Pari is located 38km south of Siena and is built on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and the heavily wooded countryside of the Maremma region of Tuscany. The village remains in a remarkable state of preservation and the surrounding landscape is home to wild boar, deer, pheasant and numerous species of plants, animals and birds.
One thousand years ago Pari had become a walled town of several hundred people grouped around the central castle, the residence of the Counts of Ardengheschi. By the 14th century the region had come under the government of the Sienese.
Until the 1950s life in Pari had continued unchanged over the centuries. Moreover, the population was totally self-sufficient for its food, heat, furniture, shoes and clothing. Wool, for example, was made from the fleece of the local sheep and a form of very durable linen was made from the ginestra (broom) plant. Mulberry trees surrounding the village attest to the use of silk. Very little money circulated in the village and its economy was based on a system of exchange and barter for goods and services. With the coming of the industrial and economic revolution to Northern and Central Italy in the 1950s and ‘60s Pari’s population began to fall from 1500 to the present 150 as people left to find work in the cities and to emigrate further afield.
For those contemplating a longer stay in Pari, cycling, hiking, rafting, horseback riding, oil and wine tasting can be arranged. Visits can be made to the sulfur hot springs followed by a cooling swim in the river (both free of charge) and then to the nearby thermal spa, which offers massages, inhalation treatments, thermal face and body masks.