The Ripa d'Orcia Castle was part of the Republic of
Siena's territorial organization from at least the year 1271 onwards.
During the 14th century the fortress, crowning a crag above the river
Orcia, become possession of the powerful local feudal family of the Salimbeni
- see also Rocca of Tentennano
- who dominated
on this area until the beginning of the 15th century. In 1438 Siena was
finally able to claim Ripa d'Orcia as its own property. The fortificated
complex with its high square keep, its walled and still crenelated enclosure,
the great defenses of the main gate with machicolation and loopholes,
is one of the most impressive of the valley but is difficult to date due
to the numerous restorations and relative additions which were carried
out at different stages over the years. Today the castle is a private
property, seat of an agrituristic estate.