Located north-west of San Casciano dei Bagni, Celle sul Rigo is in a much more open position and has a different urban and geological configuration.
The name “Celle” seems to derive from “sacred cells” or “wine cells” and refers to the numerous caves located under the village. During wartime, they became shelters and today they are used as wine cellars.
Celle sul Rigo was an important centre for its strategic position that over history has been decisive from the military and commercial point of view. It has allowed the village to experience a period of well-being until the end of the 17th century.
The first reliable documents about the village’s history date back to 1000 and confirm that its castle has been under the dominion of Orvieto, through the consortium of the Visconti di Campiglia, until the second half of the 14th century.
In 1384 Cione Salimbeni, lord of Celle, managed to regain possession of the castle and to expel the “reformists”. In 1404 Cione’s son, Cocco Salimbeni, declared himself submitted to Siena and in 1418 the official act of submission of Celle’s Castle to Siena was signed and it lasted until 1559.
From this moment on, Celle sul Rigo begun to live as a simple agricultural village. Centuries of war, earthquakes and landslides have transformed the village’s shape; leaving only 600 inhabitants living here today.
Its urban layout is very peculiar: perfectly straight streets connect to a square that is too large for the village’s current size. Most likely the medieval castle was built over a previous Roman or Lombard castrum, but unfortunately nothing remains of its ancient protection walls.
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