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Celle sul Rigo, of Etruscan origin, as testified by the nearby necropolis of Balena, has always been of strategic importance in controlling Val di Paglia and the road network that winds its way towards Rome, starting from the Via Francigena in the stretch between the osterie of Novella and Torricella and the border between the Tuscan and papal lands.
The “Castrum de Cellis” was part of the feudal lands of the Viscounts of Campiglia which extended from the slopes of Mount Amiata as far as San Casciano and Fighine. Located between Siena and Orvieto, it often found itself caught up in the conflicts which periodically flared up between the two cities.
In the second half of the 14th century, Celle became the property of the Salimbeni, the Siena-born family who, by increasing their estates in the surrounding countryside, aimed to increase their power within Siena. This struggle within Siena, which led to real wars in which Cione and Cocco Salimbeni took a leading roles, helped Celle free itself from feudal domination and transition in 1418 to a community in Siena.
A borderland, also part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Celle would further consolidate its status as an important agricultural centre, aiding the development of a landed bourgeoisie that would construct elegant buildings and a keep from which the valleys and the Francigena were dominated.
A landslide, which had been threatening the area since the end of the eighteenth century, destroyed the keep and part of the town as testified by the Tower that still dominates an area ranging from Mount Cetona to Mount Amiata and from Val d'Orcia to Mount Rufeno, in a conflation of towns, provinces and regions, all with different dialects, that, even today, still make Celle sul Rigo the cornerstone of a world firmly tied to its roots and historical traditions.