During Medieval times, the importance of the Val d’Orcia, was mainly linked to that of the Via Francigena, that crossed it from North to South for its entire distance. Aside from the urban centers and the castles, several “Spedali” ( welcome centers ) rose along the important route or close nearby. It’s clear from the name itself, that the Castle of Spedaletto, was nothing more than a fortified building to welcome travellers and pilgrims. It was built in the XIIth century by Brother Ugolino da Rochione. From 1236, the complex was administered by the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala of Siena and it was called “Spedale del Ponte dell’Orcia “ ( Welcome Center of the Bridge Orcia). As a matter of fact, in the back part of the structure, the Via Francigena crossed the River Orcia thanks to an old bridge, the ruins of which are still visible in the middle of the river. This was quite a strategic position for the castle. The “Spedale” also hosted some excellent travellers as Carlo II D’Angio and Pope Pius II, that grateful of the hospitality issued a Papal edict in favour of the church of Spedaletto. The castle has a square plan with towers at each corner and a protruding structure with stone corbels and battlements all along the perimeter walls, and a sturdy fortified entry gate with a defense tower. The remaking, at the end of the XVth century, of the light protrusion of great part of the wall circuit and the opening of two shooting slots for fire arms are quite evident. In the first inner yard, on the left of the gate, there’s the small Gothic church of the Spedale with a fantastic facade, enriched by a rose window and a lancet arch portal; on the right a second access gate takes us to an inner yard, heart of the fortification, through which one can accede to the main tower and to the patrol path. The complex is in excellent conditions, it’s been recently subjected to ulterior restoration works. It ‘s possible to visit only the exterior part without any restrictions, since it’s been private property for quite a while.