Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Sce Quiric (San Quirico d’Orcia), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XII – Sce Quiric

San Quirico d’Orcia is a pieve dedicated to Sts. Quiricus and Julietta, which originally dates from the 8th century, but was rebuilt in the 12th century. According to the tradition, Julietta and her three-year-old son Quiricus had fled to Tarsus. There they were identified as Christians, arrested and held by the governor of Tarsus. Quiricus allegedly scratched the governor’s face, after which the governor, furious, killed the boy by throwing him down the stairs. It is said that Julietta did not weep but celebrated instead her son’s crown of martyrdom. Even more furious, the governor ordered that Julietta should be beheaded.

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Collegiate church of Sts. Quiricus and Julietta, photo courtesy  Sergio de Ferra

The cypress is the iconic tree of Tuscany. The famous cluster of San Quirico cypress trees is located on a small hill to the north-west of the city. These are two distinct groups of trees. The first group forms a small thicket of  rhomboid shape, while the second group of cypresses is located along a dirt road that leads to a complex private road, around which are arranged to form two distinct semicircles open towards the center of the dirt road.

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Cypress trees of San Quirico d’Orcia, photo courtesy of sienabiketour.com

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