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As noted in an 18th century travel guide, Chiusdino “. . . really has no distinguishing features and no cultural assets that would make one think of it differently from the other mediocre properties of the Sienese State.”

The smallest of the hill towns we visit, Chiusdino is stunningly situated on a hilltop above the Merse Valley and dates to the twelveth century. Chiusdino was the birthplace of San Galgano, namesake of the abandoned nearby thirteenth century Cistercian abbey, but is otherwise indistinguishable from many other small Tuscan hill towns. With a small population and a predominantly agricultural economy, Chiusdino is essentially untainted by tourism. Here, in the span of an hour or so, students can explore the entire town.