The village and its castle dominate the Crevole valley, covered with dense woods, just over 300m above sea level.
A borderland between the Val di Merse and the Crete areas of the Val d’Arbia, it overlooks the Ombrone valley and the Montalcino hill.
The origins of the place are linked to the Etruscan civilization clearly witnessed by the finds of Poggio Civitate and Poggio Aguzzo. The Castle of Murlo, in its typical fortified urban structure, dates back to the medieval period - about the twelfth century - when it was the main center of the Feud of the bishops of Siena or Vescovado. The plan, as it appears today, testifies the transformations that occurred at the end of the 16th century after the fall of the Republic of Siena and reveals the structure of the castle with the walls dominated by small houses that surround the Bishop’s Palace that today is the location of the Archaeological Museum, the prison building and the cathedral.
There are two access doors to the castle. The Castle of Murlo corresponds to the ancient main center of the Vescovado of which we have news since the year 1000.
Murlo has not had any growth in modern times, so it looks unchanged as the centuries have handed it over with its old houses built on the circuit of the ancient walls. From them, two entrance doors open, one of which is certainly the original, consisting of a stone arch. The town still retains the charm of the ancient fortified center, even if this function declined with the end of the war in Siena (1559) and the victory of the Florentines. It was transformed by the initiative of Archbishop Francesco Bandini Piccolomini taking on the current appearance of the village.
Inside the medieval walls, which some of them can be dated back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, there is the Palace of the Bishop of Siena who lived here since the year 1050. This palace is now home to the Antiquarium, Etruscan archaeological museum of world importance. Some of the ancient houses have been transformed into cozy bed and breakfasts and restaurants where you can taste local products and spend special days in the full medieval spirit.
Not to be missed is the Church of San Fortunato, which has been known since the 12th century and which has undergone various transformations over the centuries. On the façade, which must have been a cusp following the profile of the three naves, the original arch of the entrance remains, while the oculus and other parts are later remakes. In the restoration works, after the damage caused by the war in Siena, the entire apsidal part was enlarged, reduced to a single nave.