Casa dell'Abate Naldi

Municipality:San Quirico d'Orcia
Region: Toscana

Contact the abode


Casa dell’Abate Naldi, the former home of Abbot Naldi, is located in San Quirico d'Orcia, 40 km south of Siena on the route of the Via Francigena – the ancient Via Cassia, now called State Road n° 2. The building is situated on the main street, n° 24, Via Dante Alighieri, halfway between Piazza Chigi and Piazza della Libertà.

The façade is plastered and has travertine mouldings marking the floor levels and window frames. The balcony on the main ‘piano nobile’ floor and two stone benches with travertine seats complete the décor of the façade, which also features the coat of arms of the Naldi family, surmounted by the abbot's hat, denoting the first owners of the Palazzo.

The twisted wrought-iron grilles protecting the ground-floor windows are particularly interesting, as they have been constructed in such a way as to make it impossible to disassemble them. Entering from the street through a monumental doorway, there is a first entrance with a wooden door that has a grated central part; the coat of arms of the Simonelli family, descendants of whom are still own the residence today, is displayed above this second doorway.

One then enters the second entrance, from which the monumental travertine staircase leads to the ‘piano nobile’ on the first floor, while the ground floor has a charming courtyard with an interesting 17th-century well. The entrance to the first floor is characterised by a pair of large windows with leaded glass, from which there is also access to stairs leading to the upper floors, formerly used for the servants' quarters.

The drawing rooms are located on the left- and right-hand side of this entrance. When the doors are open, the perspective is quite remarkable, as it extends from the large hall overlooking Via Dante to the rooftop garden on the opposite side. The Italian-style roof garden is one of the residence’s prime features and is connected to the main building by three terraces. A second Simonelli coat of arms in travertine also appears on the façade facing the garden.

The rooms overlooking Via Dante still preserve their original 18th-century decorations, while those facing the garden were repainted after being damaged during the last war. The furnishings include various pieces of furniture and paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, supplemented over the generations by furniture from later periods, which gives the house a warm, lived-in atmosphere.

The second flight of stairs leads to a small mezzanine and up to the second floor and its balconies. A final flight of stairs ascends to the small tower above the rooftops, from which it is possible to admire the village and the surrounding countryside from a unique vantage point.



The former home of the Abbot Naldi, Casa dell'Abate Naldi, also known as Palazzo Simonelli-Santi, is at n° 24, Via Dante Alighieri, and is considered to be one of the town's main monuments. It was built in the seventeenth century for Matteo Naldi, a Sienese physician and scientist, the personal physician of Pope Alexander VII of the Chigi family.

In 1684, it became the property of Angelo Simonelli, an art expert and the nephew of Nicolò Simonelli, who served as the curator of the Chigi and Pamphili art collections in Rome. Angelo followed Cardinal Flavio Chigi to San Quirico when the latter was awarded the title of Marquis of the town by Cosimo III de' Medici.

Angelo's descendants often resided in the house in San Quirico, acquiring various pieces of land in the surrounding area until they had established a large landholding, marrying into several local noble families. In the late 18th century, the surname Simonelli was combined with that of Giorgio Santi, a naturalist and friend of Diderot and Franklin, a member of the ‘Le 9 Sorelle’ (‘9 Sisters’) Enlightenment circle in Paris, rector of the University of Pisa, and Grand Ducal Minister. When Giorgio Santi died without heirs, he left his name and properties to the relatives of his wife, Anna Simonelli.

In 1799, General MacDonald, commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Corps in Italy, stayed in San Quirico and, in gratitude for the hospitality received from the Simonelli family, prohibited his troops from plundering the town and its surroundings. In 1800, Lorenzo Simonelli was born, a legal expert and high-ranking ‘gonfaloniere’ official, the progenitor of all the current branches of the family who now own various properties in Valdorcia, including Palazzo Santi (formerly Gonzaga) in Pienza, Rimbecca Castle and Villa Malintoppo near San Quirico.

From 1860, Casa dell'Abate Naldi became the home of Vittorio Simonelli, Lorenzo's youngest son, who was a professor of geology at the University of Bologna and director of the city's Natural History Museum. During World War II, the house suffered serious damage due to a bomb which exploded in the garden, while the façade on Via Dante Alighieri remained almost intact. Since the end of the war, once the damage had been restored, the house has been permanently inhabited by Vittorio Simonelli's heirs, firstly by his daughter, Anna Simonelli, and then by his grandson, Vittorio Cipolla.

Vittorio and his wife Lorenza are passionately dedicated to maintaining and improving their home, often hosting chamber music concerts and other cultural events. From 2011 to 2017, they organised a music festival called ‘Musica negli Horti’ under the artistic direction of Maestro Gianluca Capuano. Since 2017, they have continued to host individual musical events and are members of ‘Le Dimore del Quartetto’ cultural enterprise, a highly successful initiative that unites historical residences and young musicians in a project of circular economy that is constantly growing.



The rooms in the Palazzo can be rented and are an ideal setting for photo shoots, with its old kitchen and large fireplace to the reception rooms that preserve their original terracotta floors or the decorated 17th-century doors and furniture, and to the small enclosed hanging garden, a ‘hortus conclusus’ in the historic centre of San Quirico just a few steps away from the Collegiate Church, Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari, which now serves as the Town Hall, and the 16th-century ‘Horti Leonini’ community garden.

There are spaces where workshops and wine tastings can be held, for which we can provide equipment and glasses, as well as preparing the ingredients for a snack or coffee break.

Cooking classes are regularly held in the kitchen on the ground floor.

The courtyard around the travertine well is ideal for standing receptions during weddings, given its proximity to the Collegiate Church and the Town Hall.

Just a few kilometres from the town of San Quirico d'Orcia, the owners of Casa dell’Abate Naldi also operate an organic agricultural farm. At its centre is the ‘Agriturismo Il Rigo’, which offers accommodation in delightful en-suite rooms, including breakfast and dinner, in an ancient farmhouse made of travertine stone, which dates back to the 16th century.

Please consult the website for details:

Numbers of beds:2
Event salons:5
Numbers of seats for events:60