Campagnatico is situated about at 20,4 km from the sea and it is easily reachable with the route Siena-Grosseto. Located on a hill and overshadowed by a cliff at 160 metres over sea level, between narrow alleys and old facades, here you find this perfectly preserved small medieval village with a beautiful view over the valley of the river Ombrone. On beautiful days the panoramic view of the Tuscan hills extends to the sea, and you can also enjoy breathtaking sunsets. The village has been chosen for years as a place of good retreat by the Harry Potter’s actor Alan Rickman.
The name of Campagnatico, according to theories void of confirmation, would derive from “campus” and “agnaticus”. The tradition refers to a roman soldier who, having been assigned the territories of Campagnatico, to avoid fragmentation, would have made them “agnatic”, that is inherited only by the first born. Another hypothesis wants the name to be derived from “bell”, symbol that appears in the emblem of the town.
The court of Campagnatico belonged to the monastery of S. Salvatore on the mount Amiata and it was bought by or donated to the Aldobrandeschi family who already controlled other territories in Maremma.
The village was in fact mentioned for the first time in a document of 973 among the family properties with which it is also mentioned in the tercets of the Divine Comedy by Dante. Omberto of Aldobrandeschi was suffocated in his bed at the hands of assassins hired by the Senese Republic, that saw in the local lords a limit to his expansionist aims in the Maremma. It is said that the assassins were disguised as monks, this being the only way to approach Omberto. In the thirteenth century, under the Aldobrandeschi family, Campagnatico was already a centre of commerce and wood production, but it was in the fifteenth century that the buildings, around which the current historical centre is developed, were built. Together with Siena, it became part, in the first half of the sixteenth century, of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, of which then followed the fate. Under the Medici government, Campagnatico was abandoned to live in squalor. The municipality was established under Pietro Leopoldo of Lorena who built the quarterdeck, a glassmaker, a watchmaker and joined the court of Campagnatico with Montorsaio, Civitella, Casale and Pari.
The development of the village starting from the thirteenth century, determined the birth of places of worship both inside and outside of the village.
Most interesting works of art:
- The Pieve of San Giovanni Battista
- The church of S. Antonio Abate
- The church of S. Maria delle Grazie
Inside the village accessible through the medieval door, you can find:
1.3 The tower and the ruins of the Aldobrandeschi castle beneath which it is believed to be located an underground tunnel that connects it directly to Siena.
1.4 The sundial – an ancient clock that marks the solar time through the projection of lights and shadows on a dial in the Dante square.
1.5 The public fountain – a square-shaped cast-iron fountain. On it you can find the crest of Campagnatico and also four flags that represent the four districts: Castle, Centre, Pieve, Saint Mary. These districts keep competing annually during the donkey contest in September.
1.6 Alan Rickman’s house – On Umberto Road you can find Alan Rickman’s house, the Professor Severus Snake, teacher of potion in the Harry Potter franchise. The actor, who died in 2016, chose Campagnatico as a retreat for the summer holidays and as a place of rest when not working on the movie set. The actor found Campagnatico a perfect place to pass unnoticed without the stress of being recognized.
1.7 Villa Bellaria – Currently it’s an holiday farm surrounded by a large and evocative park that was designed in 1932 by the biggest Italian landscape architect of the time: Pietro Porcinai. The park has a terrace overlooking over the valley of the river Ombrone, and at night it is illuminated by old street lamps.