The ancient origins of the La Melosa estate
In the 11th century it was a Benedictine church, later the domain of the Aldobrandi family
remembered by Dante in Purgatory
Two silent guardians of history
The slightly mystical and enchanted atmosphere that is easy to feel at “La Melosa” is a typical expression of places with a long history. The trace of such an intense past under the historical-social and artistic aspect undoubtedly contributes to explaining that atmosphere and it is possible to find it in the natural context in which it is immersed.
What today is called the farm, or the estate, La MELOSA, in medieval times was known as San Cassiano . The church was dedicated to San Cassiano, an oriental monk of the fourth century, known as the author of treatises on the location and organization of the most remote conventual structures of the Christian era.
There is no certain documentary evidence, but it seems adherent to historical truth to connect the presence of the two majestic holm oak trees – on the north side – to a monastic nucleus of the Benedictine order which, at the beginning of the 11th century, not coincidentally established a small convent on the plateau that divides the Bai stream to the south and the Seguentina stream to the north.
From Pieve San Cassiano to La Melosa
The first documented presence of the Pieve di San Cassiano is in the “Leopoldine land registry” where it already appears as “Casa Melosa” and is closely linked to the most important Benedictine monastery of S. Salvatore di Giugnano – a few miles downstream along the Bai- da stream. little object of a wise structural recovery as it is considered the most singular historical-architectural find of the Municipality of Roccastrada.
At the time, the entire Bai basin, especially in the upper sector, constituted a respectable reserve in the economic structure of the area under the Munich jurisdiction. Its importance was given by the presence in the subsoil of lead, copper and silver deposits. The three tunnels on the slopes of “Poggio Mozzeto” are still visible – a few hundred meters west from La Melosa, and the masses of metal smelting residues, together with the ruins of the cooking ovens located in several points along the stream bed. . The latter, due to the typical nature of the course and the constant water toll, was the site of an intense milling activity, so much so that up to the middle of the last century there were five stone mills active, two of which (Riguerci and Giugnano), well recovered show their original structure.
The power of the Aldobrandeschi according to Dante
At the beginning of the century. XIII, as a result of a complex transaction with the lords of Lattaia, supported by the concession of Innocent III of 3 July 1206, the abbey heritage of San Salvatore was ceded to the most important Cistercian monastery of San Galgano in Montesiepi. It seems that the political interests of the Aldobrandeschi family were not unrelated to the sale. The great poet Dante is witness to their power to the point that he left a vivid image of them in canto XI of Purgatory: under the weight of a large boulder it is Count Umberto, who reminds the poet of his own family references: “I I was the Latin son of a great Tuscan – Guglielmo Aldobrandesco was my father – I don’t know if his name was ever already your name … “
Some statistical data on Tuscany:
Tuscany is one of the favorite destinations of both Italian and foreign tourism. Contrary to what is thought, there are more Italian tourists than foreign ones (19,683,357 VS 17,530,762). 11% of their total choose to spend a holiday in the province of Grosseto. The most assiduous of the foreigners who frequent the countryside are the British, followed by the Germans and by the Americans, French, Swiss and Japanese. The Italians who choose the hilly areas are less than half (3.43% VS 8.38%).