Castellina in Chianti is a high interesting small town situated on the top of a hill in the north of Sienna’s province bordering Florence’s one.
The town appertains to the prestigious Chianti’s territory. Its municipality area, extended on the hills overlooking the Valleys of Elsa, Arbia and Pesa, is subdivided into “frazioni” (district’s distribution)mainly constituted by villages and hamlets, which are: Fonterutoli, Lilliano, Piazza, Rencine, San Leonino, San Quirico and Sant’Agnese.
This Chianti’s area was already inhabited in the Etruscan period. The existence of an underground Necropolis which was found on the Montecalvario’s hill, formed by four Ipogee graves coming from the 7th century B.C., as well as other important archaeological findings discovered through its area, is confirming its ancient origin. In later centuries the area became a Roman possession being devastated during Gaul’s invasions.
It is also said that Etruscan civilization was the first one which produced wine on these amazing hills, but what is undoubtedly is that wine’s production was held during Roman’s dominion on the area.
In the 11th century Castellina in Chianti (former Castellina dei Trebbiesi) was into the power of the Counts of Guidi, Lords of Trebbio’s Castle. At the ending of that century it passed under Florence’s dominion. In the 12th century Florence’s army conquered all Chianti’s territory and Castellina in Chianti was included in the “Chianti League” becoming the leading locality of the “Terzieri”, the fractions in which the local League was divided.
At the ending of the 14th century Castellina was destroyed by the allied troops of Milan and Sienna conducted by Alberico da Barbiano. Because of that in the early years of the 15th century Florence’s Republic had to rebuild and fortify the town encircling it into a peculiar irregular hexagon of wide and deep fortified walls ruled by an imposing rectangular Rocca (fortress). On the northern side of the fortified walls the penchant of the houses which were built against those walls created an unusual underground street known as “Le Volte”.
From 1452 until 1478 the fortress was first overwhelmed (for a month and a half) by the army of the Calabria’s Duke who subsequently occupied the town. Between 1478 and 1483 the town felt under the dominion of Sienna’s Republic, returning under Florence’s power in 1483. In the second half of the 16th century, when the war between Sienna and Florence was finished, all Sienna’s territorial area was integrated into Medici’s jurisdiction.
What to visit in Castellina in Chianti:
- The “Tumulo di Montecalvario”: the ancient Necropolis, located in the nearness of the town.
- The Rocca (fortress): The imposing fortress is make-up by two different annexed structures. It has a square contour and dissimilar heights. Even it was partially destroyed during the IIWW nowadays it is perfectly conserved, owing to the correct rebuilding and repairing works carried on during the 20th century. Its indoors are keeping the municipal offices and in the “Sala del Capitano”, characterized by impressing medieval walls, civil marriages are there held. From the Rocca visitors can enjoy wonderful panoramic views over the countryside.
Where to eat:
- “Antica Trattoria La Torre”: a well-known old trattoria with a tasty traditional local cuisine. It houses a large and old fashioned interior lounge and an ample terrace for meals in season. Wine cellar hosts excellent Chianti’s wines.
Main Towns of Chianti
Badia a Passignano,
Barberino val d' Elsa,
Castellina in Chianti,
Castello di Brolio,
Castello di Gabbiano,
Castello di Meleto,
Colle Val D' Elsa,
Greve in Chianti,
Mercatale Val di Pesa,
Panzano in Chianti,
Radda in Chianti,
Tavernelle Val di Pesa,
Badia a Coltibuono.
The Tuscany Travel Blog
If you have recently visited Tuscany or you would like to visit Tuscany we now offer the
Tuscany Travel Blog Here you have the opportunity to share your experience, request information or impressions to other customers, and also become an author of the Blog yourself!