Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Aelse, Circa 990 AD

Located in the heart of Tuscany, in the province of Siena, the town known as Aelse represented the seventeenth stage in the trip undertaken by Sigeric the Serious trip from Rome to Canterbury.  “Elsa” is the name of the river which crosses it. In the 10th century, the territory of Val d’Elsa was under the rule of the Aldobrandeschi, a family of probable Lombard origin. Today, Aelse is known as the Gracciano district, the oldest part of Colle di Val d’Elsa.

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Door and wall of Colle di Val d’Elsa, mentioned in the battle of Colle between the Ghibelline troops of Siena inside Colle and the Guelph troops of Charles of Anjou, 1269

Arnolfo di Cambio was born in Colle Val d’Elsa 250 years after Sigeric’s passage. Before moving to Florence in 1294, he worked as an assistant to Nicola Pisano, then as an architect and sculptor for Charles I of Anjou. He realized the most important florentin landmarks, such as the Santa Croce Basilica, the Duomo, and the Palazzo Vecchio.

 

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