The ancient churc
Around the year 1000 A.D , the canons of Siena's cathedral decided to construct a new abbey not too far from the city.
The abbey was to be located on a panoramic hillside in the middle of a forest filled with "cerri" - turkey oak trees- and it was here that Canonica a Cerreto was built. The word "Cerreto" derives from this particular kind of tree, quercus cerris.
Located on the old border between the former republics of Siena and Florence, the monastery witnessed years of fierce fighting between the two rivals including the historic Battle of Monteaperti, described by Italy's most famous poet, Dante Alighieri.
In 1400 A.D., Canonica a Cerreto was bought by a noble family from Cerretani, who renovated the villa according to the popular Renaissance style of the time.
In 1700 A.D., it returned to Siena's clergy, who converted it into a summer villa for the bishop. The interior of the villa's chapel was refashioned to a style more appropriate for the age, and its rooms frescoed by Sienese painters.
More than 300 years later, Canonica a Cerreto returned to private ownership.