Pieve di Lamula di Montelaterone

Founded in 853, the Pieve ad Lamulas (or la Mulas, or Làmula) is perhaps the oldest monument of the Amiata region. It took its name from a miracle involving a mule carrying a statue of the Madonna which knelt at the place where the church was later to be built. Rebuilt in the 12th century, further extensive work was carried out on the church in the Baroque period, including the addition of the bell tower. The church’s original Romanesque forms were restored in 1932. Its best preserved original features include the three circular apses and two internal Romanesque capitals. Inside, there is a valuable wooden statue of the Madonna and Child from the 15th century, possibly by Jacopo della Quercia of the Sienese school, to which solemn celebrations are dedicated every twenty-five years. Founded one kilometre away in the 11th century, Montelaterone Castle was under the control of the Amiata abbey from 1004, until it was destroyed by the Sienese in 1260. The remains of the double medieval walls, with their 13th-century fortifications and two access gates to the village, are still visible.