You may not know much about Monticchiello, a small medieval hamlet overlooking the Val d'Orcia in the province of Siena.
But everyone knows the classic Tuscan image of the winding cypress tree road and one of the symbols of Italy. And at the end of that road is Monticchiello.
Not far from Pienza it's easy to miss. From a distance only the robust hill tower is visible, but as you get close the formidable defensive walls, medieval gate and castle come into view.
Some say Monticchiello dates from Roman times when it was Gens Cloelia. This became Mons Cioelii then Monticchiello.
What is for sure is that the castle was given by Lamberto Aldobrandeschi to Badia Amiatina in 943 before ending up in the hands of Pope Adrian IV, Count Paltonieri and a succesion of ruthless hardmen.
Today, the urban structure of the town is well preserved and you get a strong feeling for rural and agricultural life of the past 800 years.
Do visit the new Museo del Teatro Popolare Tradizionale Toscano or Theatre Museum of Popular Tuscan Tradition, but especially the Teatro Povero.
Not exactly a theatre, but an annual outdoor play. Written and performed by the inhabitants of Monticchiello it looks at the past, present and future life of the town.