The Walls and Gates
San Giusto Gate opens up in the south-western stretch of the walls, facing Siena, and is the privileged point of entry to the historic centre of Lucignano. The gate, with rectangular base, is incorporated in the walls and carries on the façade a copy of the Medici coat of arms fallen in 1965.
Turning right, we enter Via Matteotti, the main street in the village, called Love street in the olden days due to the close link with the city of Siena, or even Rich Burgh, because here overlooked the palaces of the most influential and powerful families, such as the Battelli-Renzuoli, the Arrighi-Griffoli (in which a nursing home is currently located) and the Arnaldi-Capei palace, the only building that maintains unchanged its medieval characteristics. Between these buildings opens up Porta Sant’Angelo, a gate closed at the end of the 18th century, and forgotten until the 20th century. Today, it is a simple passage incorporated within the walls. A little further on, the hospital of St Ann, founded in 1397 and operative up to the last century. The street ends with the gate named San Giovanni characterized by a pentagonal design.
The street that from here closes the circle is Via Roma, once known as Poor Street as it was the road where the more humble classes of the village lived, it hosted numerous artisan activities, small shops and modest commercial activities, which made it one of the liveliest districts in the entire village. Walking on, we line the Monks’ garden, utilized for centuries by the local community for the simple domestic cultivations.
Further on, opens up Porta Murata (Walled Gate) thus named because it was walled up in the 16th century, at the time of the war against Siena, and reopened after a long and laborious restoration, only at the end of the last century. Typical example of medieval military architecture, it has evidence of medieval flooring in sandstone and calcareous cobbles.
Along the steps of San Giuseppe, a short distance from the church of the same name, on a stone placed right in the corner of a house we can read “Freedom of speech and chant”. According to a verbal tradition, this is a precise reference to the division of the village into two different realities: the upper part was the seat of the political and religious power, with the Council Palace, the churches and the monastery, where the silence -typical of religious mysticism- predominated; and the zone immediately below, where the entire existence of the population of Lucignano unfolded.