Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Abricula (Le Briccole), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XI – Abricula

In the ancient italian village Le Briccole (defined Abricula by Sigerous and located near Castiglione d’Orcia). The name Abricula probably comes from the latin word apricum which means “sunny”. There, one could find a hospice dedicated to San Pellegrino, which depended in 990 on the monastery of San Pietro in Campo di Val d’Orcia.

West of Castiglione d’Orcia, still exists a 13th century fortified farm surrounded by acres of vines and olive trees. The Castello di Ripa d’Orcia is known to produce extra virgin olive oil, which, because it is pressed mechanically without employing chemicals or excess heat, retains more true olive taste and more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olive fruits. Also, fun fact: the average life of an olive tree is between 300 and 600 years. The oldest olive tree in the world (see below) is on the island of Crete and is supposedly 4,000 years old! (And still produces fruit!).oldest-olive-tree-in-the-world.jpg

The Val d’Orcia was inserted onto the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004.

the-gladiator-russel-crowe-val-dorcia.jpg

This scene from the movie Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000) was filmed in the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany

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