Rapale

One of the most impressive places in the whole Valdambra, Rapale soars on a hill right on the border with the neighbouring Province of Siena. Settled since the earliest times, it still retains it original mediaeval shape of a fortified village, besides a fine chapel devoted to St. Miniatus. From the parapet of the rampart walk, that leads to the church, it is possible to admire - as far as the eye can see - the typical Tuscan countryside.

On the right bank of Ambra creek, just a handful of yards short of the border between the neighbouring province of Siena, the community of Rapale is one of the most striking and peculiar places in the whole Valdambra.
Cited in late Middle Ages documents, Rapale and its surroundings were certainly settled even in earlier times, and the many archaeological findings of Roman artefacts seem to validate the assumption.
Roaming through its narrow streets, it is impossible to not be impressed by the place’s evocative power, in which – seemingly – time has stopped a long time ago.
On the stone header of the tiny church’s portal there is carved the inscription MDCXXXIII (1633) that is believed to refer either to a pastoral visitation or to restoration works performed in that year.
Once a military outpost, of its past only a cropped tower and ancient ruined ramparts remain.
From the village, through a pathway going up to the hilltops and that passes through unspoilt woodlands and cultivated fields, it's possible to reach the nearby (around 1 kilometre journey) tiny hamlet of Sogna