliptical shape with concentric rings, which have survived intact for centuries.
Walking through it’s streets one has the sense of a pleasant game through an intricate maze that finally resolves once you arrive in the upper area of the village. The urban layout is developed through an interesting spatial and functional articulation between a “rich street”, exposed to the bright and wide south where there are the residential buildings built by the nobility, and a “poor street” exposed to the north, north-west where there are smaller houses, characterized by poor housing and built by the less wealthy of the village.
The excellent geographical location of Lucignano, in a dominant position, at 414m above sea level over the Valdichiana valley and on the road between Siena and Arezzo, has made it strategically important since ancient times and has marked it’s history as a medieval castle strongly disputed between the neighbouring territories.
For about three centuries, from 1200 to 1500, Lucignano has undergone continuous passages of jurisdiction between Siena, Arezzo, Florence and Perugia, a city from which it was given the opportunity to wear the coat of arms (still adopted) of the Winged Griffin, to which a star was added to indicate that the village is in the hills.
In 1300 under the domination of the Sienese the fortification works were finalized with the completion of the wall perimeter and the three gates (1371): Porta S. Giusto, Porta S. Giovanni and the so-called Porta Murata, Rocca was also built with it’s two towers. The artists who have realized the works of art kept in the Municipal Museum today are predominantly Sienese, including the impressive Golden Tree, a jewel of medieval anufacture and a compendium of Franciscan symbology.