During the time my boyfriend stayed with me in Siena, we had several day trips to close villages or towns, usually by train, but this time it is different and quite an adventure! It was the last week that my boyfriend was staying with me, for this reason, I wanted to bring him somewhere and spend nice moments together for the last time. We took out the map and tried to choose a closer and quite easy town to reach using public transport as in Italy, the most part of towns and villages can be reached only by car because there are no train stations or an efficient public transport service, and so I found this cute village of Chiusdino located in the most rural countryside of south Tuscany. As we always struggle to find a place where the tourists are less in number and keeps its authenticity, we thought it was a good idea also because at the time I checked the timetable, it seemed there were enough buses to assure us to reach and leave the small city but the surprise arrives later…
Chiusdino: A Village in the Middle of Nowhere
Chiusdino in Italy is mainly known for being the place portrayed on all the Mulino Bianco-branded sweet food, even though many Italians are not aware of the fact that this idyllic mill is located here! Even I found it by chance searching for information about this place. In addition, near Chiusdino there is the picturesque San Galgano Abbey, where, it is rumoured, that the legendary sword in the stone is treasured. I came to visit this village mainly to visit this place, discovering later that it is inaccessible for all of those who do not own a car…they did not even provide a shuttle service or a public bus to reach there, I was really disappointed! Leaving all of this behind, we decided to take the bus the same and venture into our next adventure; the trip on the bus last, more or less, 1 hour and 30 minutes passing through the most rural countryside of the whole Tuscany, where there were crumbling houses scattered all around and blanched by the severity of the time.
When we reached the village, I soon went checking the timetable to be sure of the time we had our bus back but with my deepest regret, I realised, there were none so I asked locals what to do but every additional buses were not running on that day since it was Sunday and no train stations nearby so we opted to book a taxi even if our wallet was crying after having got to know the price of the trip….
But anyway, we overcame this difficulty and started our exploration of the city that, despite being small, is a hidden gem treasuries many lovely alleyways that seem to be made for being photographed, medieval narrow streets all surrounded by abandoned houses and a peaceful lifestyle, that only a small village like this can still keep alive. Roaming in the village’s crumbling and meandering alleyways made me discover again a reality I thought it was long gone: small children playing with the father without using the society plague of these years aka smartphones, the tranquility that dominates all around and the wet laundry hanged outside the houses…as if the time stopped.
Historical Side of Chiusdino
The origins of Chiusdino are still unclear but it is said the village was founded by the Lombards. When the Roman Empire fell, many barbaric tribes came to invade Italy and Lombards were one of them. They managed to conquer the territories north the Po river and extended their power until Tuscany. Therefore, in this area, we can still find villages like Chiusdino that treasures Lombardic origins. The hypothesis is also corroborated by the name of the village, that in Latin is, Clusinum, coming from the germanic word Cluso. Chiusdino is also famous, among the catholic worshippers, for having given birth to San Galgano, a very important Saint in this area, as I always read his name everywhere in Siena and in the surrounding places. San Galgano belonged to a powerful feudal family from the area but later, abandoned everything in order to become a hermit, after having witnessed divine visions in his dreams. indeed, the sword in the stone found in the Abbey nearby is his sword.
The village is quite small and there are no big churches or monuments to see, nevertheless I really enjoyed our day trip to this lovely place, even though we took a huge loss on our wallets….anyway it was the first time for me to use a taxi and I think it will be also the last one.