Visiting the Old Town of Gambassi Terme means plunging into a small hamlet made of narrow streets, steep and hidden from view, with stone and brick buildings, which reveal the importance of this ancient strategic centre in the Valdelsa area.
The Gambassi Castle, documented for the first time in 1037 when it came under the control of the Bishop of Volterra, was built by its residents in its current location towards the end of the 12th century.
Its old town, as evidence of this renewal, retains an urban structure showing some degree of planning, laid out on three main streets with a rather straight and parallel pattern, two of which merge into the square of the Castle.
Many ruins of the Gambassi Castle's medieval structures remain and you can glimpse them while walking through the town streets.
Still in the old town, overlooking piazza Roma, is the clock tower which is famous for Membrino, the nickname popularly given to the wooden puppet that holds the hammer of the bell. It is one of the rarest types of clock puppets existing in Tuscany, along with the Pulcinella one in Montepulciano and the Mangia one in Siena.
Acting today as the meeting point for the many tourists visiting the town, it offers calm and serenity to pilgrims before getting back on their way along the Via Francigena road.
Il Centro Storico di Gambassi Terme