Istia d'Ombrone

Istia dominates the river Ombrone from the top of a modest hill of the plain of Grosseto and was already an important junction of the Etruscan-Roman and medieval roads, thanks to its ford. It’s still clearly visible a summit core and a lower one. The oldest ring of walls, which encloses the top of the hill, has a rectangular shape and is built with large blocks of roughly squared sandstone joined to elements of various origins (including a Roman funerary stone) united with crumbly mortar. In the center was the formwork, now no longer recognizable as incorporated in later buildings. The whole area is private and not open to visitors. The outer walls, which entirely encircle the hill at its base, were equipped with two doors and built, in the lower part dating back to the late Middle Ages, stone and river pebbles arranged without order, while the subsequent raising has a mixed technique stone-brick.

As for history, the castle of Istia is mentioned for the first time by the sources written in 862 with the name "Iscle". It was a possession, one of the oldest, of the Aldobrandeschi. The position led to the development of Istia as a center of trade and from 1032 the walled village became a market place. In 1228 the bishop placed the castle under the control of Siena, but in 1254 it was reconquered, together with Roselle, by Umberto degli Aldobrandeschi. Near Istia were built, in condominium between the Grossetan bishop authority and the Abbey of San Galgano, some mills and a grain. At the end of these events was ratified in 1287 the submission of Istia to Siena which culminated in 1467 with the actual transfer by the Bishop of Grosseto.Istia is a castle that is discovered slowly, walking through its alleys without haste; appreciating the views, the hidden corners and the perspectives on the river that made it flourish.

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