Colle Val d'Elsa

The historical and artistic wealth of Tuscany does not end in its most exclusive cities of art, but is often hidden in the smaller, unexplored and sometimes unknown destinations. Places like Colle Val d’Elsa, more secluded than the major tourist destinations (Siena and San Gimignano), but no less fascinating, precious and curious.

It can be reached from the highway that connects Siena to Florence, or by crossing the green hills of Chianti, Colle Val d’Elsa has been a crossroads of passages for centuries, around which the development of the whole territory is linked.

Placed as a domain of the river Elsa, the name already suggests it (Colle Val d’Elsa), the city is divided by an upper part (the oldest), born on a hill of yellow sands and by a lower, more modern, grown part on the river valley.

A clear split that strikes and makes it so unique and suggestive.

Colle Alta is located on a cretaceous spur, where old houses with characteristic yellowish and reddish walls go up to the edge of the slope, offering unexpected spectacles, while Colle Bassa, has developed on the left bank of the Elsa river, where the soul lives industrious and lively city. In Colle Val d’Elsa you can be captivated by the silence and stillness that surrounds alleys and buildings, but also find yourself overwhelmed by an unexpected city frenzy, including modern architecture, works of contemporary art and new sustainable urban spaces. In this close relationship between ancient and modern, the beauty of Colle is at stake.

The medieval face, crystallized in the arts and crafts, in the tower-houses, in the walls, among the palaces, squares and shops of the historic center, observes from above what happens under it. In the lower part of the country, where the frenetic and modern life swarms with the rhythms of the mature city. Where once flourishing mill factories, fulling mills and paper mills stood, powered by water after the river Elsa was harnessed in gores and canals, today new urban and naturalistic spaces have been created to be discovered. Here contemporary architecture dialogues in harmony with the industries of the past, perfectly inserted in the redeveloped urban contexts. Because some supply chains have disappeared, while other processes have not only survived, but have made a leap in quality, it is the case of glass processing and the virtuosity of crystal that led to the nickname Colle the “Bohemia of Italy”. A tradition testified by the many artisans and industries still present in the city and by the Crystal Museum which tells the story of this ancient production.

For nature lovers then there is an embarrassment of choice. Nature trails, paths and breathtaking views on the banks of the Elsa river and in the surroundings, without losing the caresses of warm water in the Bagni delle Caldane, a very popular spa destination already known by Etruscans and Romans.

Colle Val d’Elsa is this and much more, it is therefore advisable to take the right time to experience the magical dualism of this city.

How to gear up to experience Colle? Hard breathing and travelling in low gears This is the only way to fully experience the city, its millenary history, its artistic and natural treasures, its superfine arts and new sustainable urban spaces, without having to give up local delicacies and the city nightlife.

Hotel and restaurants

A selection of the best restaurants in Colle Val d’Elsa, to live an unforgettable food and wine experience in Tuscany. Furthermore, a perfect location for your stay in Colle Val d’Elsa, in an authentic period building.

Not to be missed

What to see at Colle Val d'Elsa

Discovering the most beautiful attractions of the town of Colle Val d’Elsa.

Not to be missed

Events Colle Val d'Elsa

Traditional events, cultural festivals and events not to be missed in Colle Val d’Elsa.

Colle Val d'Elsa

How to get here

See the map



A journey to discover the most beautiful cities around Colle Val d’Elsa.

Scroll to Top