© Photos by ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI
The historical centre of Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena, Tuscany, Italy) is a well kept medieval fortress-village, where you may walk through incredible narrow streets and squares, all built with the local grey stone.
The castle of Abbadia is first mentioned in a document dating to 1203, which shows that the community came under the aegis of a communal hierarchy headed by a Podestà, under the political control of Orvieto. A few years later, the strenght and power of this communal organization are described in the “bill of freedom” (“Carta delle libertà”) granted in 1212 to communal chancellors by the Abbot of the San Salvatore monastery.
The pattern of settlements in the area of Abbadia was defined around the mid-XII Century, when under the pressure of external threats, the local population, up until then scattered over the surrounding countryside, came together within one large fortified settlement.
The Abbey and all the Medieval centre are telling us how Abbadia San Salvatore was important in the past. All its area is rich in history and traditions, that to a great extent can be found in documents in the old archive belonging to the monastery dedicated to the Saviour. The archive contains many references to the importance and power of the Abbey.
In Abbadia we may also admire the Servadio Theatre (1873), a tiny but fascinating place. It was built thanks to the initiative of the Carli and Gragnoli families; it is dedicated to Giacomo Servadio (XIX Century) a Florentine member of Italian Parliament, banker, musician and theatre producer. Between the end of XIX Century and the beginning of the XX, the building was the seat of a friendly Society of the workers of Abbadia, where in XIX Century quicksilver mines began their activities, now closed and presented in a museum.