What to See and Do
The highest part of town offers extraordinary views and the lower
part, is where the market is held every Friday in Piazza Arnolfo, offering everything you could possibly imagine.
Also in Piazza Arnolfo, the main square, is the tourist information office (tel. 0577 92 13 34). From March to October they organize tours on the glass industry here.
Linking Colle Alta and Colle Bassa- the high and low parts of town- is a convenient lift. Historic Colle Alta has its own tourist information office (tel. 0577 92 27 9; proloco.Colle@tin.it; Via Campana 43) with particularly helpful staff.
Parking is available for free off the Porta Nuova in the west of Colle.
Arnolfo di Cambio, who designed the Florentine Palazzo Vecchio, was born in Colle Alta, at Via del Castello 63. The Piazza del Duomo is brooded over by the enormous clock in the bell tower.
One of the 30 nails which held Jesus on the cross that are scattered in Tuscany, having a claim that it is original, are in Colle. Today it is well kept in the cathedral and securely kept in the procession in Colle Alta celebrated in September.
As legend goes, during the crusades it was brought to Tuscany from the Holy land. A local priest kept it in the cathedral. Throughout the centuries it vanished, was taken and submerged in flood, yet came back again.
Off the Piazza del Duomo are the Museo Archeologico, Museo Civico and Museo d’Arte Sacra.
The first one is at Piazza del Duomo 42 (tel. 0577 92 29 54). The other two are at Via del Castello 31 (tel. 0577 92 38 88). Some masters of the Sienese Scuola’s pieces are housed in the Museo d’Art Sacra.
Back in Colle Bassa is the Museum of Crystal (tel. 0577 92 41 35; www.cristallo.org; Via dei Fossi 8a). It takes you through the history of crystal and exhibits magnificent works, unluckily only in Italian.
To get a full insight into the medieval times visit the walls and gates of Colle di Val d'Elsa (See pictures).