Monte Santa Maria Tiberina
Of Etruscan origins, it was populated in Roman times as well. Starting in the 11th century it was fief of the Marquis Bourbon del Monte, descendents of Marquis del Colle who arrived in Italy in the wake of the Franks and then conquered a large part of the Upper Tiber River Valley, constructing fortresses and castles at strategic points. Destruction of the town castle in 1198 was brought about by dissension with Pope Innocent III, and in rebuilding it the Marquis united his family history with that of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina. He obtained concessions and privileges from popes and emperors and managed to remain independent. The marquisate was ruled by family descendents until 1815 when Duke Ferdinand of Tuscany seized it, thereby interrupting the millennial dominion of the Bourbon del Monte. In 1859 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.
ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
The most interesting buildings for tourists looking for beautiful architecture are the Castello, that dates from the 16th century, and the church of Santa Maria, with the Bourbon del Monte family burial crypt. Inside the town walls can be seen the parish church, built circa 1000 featuring a magnificent stone baptismal font. Of interest in the vicinity are the Castello di Lippiano; and the Abbazia and the tower of Marzana. Near the church of Sant'Agostino can be seen the spot long ago used for duels. The hamlet has maintained an intact medieval urban layout on its hill top, from where the panorama extends from the Upper Tiber River Valley to the Valdichiana Valley, onto ancient Etruscan roads, and areas covered mostly with centuries-old chestnut forests. The valleys of Umbria and Tuscany can be seen all the way to the Apuane Alps and on clear days right to Gran Sasso Mountain in Abruzzo.
In the surrounding area