Palazzo Cervini is part of the Vivo d'Orcia complex, where a hermitage was built in the 11th century and was mentioned for the first time in 1113, as one of the religious entities belonging to the Monastery of Camaldoli. In 1218, a monastery was also built there and, in the centuries that followed, it passed to the Farnese family and then to Cardinal Marcello Cervini of Montepulciano, who entrusted Antonio da Sangallo the Younger with the project of building a palace on the ruins of the monastery. The sixteenth-century palace, which looked like a fortress-castle , was the first of several buildings that influenced the area's economy.
The woods of Vivo d'Orcia have always been rich in water sources. The lack of natural water resources in the city of Siena, on the other hand, prompted the Municipal Authority to search for water in this area. The Sorgente dell'Ermiccio water source near the village of Vivo d'Orcia could have been the solution to the problem. On 14 September 1895, the Municipal Authority of Siena signed an agreement with the Cervini Counts, owners of the land where the water source flows, making sure not to cause any economic damage to the activities located along the steep course of the Vivo torrent. In 1908, the Municipal Authority of Siena finally began to build the Vivo aqueduct , allowing the people of Siena to finally have pure water in their homes.