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Cetona is located in the extreme southern slopes of Siena, in Tuscany, almost on the border with Lazio. Its urban physiognomy is that of a small Tuscan village with stone and brickwork. An aspect that rises even further, against the green of the forests of Monte Cetona, which is the fifth in the country.
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Cetona  | s74/
Cetona  | Jaroslaw Pawlak/
Jaroslaw Pawlak/
Cetona  | Toscana Promozione Turistica
Toscana Promozione Turistica
Cetona  |
Cetona  | Marco Taliani de Marchio/shutterstock
Marco Taliani de Marchio/shutterstock
Cetona  | Jaroslaw Pawlak/shutterstock
Jaroslaw Pawlak/shutterstock
Cetona  | Marco Taliani de Marchio/shutterstock
Marco Taliani de Marchio/shutterstock
Church of San Michele Arcangelo  | marco taliani de marchio/shutterstock
Church of San Michele Arcangelo
marco taliani de marchio/shutterstock
Cetona  | marco taliani de marchio/shutterstock
marco taliani de marchio/shutterstock

About the village

The Cetona landmark probably derives from an ancient early Christian church, cited in documents such as Sancti Johannis de Queneto or Queteno baptisterium, perhaps referring to the Chieteno torrent that runs to the south. In a text of 1275 this church is reported as a plebs by Sancti Johannis de Scetona. Archaeological finds were found around the city at the Lattaia tomb. It is worth mentioning in the area the medieval village and the church of San Giovanni Battista in Camposervoli, the Civic Museum for the prehistory of Monte Cetona and Villa La Vagnola.

Between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, Etruscan villages are located on the hills of Chiusi and Sarteano. At Cetona the settlement is documented near Camposervoli. In 1207 there is the first mention of the Cetona castle. In 1260 the village passed to the Republic of Orvieto after a long dispute with that of Siena. In 1418 it passed to the Republic of Siena. In 1556, faithful to Siena for nearly a century and a half, the inhabitants, decimated by plagues and wars, surrender without fighting the imperial army in Tuscany when it comes under the walls. The village is thus embedded in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In 1558-69, Cetona was given a feud from Grand Duke Cosimo I to the Vitelli family. With the calf marquette begins a golden age for the town. Back in 1770 to become part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, it follows its up to the Risorgimento and the unity of Italy.

The naturalness with which the stone of its buildings blends with the almost pictorial delicateness of the tuscan landscape establishes the wonder of Cetona. It is enough to climb to the narrow cobbled streets called "coste", because it flanks the mountain, or enter into the "Cittadella", the ancient lump of houses that dominates the renaissance square, to seize the poetry of this place a "joy of serene forms", as wrote Piero Grassini. The countryside around Cetona is so beautiful that they appear to be almost a “oleografica” representation of a renaissance landscape. The walls once had three laps, today preserved in the round tower of Rivellino, dating back to the second half of the XVI century, the most important track of the third circle. The urban structure is affected by the war events of the medieval period, when Cetona was juggling between Siena and Orvieto. This valley dotted with churches and glittering with olive, pine and cypress trees, in the past has enchanted intellectuals and travelers like Bernard Berenson, Romain Rolland, Paul Bourget, and at the present offers more prosaic shelter, between the ancient houses of the village or in the farmhouses in the countryside, personalities from the world of economy, culture, fashion. The writer Angela Bianchini lives in Cetona since many years in the house which belonged to the painter Lionello Balestrieri, and in a secluded dwelling houses Guido Ceronetti, desecrating writer writes: "Today almost the entire campaign with agricultural machinery, agrochemical, monoculture, money, the abandonment, the dimming of infinite voices, is well the eve of Italoshima" (Albergo Italia, 1985). But with its serene beauty Cetona is the right place to "give calm and refreshment from the hotel of the malaise" in which our life is reduced.

Discover the other villages on the guide Tuscany - Unique villages to love

  • Monte Cetona Oil. The altitude ranging from 350 to 600 meters away from the sea, the chemical-physical characteristics of the soil ensure a pedoclimatic environment particularly favorable to the cultivation of the olive tree: from each plant a few olives are obtained but healthy, with a fragrant pulp and rich in perfumes; the dreaded oleaginous fly and other parasites do not find a suitable habitat here and this prevents the use of pesticides and keeps the ecosystem intact. It was born the Extravergin olive oil of Siena DOP. The accumulation of oil in the fruit and its typical are due to a complex metabolism that, in addition to the environment and the agronomic techniques, contribute to the peculiar characteristics of the cultivars: Frantoio, Correggiolo, Leccino, Moraiolo and Pendolino.
  • Pastrignocchi. Coming from the local peasant tradition, it consists of a kind of poor pasta, which was processed quickly without regard to appearance and consumed mostly on working days.
  • Bico. A kind of crush made with flour, water, yeast, oil, a pinch of salt and cooked in the wood oven. It is a typical bread of Piazze, a small hamlet of Cetona in the province of Siena. It is a poor bread, of ancient origin, born of a mixture of water and flour that was then cooked under the ashes. It is a middle ground between the umbrian cake and the piadina romagnola, and this could be explained by the fact that for Piazze there was one of the braces that connected the Alpe di Serre road to Via Francigena through Umbria, so the many passages of travelers allowed them to come into contact with foreign habits and customs.
  • Cuculo. A cookie prepared with poor ingredients spread mainly in the lower Sienese province, which cheered the palate of tired agricultural workers.

Village of Cetona
The Municipality of Cetona

Province of Siena
Tuscany Region

inhabitants: 2.689 cetonesi
Altitude center: 385 m a.s.l.

The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Città del vino
Città dell'olio
Paesi bandiera arancione
Unione Valdichiana Senese

Orange Flag - Italian Touring Club

Via Roma 41 - Tel. +39 0578 237611

= distances as the crow flies


  • From Florence: Take the A1 highway, exit at Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, follow the indications for Cetona.
  • From Rome: Take the A1 highway, exit at Fabro, follow the signs for Chiusi, after about 7 km at the crossroads turn left for Le Piazze -San Casciano dei Bagni, once in Le Piazze take the SS 321 Sud for Cetona.


  • Chiusi-Chianciano Terme railway station


  • Florence airport
  • Rome airport

Sleep, eat, buy...

= distances as the crow flies

Travel proposals in Cetona and in its territory

Set off from Siena on a Vespa scooter and enjoy splendid views of the rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves of the Tuscan countryside.
| Travel proposal valid until: Monday 31 october 2022
Approx. 8 hours
Interested villages: Monteriggioni, Radda in Chianti
Enjoy aerial views of the Tuscan countryside during a 1 hour hot air balloon flight
| Travel proposal valid until: Saturday 31 december 2022
3 hours | Valid all year round | Max: 6 participants


december, 2022

Saint Stephen - Patron Saint

From the blog

It has recently been made available a free travel guide by Toscana Promozione Turistica, in Italian and English, about 51 Tuscan villages certified in the Borghi più Belli D'Italia, Paesi Bandiera Arancione, Mibact's Gioielli d'Italia and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The volume, edited by Claudio Bacillieri, director in chief for Borghi Magazine, accompany th...

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